Her life is in front of her 100%. I was charged with two things upon becoming Irina's godfather. First, I was her advocate. I stood up for her and affirmed that she would make a good Christian/Catholic. Secondly, I pledged to help raise her in the Faith of Jesus Christ. The first was a momentary affirmation, but one not to be taken lightly. I had to weigh the importance of her parents spiritual life as Catholics and be willing to affirm that that they would bring the baby up as a Catholic, teaching her along the way that Catholicism is the one, true Faith. The second is a life long responsibility. I am to share in the education and the upbringing of the child from a Catholic point of view. That is not a charge I take lightly. It is a great responsibility and one in which I am very happy to oblige.
As I said, her life is in front of her 100%. She has the chance to grow and become a fruitful Catholic. It isn't hard, but it is a commitment. She will know that great freedom comes through baptism and that while I cannot make her decisions for her, I can and I will influence her as much as possible over the years, to be the best Catholic she can be.
Some will say that she should have the ability to choose for herself what she wants. I will argue the opposite. Why should I support her in choosing something which is erroneous. Why would I help her to protest the Truth? If Christ gave us the Church, why would I support her in choosing ANYTHING which is other than that which Christ gave us? I cannot, in good conscience do that and I won't. So, the freedom doesn't come in allowing her to choose for herself what she wants, but rather it comes from educating her about the Truth. Interestingly enough, the only persons who argue that she should be able to choose for herself what she wants are those who do not believe in the Church.
Freedom of conscience does not mean freedom of thought. Freedom of conscience means that one will freely choose the Truth. If Christ says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life..." then it would stand to reason that following the Church He founded would be the way, the truth, and the life. Freedom is not found in rejecting Catholicism, but rather freedom is found in embracing it. For living one's life as a Catholic is the embodiment of living one's life as a Christian. True freedom is found in being Catholic, not in practicing whatever one chooses for oneself.
When I look at baby Irina, I see hope. I see hope for the future and I see hope for the present. I see hope for the present, because it give me and it gives her parents another chance to teach the Truth of Holy Mother Church. I see hope for the future, because her journey through life as a Catholic is kick started by virtue of her participation in the Sacraments.
My pledge is that Irina will have my support. My pledge is that Richard and Jessica will have my support. My pledge is that their other children will have my support. Congratulations to the Chamberlin's. Congratulations to Richard and Jessica. Congratulations to Damien, Rhian, Ethan, Anakin, Marian, and Irina. You are all part of the Church of Jesus Christ. You all have the opportunity to be the future of Holy Mother Church. You are all Catholic, not merely in name, but also in word and deed. May God keep you all very close to Him.
On a closing note, young Anakin made his First Holy Communion yesterday as well. For Anakin, I will say this prayer:
- Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
- Corpus Christi, salva me.
- Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
- Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
- Passio Christi, conforta me.
- O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
- Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
- Ne permittas me separari a te.
- Ab hoste maligno defende me.
- In hora mortis meae voca me.
- Et iube me venire ad te,
- Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te.
- In saecula saeculorum.