Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On Family and Baptism

As a new Catholic, and a "new" mother once again, it is time for Baptism. My son needs to be brought into the Church and receive his citizenship in the Kingdom of God. As a parent it is my duty to arrange this matter, choosing God-parents who will be united to our family and child for eternity. The process is close to complete now that my boy is 3 months old (already! 3 months!).

The Sacrament of Baptism is one that should be relatively easy to set up, or so one would think. Other parents I know have had God-parents chosen for their children by the middle of pregnancy, at the latest, and it seems we are the last Catholics on the block to do so. I have had a very difficult time trying to figure out who I can ask. I have very important people in my life, but not very many that are Catholic, which of course is a requirement of aforementioned needed God-parents. Why is this so easy for everyone and not for me?

Some background maybe?

My family of origin was not what I would call Christian, at least not what I now believe to be a Christian. Not that we didn't believe in God or Jesus Christ. We did what I saw many of my fellow Americans doing - we went to church on Sundays to warm the benches and then lived the remaining 167 hours of the week as if we believed there was no God or at least that we had no knowledge that there could be one.

I was baptised and have God-parents, my Aunt and Uncle, whom I love and adore to this day. But I feel like my baptism was more of a "gotta do it b/c everybody does this when they have a baby and it's the right thing to do people, we don't want to seem like we can't keep up with the Jones, what will people say" reason rather than being the joyous celebration of God's Love that it should be. My brother, born 16 months after me, was never baptised. Guess life was just to busy for another meaningless celebration.

And that, friends, was what Church and God were to my family of origin. Meaningless. We never prayed. We never talked about God. We had this big white bible sitting on an end table in our living room that someone had given my parents for their wedding. It had some pictures in the middle of it. Now I know those "pictures" were actually prints of some of the wonderful Christian artwork to come out of the last 2,000 years. From those pictures, because of course I couldn't read yet, I gained my own idea of who God was and how it all worked. (More on that later.)

My baptism never really signified anything to my parents and therefore they never transferred any great significance of it to me. My God-parents certainly are important to me, but it's because they're my Aunt and Uncle, not so much the God part. That part was never really talked about, nor made important. Twenty-plus years later I find myself having my 2 children baptized, myself being confirmed a Catholic and receiving my First Holy Communion. It was beautiful and I chose for my childrens' God-parents a couple who was very instrumental in planting all the seeds for my conversion.

Here I am now, a Catholic as God intended, with another baby. And. No. Catholic. "Family". Save aforementioned older childrens' God-parents.

How do you choose God-parents? Who is appropriate? My biggest issue was feeling like I didn't know anyone "well" enough to ask them to be united with our family. Do I just ask someone we know from Church? Do I ask someone in our homeschool group? What about my dearest friend who is, unfortunately, not Catholic? How do I include her in something as important as this? Coming from about as far not Catholic as I did growing up I felt so uncomfortable asking anyone to step into this part of our life. I didn't want to make anyone feel obligated, and in my heart I knew that it should mean more to me than it felt like it was meaning.

So what did I do? What any other good Catholic would do - I prayed about it. I prayed a whole lot. I prayed towards the end of my pregnancy and a LOT MORE after My Lovey was born.

Finally, I just asked God to show me who was supposed to be his God-parents. Shortly after I asked that, a very important person who I was growing in friendship with, who is also a homeschooling mom, who also has many (7) kids, who also attends our parish, and whom I greatly respect asked me, "Have you had that baby baptized yet?" "No," I replied. "Oh, good! I thought I missed it. I don't want to miss seeing *******'s baptism!"

Could He have been a little more obvious?

So, after trying to catch this wonderful couple (my friend and her husband) at Mass for 4 weeks, I finally got the chance to ask her at our last MNO (Mother's Night Out). So nervous I was. Is this really OK? Maybe I shouldn't? Will she think it's out of line for me to ask her? I haven't known them that long. I had no reason to worry. She, of course, said yes and she'd, we'll they'd, be honored. Just like God planned. Yes!!! I am so happy. It wasn't too hard to ask, and I am so grateful to have this wonderful family be a part of our lives.

Now to plan the actual ceremony.............



Aubrey said...

I don't remember how I linked to your blog, but I'm here and hope you don't mind me looking around and leaving comments!

What a beautiful post! We have been blessed to have a very Catholic family, so our children's godparents are their aunts and uncles (a different set to each child).

I did not imagine that other people would have to work so hard to find godparents for their children. Well done!

...and welcome to The Church!

God bless you!

MamaMidwife said...


Please DO look around and leave comments. I like comments, and knowing that someone is reading. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are the hottest mamma in the world. Your man is the luckest man in the world. HE HE, HA HA HA