Saturday, January 16, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021


 All of us have been there - a spell of sharp disappointment. It is something I have often experienced, but something I never get used to! I am one to put my heart and soul into something expecting  it to be helpful, useful and appreciated and often end up deeply disappointed when it isn't! 

Recently, I have been stuck in one of those periods of sharp disappointment. I suspect the seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic, all the political chaos and January's weather have all exacerbated it and made it more acute than normal. I am hopeful that it will pass just as it has in the past. I also know that I am the main cause of my own disappointment because I expect a positive response for my intense efforts, and when that is not the case, I am left feeling deeply disappointed.  When it comes to disappointment, I can accept outright rejection but it's the silence of a non-response that I can't take!

When will I learn? "When you don't have expectations, you don't get disappointed!" It's that simple! During this time, I realized two things about myself. (1) On the whole, I probably get more positive feedback and affirmation than I deserve and to crave more is simply unrealistic. (2) If I were more "pure of heart," I would not set myself up with so many expectations that lead to disappointment. I would simply put my heart and soul into things without the expectations of appreciation and gratitude and do it just for "goodness sake."  So why do I keep putting my heart and soul into things and risking disappointment? I do it because of those many, many times that I am not disappointed! The quote below has been a personal guide for me for many years in times of disappointment ! 

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
Rene Daumal







Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021



Some Things to Remember

This is a photo of my sister, Brenda, holding me as a baby. I was born at home and delivered by my grandmother, a country "midwife." In danger of death, she baptized me right there in the bed in which I had just been born. The Church has always taught that "in an "emergency" anyone can baptize using water "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."  


The practice of infant baptism has been a consistent tradition in the Church, both in the East and in the West, since the very beginning. It was seriously challenged during the Protestant Revolt of the 16th century when the practice of adult or "believer baptism" only was adopted @400 years ago.

The Scriptures were written at a time when adult Jews and Gentiles were being converted to Christianity, but there are several passages where “whole households” were baptized: Stephanas, Cornelius, Lydia and the Philippian jailer stories are cases in point. The language of the New Testament is Greek and the word used when “whole households” were baptized is oikos which has traditionally included infants. There are no examples in secular or Biblical Greek of the words being used which would restrict its meaning only to adults.

Here are examples of what early Christian writers had to say on the subject of the infant baptism. Notice that the first example was 1,800 years ago and the last one 1,600 years ago:


“Baptize first the children (then the men and then the women), and if they can speak for themselves let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them” (The Apostolic Tradition 21:16 [A.D. 215]).

“The Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism even to infants. The apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of the divine sacraments, knew there are in everyone innate strains of [original] sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit” (Commentaries on Romans 5:9 [A.D. 248]).

Gregory of Nazianz

“Do you have an infant child? Allow sin no opportunity; rather, let the infant be sanctified from childhood. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit. Do you fear the seal [of baptism] because of the weakness of nature? Oh, what a pusillanimous mother and of how little faith!” (Oration on Holy Baptism 40:7 [A.D. 388]).

“‘Well enough,’ some will say, ‘for those who ask for baptism, but what do you have to say about those who are still children, and aware neither of loss nor of grace? Shall we baptize them too?’ Certainly [I respond], if there is any pressing danger. Better that they be sanctified unaware, than that they depart unsealed and uninitiated” (ibid., 40:28).

John Chrysostom

“You see how many are the benefits of baptism, and some think its heavenly grace consists only in the remission of sins, but we have enumerated ten honors [it bestows]! For this reason we baptize even infants, though they are not defiled by [personal] sins, so that there may be given to them holiness, righteousness, adoption, inheritance, brotherhood with Christ, and that they may be his [Christ’s] members” (Baptismal Catecheses in Augustine, Against Julian 1:6:21 [A.D. 388]).


“The custom of Mother Church in baptizing infants is certainly not to be scorned, nor is it to be regarded in any way as superfluous, nor is it to be believed that its tradition is anything except apostolic” (The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 10:23:39 [A.D. 408]).