poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Sunrise and Baptism – October 1, 2016 #captureyourgrief #whathealsyou

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As Hurricane Matthew taunts the coast, October has broken into autumnal wet with white skies above. This morning, there were no picturesque sunrise photos to be captured. Everything has been blurred by rain, mostly misting: too fine to be stopped by an umbrella, too much to go without a jacket. 
But that is not to say there hasn’t been sunshine.
Today, my tribe of boys and I have joined with family to celebrate the baptism of my nephew, a rainbow baby.Yards away from where his tiny brother was buried last year, this little boy has now been welcomed into the Catholic Church. As the water trickled over his fuzzy head he squinched his brow and eyes as if looking into the sun. Just a reflex, of course. Yet…

Is there anything brighter and more hopeful on earth than a Baptism, the sunrise of a new life in Christ? 

The last time we joined this branch of family to witness a baptism, my husband and I were chosen as Godparents, a few short months after Lightning Bug left us.  When the priest asked the parents, “What do you ask for this child?” I cried. 
Over the past 5+ years, I have ached that John Blaise, Alexander, and Kolbe were not able to be baptized like their brothers. 
But somewhere along the way, I came upon this story of  St. Bernard of Clairvaux. A couple had a miscarriage and asked him, “What is going to happen to my child? The child didn’t get baptized.” 

“Your faith spoke for this child. Baptism for this child was only delayed by time. Your faith suffices. The waters of your womb — were they not the waters of life for this child? Look at your tears. Are they not like the waters of baptism? Do not fear this. God’s ability to love is greater than our fears. Surrender everything to God,” Saint Bernard assured. 

*****

Tonight we will all venture out into the rain again to attend the Sunday vigil Mass, celebrating the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist with all the angels and saints. Our little saints will be there, no doubt, glorifying God more fully than we on earth know how. 

May we see the waters from above as a holy reminder of our Baptism and the salvation that waits for us, a hope brighter than any sunrise. 

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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