A Love that Transforms

His little fingers curiously crept into the baptismal font and almost immediately raced out when he discovered the cool water inside. Clad in his impeccable white suit and clip-on tie, four-year-old Sam could barely resist a second, third and fourth attempt to dip his hands in the water soon to be poured over his head three times – part of the rite of baptism that would claim him as a son of God.

One evening recently, Sam along with his three younger sisters received the greatest gift imaginable, the gift of baptism, the sacrament of initiation, the gateway to eternal life, the indwelling of the Trinity in their souls!

In a hushed silence of a modest and unassuming city church, the heavens seemed to rent open and unleash a torrent of grace. Though celestial voices rejoicing with songs of praise went unheard, we did hear the words of the priest, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We saw neither the Holy Spirit hover over the children nor angels rejoicing (at least I didn’t), but with eyes of faith – and brimming with tears of joy and thanksgiving, we believed the divine reality that unfolded before us.

Could the children have known something extraordinary was happening? It seemed so. Did they see angels?! They neither cried nor fussed. They were rather gleeful about it all. “I’m God’s son now,” quipped Sam after the life-altering event. Did he and his sisters truly know that the very essence of their being was transformed forever through the powerful words of the priest and the simple means of water? Did they know this gift conferred upon their littleness effected in them new life – enabling them to become a partaker of divine nature, a wonder of God’s invisible power?

Could they have grasped the eternal truth of their entering into the Mystical Body of Christ, and being united to the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus? As these children live out their faith, they too will one day stand at the foot of the Cross with Jesus and discover Calvary for themselves, they too will know the miracle of the empty tomb and the joy of the Resurrection.

As my mind drifted into considering the capacity and aptitude of a toddlers’ comprehension level of metaphysical and theological truths, it dawned on me how often I forget these very truths! I quickly reproached myself, it doesn’t matter how much they or any of us understand! This is God’s utter gratuitous love! A love that transforms us!

St. Paul teaches us, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)

As we rejoice in the Resurrection this Easter season, let us call to mind anew the very truth of our being and walk in this newness of life. Let us be grateful anew for the completely unmerited gift of our own baptism and our own share in His life. Perhaps, the prayer of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity may aide us as we enter deeply into the mystery of divine life and allow Jesus’ love to increasingly transform us to be His image in the world.

“O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action. Amen.”