Posted by: fvbcdm | January 5, 2012

Feast of Saint John Neumann (5 Jan 2012)

This morning, after our morning prayers and Mass in our house chapel, I came to my computer and began to think about what I would say on the daily message for today.  Just about that time, an incoming message flashed on the screen.  It was a friend in the New Orleans area who was writing to wish me a happy anniversary of my baptism!  He is a man younger than I, whose memory is obviously much better than mine.  He used to come to me for spiritual direction and we became good friends and came to know one another quite well—even to the point of his knowing when I was baptized!  I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten that January 5 is the anniversary, and am grateful that he reminded me of it.  

It was Sunday, January 5th, 1930.  I was about three weeks old, and was taken to the church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in New Orleans for the Sacrament of Baptism.   Since my ordination to the diaconate and then the priesthood, I have baptized many people, both infants and adults, and I always pray that their baptisms will come to mean at least as much to them as mine means to me.  What a gift is this beginning of Christian life, this incorporation into the Mystical Body of Christ, as we call the Church!  

So, again I ask as I have asked before: do you know the date of your own baptism?  Do do know where it took place, and who ministered it to you?  Do you celebrate each year on that date the tremendous grace given to you by this Sacrament?  Do you ever, if you have the opportunity, go back to that church, that baptistry, and give thanks to Our Lord for this proof of his great love for us, even at the very beginning of our lives?  If I were in New Orleans today, I would find someone who could take me to “Holy Name church” as we say.  And there, I would go into the baptistry and prayerfully remember that one Sunday afternoon eighty-two years ago my parents and godparents brought me to meet with Father John Navin in that room for that wonderful celebration.  

Think of these things, my friends.  Mark your baptismal date on your calendar.  Celebrate it.  Be grateful for it, and then live as Our Lord wants you to live as a result of your baptism.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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