I do not like to speak on my wife’s behalf. Her story is her own story and I’ve fastidiously avoided bringing her into the thick of things when I can help it. This is my blog and my journey and if she were to write about hers I’m sure my readership would evaporate.
They’d jump ship.
Just like that.
She’s far more interesting.
But, in this case I’ve been duly charged.
“Write about it on your blog!” She proposed, gleefully, one afternoon.
She chides me, I think. Likely jealous at my enormous audience of loyal readers.
But I take it all in stride and in this case I will speak for her—and for myself—as seldom as those two things may be as one I’ll seize upon this rare occasion.
So here we go.
Growing up Evangelical, I knew nothing of the idea of the sacraments. They were as foreign a concept to me as the idea of incense during a worship service. Or iconography. Or genuflecting. We just didn’t do that—those things—and for a long time I never asked why.
But when I began to ask questions, when I began to dig into the roots of my faith, I began to bump up against something that’d be there all along: the ancient Catholic Church.
A Church that I thought, in my ignorance and arrogance, I thought I knew all about.
As it turns out, I was wrong. Wrong about a lot of what I thought I knew.
So I dug deeper. I asked difficult questions of myself, my peers, and my spiritual leaders.
And then, when I could no longer help it, I became a Catholic.
After a harrowing run through RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) and a disappointing parish experience my wife and I decided to find a church where we could grow.
And grow we did.
But back to the notion of the sacraments.
Here we arrive at the purpose of our visit.
See, we’ve found a great parish. We have a phenomenal pastor who understood we wanted to “own” our son’s baptism, and we wanted it to be meaningful, and so we didn’t do it right away when he was born.
We put it off as my wife has, herself, begun the RCIA program and is now on her way into the Catholic Church, too.
We put it off as we’ve thought about it, and talked about it, and come around to it together.
And we’re all but ready to go.
All except that one pesky problem: We need godparents.
It’s a great idea, actually, the role of godparents.
There are lots of things like that—that the Catholic Church does well—and, really, that’s why I became Catholic. That’s why, I think, my wife is making her own journey, too. The two-thousand year tradition of the Church makes sense and is tested, and richly endowed, by the millions of Christians who’ve come before us.It’s the beautiful Bride of Christ.
And it gets godparents right.
It understands the importance of the strength and bond of family—of spiritual family—and it places a high value on that.
Which is why we need godparents, because we can’t do a baptism without them.
So here we are, loyal readers, and here is where you come in.
We need godparents: strong, devout, compassionate Catholic godparents.
We’ll even take one (because one is all you need!).
We need someone (or someones) to walk alongside our son as he grows, physically and spiritually. Someone to join us on the journey.
Someone who loves this beautiful hulking monolith called the Catholic Church and her head, Jesus Christ as much as we do.
Someone with a sense of humour, but not too funny that they’ll outshine Daddy.
Someone with a good head on their shoulders, but not too smart that they’ll make Daddy look dumb.
Most importantly, someone looking to babysit a couple of times a year. You know, to bond with our son. At least until he’s old enough to stay home by himself.
True, you’ll have to fly or drive up for the baptism (or drive if you’re close by). And, true, we can’t help pay for those expenses but we do have a spare room.
(Right now it’s hot pink because we just moved and, well, we’ve got a six-month old—we haven’t had time to repaint—but there’s a bed in there with a mattress. And pillows.)
But, anyway, here we are. Two Evangelicals who have stumbled—and are stumbling—into the richness of the Catholic Church looking for someone to put on a fancy suit and stand up at the front of the nave on a Sunday morning while a guy in a robe dumps water on our son.
And, of course, to toss their lot in with us. To hitch a ride. To pledge to be a part of this circus, at least on the periphery, for as long as this big top will stand. And I can promise you this: sometimes it’ll look an awful lot like lion taming.
Does that sound like something you’re into?
Because we’re looking for godparents.
Because the Catholic Church takes these things seriously. Like the Sunday Obligation wherein Catholics are obligated to attend Mass each and every week. Like the reception of the Eucharist wherein Catholics must be in a state of sinless grace (achieved through regular confession, I might add). Like becoming a Catholic wherein even the most devout and well-read Protestant is encouraged and often required to take the nine-month catechesis class before joining the Church.
In all of these, as in baptism, the Church takes herself very seriously.
And rightly so, because the Church knows that we, Catholic Christians, need to be held to the highest possible standard. The bar must, rightly so, be set as high as possible. Not so that we can fail and wallow in our misery but so that we can aim at a goal higher than we, by ourselves, can ever reach.
So that instead we reach out to each other—the Church—and its Head.
And that’s the whole point of baptism, right? That’s the whole point of the godparent. That’s the thing of it.
So as difficult as it is sometimes to attend Mass every week, and bustle off to confession to get into the right frame of mind, and sit through those classes every week it might be difficult to find the right godparents it’s worth it and it makes sense and it’s good.
And, yeah, if you know anybody interested… let me know!