I'll be in the yard today. I have lots of outside work planned, from mowing and weeding to washing the house. Fortunately for me, it's supposed to be a gorgeous day today. Unfortunately for me, my time outside won't be spent in a hammock sipping mint juleps - or whatever is appropriate to my geographical existence. Maybe I'll skip the juleps for some sweet tea. Or maybe I won't since I'll be working and I do not own a hammock. Thank God for iPods and that the ensuing deafness that follows mowing the lawn while simultaneously listening to a cranked-up iPod is only temporary.
In other far-more-important news, Jack Henry will be baptized next Sunday. We're excited and are trying to track down a christening outfit today. I'll be sure to post some pictures of the aftermath of his enlightenment. (We're not allowed to take pictures during the ceremony - though that's the personal preference of our priest more than it is any Church teaching.)
Infant baptism is an absolutely beautiful ceremony, by the way. It moves me to tears every time I see a baby being baptized: The claiming for Christ, the rejection of Satan, the affirmation of the creed, the naming of the baby, the trine immersion while chanting "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," the clothing of the baby in white garments - with Christ, the anointing of him with blessed oil scented with balsam - with the Spirit of God. Man! I'm telling you, it's beyond-good stuff, this being baptized in and with the faith of the Church.
The Church has this to say in its "Instruction on Infant Baptism": "Infant Baptism is truly evangelical, since it has the force of witness, manifesting God's initiative and the gratuitous character of the love with which He surrounds our lives: 'not that we loved God but that he loved us.... We love, because he first loved us.' Even in the case of adults, the demands that the reception of Baptism involves should not make us forget that 'he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit.' " And in section 1250 of the Catechism the Church says, "The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant baptism." What does that mean? It means that salvation is God's free gift based on His mercy and not on any of our merit (not even our "work of faith," since faith too is a gift of God) - and that this is most evident in the washing of our children in baptism. Furthermore, St Paul speaks of children being sanctified by their believing parents. And the psalmist writes of how he was taught to trust in God even at his mother's breast. I could go on and on, but I am afraid that I've already begun to babble.
We're excited, and we hope that all of you will rejoice with us as we rejoice.