Isabella’s baptism

Isabella’s baptism

Isabellabaptism Isabella’s baptism was this morning at the 10:30 am Mass at our parish, Immaculate Conception in Salem, Mass. Although the date was picked out of convenience, the Holy Spirit also had a hand in it as well, being Trinity Sunday and all. And could the Gospel have been more appropriate? “Go, therefore, and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Our pastor, Fr. Murphy, incorporated the baptism into his homily as he said that the most important thing to know about the Trinity is not what God does for us (creates, redeems, sanctifies) or concepts of mathematics (one-in-three), but that God is family. What does that mean? It means that God is love because it is love that binds families together. He also went on at length about how our families act as images of the Divine Trinitarian Family and the bonds that tie us together and that we’re temples of the Holy Spirit and so on. It was really an excellent baptismal and Trinitarian homily and I’m so glad he gave it.

After Mass, we all retired to our house where we had a simple brunch of bagels, muffins, danishes, and, of course, cake. It was very relaxed and comfortable and I was so glad that everyone could come over and also that today turned out to be such a gorgeous day. The rain has finally let up, at least for a little while. (The forecasters say that this has been the rainiest May-June combo in the record books. I believe them.)

Fr. Murphy and the seminarian who’s staying in our parish this summer stopped by too. It turns out that the seminarian, Alex, had a former Steubenville professor of mine as a spiritual director, Fr. Giles Dimock, OP. That let me recall a great baptism story Fr. Giles told in Sacraments class once about a priest who was a little too enthusiastic about applying the oil of chrism to the “bambina” and how baby + oil + water = a game of catch the greased pig.

On the whole we’re very happy to have had Isabella baptized and welcomed into the Church and made a daughter of God, a princess in the kingdom. What a great day.


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Update: Also see Melanie’s thoughts on the day. There are few things, if anything, more wonderful than seeing how much my wife loves my daughter.

  • Congratulations to little Isabella. “Isabella” is a great name. My sister is named Elizabeth and her oldest daughter (my goddaughter) is Isabel, and my husband’s mother and second sister are both named Isabel too. Did you have a specific “St. Elizabeth” chosen for a patron saint? My sister’s is St. Elizabeth the mother of St. John the Baptist. There are so many good ones!

  • “There are few things, if anything, more wonderful than seeing how much my wife loves my daughter.”

    When the going gets tough in a marriage, this is the glue that makes you make up.  Once you have children with someone, you are truly and forever married because even if you divorce, you will have to celebrate the major life events together (with all the tension that disrupts the events for both parents and their poor children) until one of you dies.

  • In the last little section of the most recent edition of Communio, there was a reference to a theological term I hadn’t before been familiar with: ‘condilection’, deriving from diligo (diligere, dilexi, dilectus), which means to ‘select, pick, single out, love, value, esteem, approve, value, appreciate” – diligis is used in the Gospel of John (say, John 21) as the latin for the greek agape.

    Condilection, was referened in the De Trinitate of Richard of St. Victor, a Scottish Theologian from the 12thC (interesting aside – I just got back from Scotland), as “perfect divine love must be “condilection,” love shared with a third”. To wit:

    When one person gives love to another and he alone loves only the other, there certainly is love (dilectio) but it is not a shared love (condilectio). When two love each other mutually and give to each other the affection of supreme longing; when the affection of the first goes out to the second and the affection of the second goes out to the first and tends as it were in diverse ways—in this case there certainly is love (dilectio) on both sides, but it is not shared love (condilectio). Shared love (condilectio) is properly said to exist when a third person is loved by two persons harmoniously and in community, and the affection of the two persons is fused into one affection by the flame of love for a third. From these things it is evident that shared love (condilectio) would have no place in Divinity itself if a third person were lacking to the other two persons.

    What I found striking was the new bond that grows between the two by sharing of this kind of love for a third, and the very uniqueness of this love.

    That new bond forged in the fire of ordered love of God’s new creature is the one of purest gold. I think (although having no experience of it myself) it might be the secret of a happy marriage to the end. It certainly smacks of the Communion of Saints and the shared Divine visage which is our proper home.

    Further, for me, this uniqueness is at the heart of creation: for, while equal, and same-in-substance, would there not be some uniqueness in the love of Father-and-Son to Holy Spirit, Father-and-Holy Spirit to Son, etc all the way around? Is there not a uniqueness in the love that Mary and Joseph share of Jesus, the Father and Joseph share of Jesus, Jesus and Joseph share for Mary, etc? I could go on eternally with cases (Priest and Church for the individual soul, etc), but the perfection of love in condilection strikes me as getting to the root of the good of why God has ordained much creation, and that which exists is properly ordered to creation, rather than the alternatives.

    Of course, I speak in high and abstract concepts -but, I mentioned it because, as I was reading Melanie’s and your posts, it struck me that you’re living it, right now, AMDG.

  • “There are few things, if anything, more wonderful than seeing how much my wife loves my daughter.”

    Your daughter is hugely blessed to have two parents so devoted to one another and to the Church.

    Wow, what an amazingly joyful occasion!

    Congratulations to all!


  • Isabella is truly a beautiful child and fortunately for her she has wonderful and caring parents.

    GOD Bless your family.