August 29, 2008


Here I am receiving the post-baptismal anointing with the Sacred Chrism, having been a neophyte for no more than a minute. That was sixteen years ago today.

Trying to follow the Lord has been a wild ride; it's a good thing I didn't really know what I was getting myself into that day. Since then I've lived at seventeen addresses in six states and four countries.


Anonymous said...

You were baptised on the feast of the beheading of St. John the Baptist?

That is so cool!

Anonymous said...

Beatiful! And amazing...such as Grace is.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks much, Ben and Pia. Here's one for you Ben: what's the deal with the title of this day. I know that when I was baptized it was the "Beheading," but it now seems to be called the "Martyrdom."

My third edition Missale Romanum calls it the "Passion:" "In Passione S. Ioannis Baptistae," while my 1962 Missale Romano-Seraphicum goes back to the first thought: "In Decollatione S. Ioannis Baptistae."

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can properly call it martyrdom. There is certanly an ontological difference between a death prior to the salvific work of Christ and one after. We don't want to diminish the proto-martyrdom of St. Stephen in any way.

I have to think that the use of "martyrdom" in the ordinary form might be a translation issue. Do you know what the title of this feast is in Latin for the ordinary form? I would not have thought it would change from tradition, because to change this day necessarily changes the focus of 12/26.

Nonetheless, St. John was a great cooperator in the work of Christ from Visitation forward. I have to say that I really like the idea of calling his suffering and death a "passion" since it points so clearly to the work of Our Lord.

I've heard it said that there is a great complimentarity between the sufferings of St. John and Jesus, where each suffered a betrayal. St. John was betrayed because of lust, and Jesus because of greed.

Having just lived through the DNC in Denver, I have to think that maybe there is a lesson for us here? Our political system seems to be divided along similar lines.

for narnia said...

happy 16th anniversary of your baptismal day, Fr. C! i wish you peace and God's blessings - ALWAYS!
tara t

Anonymous said...

I am corrected by tradition.

The collect for today from the 1962 missal clearly calls him a martyr:

Sancti Joánnis Baptístæ Præcursóris, et Mártyris tui, quæsumus, Dómine, vene­ránda festívitas salutáris auxílii nobis præstet efféctum: Qui vivis et regnas, cum Deo Patre in unitáte Spíritu Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

and again he is called a martyr in the Secret:

Múnera, quæ tibi, Dómine, pro sancti Mártyris tui Joánnis Baptístæ passióne deférimus: quæsumus, ut ejus obténtu nobis profíciant ad salútem. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

So there is a long tradition of calling him martyr.

Jeff said...

Brother Charles,

Congratulations on that anniversary!

it's a good thing I didn't really know what I was getting myself into that day

Ha! And then some... Thanks for sharing that. Look at that full head of hair. ;-)