The Baptism of Our Lord
I have always been confused by the arrangement of the liturgical feasts after Christmas. Not that they're in the wrong order but in the fact that we jump from the infancy to adulthood in a matter of days. Couple that with the ingrained idea of Baptism usually being administered to infants and you can see how I can easily be confused.
Today the Church celebrates the Baptism of Jesus. It celebrates this public revelation that this Jesus of Nazareth is truly the Son of God. In fact, He is God's "beloved Son."
For years I have yearned to be the "beloved son" of God Our Father but thought that God must surely love others more than I. He must love those who are more holy than I. He most love those who are more pleasing in their works and prayers. Not until recently did I truly realize that I am a "beloved son". Not until recently did I realize that God loves me with the same love with which He loves Jesus. The Catechism tells us that "Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ..." Saint John tells us, "See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are...Beloved, we are God's children now..."(1 John 3:1, 2)
At our Baptism we are reborn. We are adopted into God's family. Saint Paul says, "So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God." This should change our entire outlook. We now have every claim to utter the words "Our Father" or even "My Father." In fact God sends us His Spirit in Baptism so that we will cry out "Abba, Father" or "Daddy." (cf. Galatians 4:6, 7)
You and I are beloved sons and daughters. We have been Baptized into Christ's mystical body, the Church. Therefore, when God sees us, He sees His Son. He loves us with the same intense radical love with which He loves Jesus. This is both awesome and overwhelming. So let us live a life that Our Father would be proud of. Let us imitate our elder brother, Jesus. Let us never give Our Heavenly Father the opportunity to say, "You look like my son, by virtue of your Baptism, but you neither act nor sounds like Him. Depart from me."
FROM THE SAINTS - "Don't bother trying to be older. A child, always a child, even when you are dying of old age. When a child stumbles and falls, nobody is surprised, and his father promptly picks him up." - Saint Josemaria EscrivaHow to get better at prayer.
- Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
- Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go. Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
- Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days. Mark off the days on your calendar. If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
- Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him. I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development. God is the same way. Spend time praying as best you can. Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation. Don't forget to listen
- Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life. It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
- Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer Primer, Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer, Time for God, The Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation
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