……….for those who love God Romans 8:28
It’s been a busy weekend for my dear friends, Paul and Catherine. They were baptized into the Catholic Church and received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Friday evening. This morning they received the Sacrament of Communion at Sunday Mass.
Paul and Catherine are the parents of Bryan, the little boy I wrote 3 blog posts about in May during the final stage of his illness with a brain tumour. My friends had to postpone RCIA classes when Bryan entered the last stage of his illness but their hope of being received into the Catholic Church never wavered; in fact, their desire was strengthened after Bryan’s death on May 10, 2012. Thanks to our wonderful Pastor, our dedicated Associate Pastor and our generous catechist who gave so much of her time to ensure that they were prepared to be received into the Catholic Church, Paul and Catherine were baptized exactly one year from the date that Bryan and his little sister were received into the Church on July 13.
I believe that what I, and a few other privileged souls, witnessed this past weekend were some of the fruits of Bryan’s suffering, offered to a loving Father Who continues to use his long illness for good. It was the diagnosis of Bryan’s brain tumour that compelled his desperate parents to seek comfort and answers in the church; his illness that drove them to request baptism for their children; his love that convinced his grandfather to desire baptism for himself; and his suffering that planted the seeds of faith and trust in a God Who seeks to draw us to Himself.
During the year of the family’s struggle, they were embraced by a parish and faith community that supported them with prayers, comforting words and friendship. Now that they are full members of the Church, that embrace is even more far-reaching: the communion of saints who pray for each other.
I never cease to be amazed by the grace and humility so clear in Paul and Catherine. Even though the loss of their beautiful little boy pierces their hearts in a way most of us can’t even begin to imagine, they continue to smile and to be gracious to those around them. Their growing faith is evident to anyone who has the privilege of knowing them. And now, with Bryan in Heaven interceding for his family and with the Sacraments of the Catholic Church marked indelibly on their souls, their future is bright. There will continue to be tough times and rocky moments. Life is like that. But, they have over 2000 years of saints and sinners alike in their corner. What else do they need?
Congratulations, Paul and Catherine. Thank you for allowing me into your lives. You continue to teach me and so many others what it means to trust.