The Pope baptized an infant (along with plenty of others) on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, and folks have once again gone psychotic in one form or another because *gasp* the parents of this child were not married in the Church.
WHY IS THIS NEWS?
For the love of all that's holy, people, Pope Francis is not Christ come back to Earth (and he's not the anti-Christ, either, for you folks wagging your heads at his supposed lack of decency). He did what he did as a priest in Argentina... he did what priests and deacons all over the world do on a weekly basis; he exercised his vocation and gave himself over to God to be used as a conduit for Divine Grace. He welcomed a child into our Family. He brought God's blessing down on that child in the Name of the Blessed Trinity and encouraged family and friends alike to bear faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis was not, as I've seen some suggest, blessing civil marriages as if they were equal to sacramental unions. He was not acting blasphemous by recognizing the inheritance this baby was due as a child of God. Regardless of a person's background - ALL are welcome to the flood of grace God wishes to reign down upon us. We were all created SPECIFICALLY to be His children forever.
I mean, are you seriously going to look God in the eye and say, "Nope, God. This kid doesn't have two sacramentally married parents. You CAN'T want to baptize her, right?"
GAH! The audacity. That's exactly what you're saying when you complain about Pope Francis baptizing her! SHAMEFUL.
Also, Pope Francis was not, as others have suggested, being some sort of social prophet by his actions. It is very doubtful he baptized that child to condemn the Church's stance on the traditional family. It's also very doubtful he was trying to cause any waves or be the beacon for social justice folks are clamoring so hard for him to be.
He acted as any priest should have - he acted with love and a deep respect for his God-given vocation. May that child grow to love and honor God and His Church, and may the Pope's encouragement strengthen her parent's resolve to reconcile themselves with the same Church they professed their desire to graft their daughter into.
It's beginning to drive me insane - from both ends of the spectrum! Folks are hating on him for being "untraditional enough" and then others are lavishing praise on him as if every pontiff before him was a baffoon. It's ridiculous.
On the heels of that, there's this little button thingie (and others like it) going around that was commented at least a dozen times on various threads about the above story.
NO, NO, NO, NO and NO.
The Blessed Mother was NOT an unwed mother. Stop spreading this. Correct anyone you see posting it. It's NOT TRUE.
I've posted about this before, but it obviously bears repeating:
She wasn't unwed, though a lot of people misunderstand that.
In being "betrothed" to St. Joseph, she was married under Jewish Law. Jewish marriage was a two step process back then. Betrothal (important part) and then public witness (formality). Kinda like us with our Church ceremony and then shipping off our papers to the town hall with the signatures of our witnesses.
Betrothal was so binding that upon completion of the betrothal ceremony (which Mary and Joseph took part in), the woman was considered a wife (and hence if we follow the language used in the gospel of Matthew back to its roots, we see that he does, in fact, use the term "gyne" or "wife" for Mary after she and Joseph are betrothed in the Temple).
Besides, God specifically sets forth laws for us to follow. He wouldn't break the rules for Himself, especially since He came to serve as our example on how to fulfill the law faithfully in every respect.
It is simply through present-day misunderstand of ancient Jewish custom that we believe the Blessed Mother to have been an unwed mother.
So please - stop posting the memes about the Blessed Mother being unwed. If you see others posting the memes, enlighten them.
Finally, a plea from a parent who happens to still believe in the saying "It takes a village to raise a child."
While I was in the waiting room of the Emergency Room a few days ago, I witnessed an incident that STILL has me absolutely baffled.
A mother and father were sitting one row ahead of me. They had a gorgeous little girl of maybe 18 months of age. She was toddling all over the place, but walking was apparently new for her given how much she'd fall.
Her father got up and left (where he went is anyone's guess) and her mother was on her cell phone. The little girl was walking all over the waiting room, and given how much she was toppling over, I sorta kept an eye on her in case she hurt herself. Her mother wasn't paying any attention to where she was walking. She was on her phone the entire time I saw her.
The little girl toddled over to an elderly man in a wheelchair. As soon as he saw her, his face lit up and he said, "Hey baby! Hi there. Want to give me five?" and he held out his hand to her. She looked at him with the biggest smile and immediately went over to interact. Just as she was about to reach him, she fell over. The elderly man immediately reached down to scoop her up - and it obviously hurt him to do so. As he set her back on her feet, she let out a big squeal. It's that sound babies make when they're really excited and half giggling about something.
I guess that sound made it through her mother's cell phone conversation, because she finally got up to see where her daughter had wandered off to. When she came around the column (which was blocking her view of her daughter), she noticed the elderly man patting her on the head.
While STILL having the conversation on the cell phone, she angrily looked at the older man and shook her head "No" while dragging (physically DRAGGING) the little girl away. She didn't even look at her daughter. She just glared at the elderly man and yanked her back behind the column.
A few moments later, her boyfriend / husband / whatever walked in and sat next to the mother. Again, mom is STILL on the phone, but tells that person to "hold on" so she can relay what happened with the man in the wheelchair. She proceeds to tell him that the "creepy old guy" was "grabbing our daughter." He got angry and said, "Where? Who is he?" and she starts saying "He's behind the column."
I saw where this was leading, so I immediately got up, walked over to them and said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to let you know that he was only helping your daughter up. She fell in front of his wheelchair, and he just helped her to her feet."
She shot me an angry look, but the man she was with said, "Oh, okay. Thanks."
Mother-of-the-Year went right back to talking on the phone as I made my way back to my seat.
A few minutes later, dad was telling his daughter she can't go near strange men because they would take her away and rape her.
This child was MAYBE 18 months old. I would hope she has no clue what rape is. And what in God's name is he attempting to scare her off men like that for??? He SHOULD have been reprimanding his partner for letting the little girl wander off in the first place. He SHOULD have been telling her to put the phone away and giving the little girl any semblance of attention. Instead, he scares his little girl into thinking every male in the universe is a bad guy seeking to kidnap / sexually abuse her.
And all the elderly guy - IN A WHEELCHAIR - was trying to do was be helpful. All he wanted to do was help a little girl up and make her smile.
I'm all for teaching kids that they need to be aware of their surroundings and who they're with, but c'mon. This is ridiculous. We need to recognize the good in people.
I was privileged to witness my little Madison Rose become a princess of the Church on Sunday. Yay!
I got to her mom’s house early enough to catch her still asleep. I snapped a few pre-bath photos because she’s so darn adorable and I simply couldn’t resist.
When she woke up, I got to watch her while mom, Theresa, and dad, John, got ready. I was only too happy to have her all to myself. We played a fun game of peek-a-boo on the floor with her fuzzy blanket, we practiced rolling around both in the crib and on the aforementioned fuzzy blanket, I let her chomp on various fingers because the poor thing is teething something fierce, and finally, I showed her the small figurines of Mary and Jesus I had given to her parents for their wedding.
Then she showed me her Winnie the Pooh light, her swing, and her underwater themed night light that played some really awesome music.
Next, she decided she wanted to chomp on my fingers some more. I happily obliged. :)
Pretty soon, though, it was time to get her gussied up for her big day!
Theresa and I decided to keep her only half-dressed for the ride to the church. After all, her gown was super long, so trying to buckle her into the seat safely would’ve been a problem. We put her in her special onesie (the same design Mary got for Vince 4 years ago!) and a warm pair of pink leggings.
We also decided to put the bonnet on instead of the headband because the bonnet was so cute!
When we got to the church, I quickly slipped the gown over her head while Theresa tied it in the back. I got the honor of carrying her into the church, but before we went in, a bunch of photos were taken by mommy and babci (babci means “grandmother” in Polish).
Once inside, I discovered that the cry room is next to the sanctuary. THE SANCTUARY. How cool is that? Normally the room opposite the sacristy is used for storage of choir stuff. They decked theirs out as a cry room complete with children’s books, pews, and a bathroom. VERY family-friendly! The partition that separated the sanctuary from the cry room was made up of windows. Most of the windows were closed, but two were open (and I think that’s due to their condition… they might’ve been broken). I didn’t mind, but I wondered if the crying children distracted the priests (which was later confirmed by my friend, Frank, who works at the parish).
Ah well. I still love the idea of the children being so close to the Mass. They can see EVERYTHING up close and personal. Besides, I think Jesus would approve of having the kids so close to Him, too.
Madison was great throughout Mass. She barely cried, and when she did, her parents or babci soothed her with a few bounces and all the pretty stained glass.
After Mass, it was time for her baptism! She cried a bit given the fuss of all the guests chattering loudly around her. I was surprised to see how many people were there for the baptisms - four in total. Guests took up the front half of the church. Fr. Ferrier, my Latin teacher from high school, was the presiding minister.
The baptism, itself, was great. Fr. Ferrier explained the different symbols and the importance of Catholic identity. He said the prayers and offered photo opportunities for the families after each individual baptism. I caught a few shots of the chrism blessings which was nice.
I also snapped a photo of Tim, Madison's godfather, holding the lit Baptismal candle. It's a bit grainy, given I was using my iPhone for all these shots. However, I thought that was an important part of her sacrament. We need to remember that we are supposed to act as bearers of Christ's light for her. To be a godparent isn't to feel warm and fuzzy because we've been given a special title since we're such good friends of Mom and Dad. To be a godparent is to be a bearer of Christ's light - a protector of that light for Madison. So I snapped this shot after asking Tim to hold it for us.
I hope to have some more pictures from her Mom soon. I'll likely share some of those, too (assuming Theresa gives me the ok... you'll give me the OK, right?).
So if you guys could shoot a prayer of thanks or two up to Heaven for giving us a brand new little sister in Christ, I'd appreciate it. I'm so proud of this little peanut. She's a sweetie and I can't wait to enjoy this journey alongside her. May the Lord forever bless and keep this little Reese. <3 <3 <3
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