Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Little Treasure Box of Baptism

Peace be with you! 

I beheld in my heart this battered, little box. It was like a jewelry box, extremely worn. The wood of the box might have been polished once long ago. And it may have been quite ornate.

But now, it was just a plain old, little wooden box.

My Parents and my Godparents must have given this box to me after my Confirmation; the day when I was supposed to have come of age in the Faith of our Mother Church.

They had received it for me in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit - in my stead - during my Baptism. That was, I was told, when I was still very little - a babe in their arms.

Which must be true because I couldn't remember much of it. I even had to decide for myself to give myself my own Confirmation name because no one could tell me what it was.

Maximilian Mary.

So all I know to tell you, Beloved of God in Jesus Christ, is that I have it - my worn, old, little, treasure box of Baptism. And it was given to me because it was mine to have.

All my life, I assumed it was just one of those little souvenirs one usually get at parties and the like. So I tucked it away somewhere in a corner of my soul.

At times I hid it when it suited me. After all, I might get embarrassed by it. Friends might disapprove, I feared. And I want to be accepted.

Then one day I noticed it has a keyhole.

I've never in my life even thought about opening it. And to be honest, I did not know whether I had a key for it or not. I wasn't at all interested in it, you seen... until now. What was inside it?

With so much things going on in my heart and in my mind, never until now did it occur to me - once upon a calm and quiet moment - in the Stillness in the stillness - that this battered, old box is actually mine. It's mine, yes! But what was inside it?

Many times I seem to have either lost or traded away this hardy, little box. Now, I realize it is still with me. For there were other, newer boxes, you see. Seemingly better ones, more expensive looking. Not that one should compare, mind you. Covetousness leads to certain grief. Besides, the human soul may only accommodate one box, just one box each after all. I respect that.

We can not all be the same. But the fruits that all of us must bear must be edible and good - yes, just the same. Freedom in plurality, flourishes in unity: I respect that, too.

Why did this particular box doggedly resolved to stay with me - all this time, or maybe I with it? I wondered and so I wondered, and the mystery grew. Maybe it was meant to be opened after all...

What was inside it?

So I resolved to learn all about it. And I did. And in my seeking, I also did happen upon the key. It was with me all the time. It was my faith seeking understanding. So I gave the box a chance and it opened itself to my heart - and out poured the treasury of the Church and out came a vision of me.

The me my Jesus had intended for me to be - forever. The new me. Old looks but a new heart. Common outside extraordinary inside.

And with this new me came new relationships - precious as the proven, older ones.

In the one, great family of the Catholic Church, I discovered a new sense of bravery and friendship. I love the new me. And I knew this is my peace. It's true and it's mine.

More and more these days, I find myself no longer living in fear. I know my Jesus. He knows me. That little box set my spirit free.

If you're a cradle Catholic. You are like me. And most probably, no - most certainly, you have heard of the little treasure box of Baptism. Open it.

Yeah, our interior life too - is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you get... till you...

Amen to God, adoration to Jesus Christ.