I didn't anticipate this, but this afternoon I have found myself somewhat emotional as I reflect on the baptism of my first catechumen tonight. I've done and witnessed plenty of baptisms, of course, but this is the first time that I myself have prepared and catechized someone according to the RCIA, praying and reflecting with her over the last two years.
I'm proud of her faithfulness to the program and desire for baptism. But I'm also anxious. Did I cover enough to make a foundation for a Catholic lifetime?
There's a kind of bittersweet letting-go in all of it. I have succeeded. In a few hours my ministry will have brought a newborn Christian into this world, a living, fresh sign of the power of Resurrection. At the thought of that I'm overcome with the humble tears of my unworthiness as I reflect on the searing mercy of God that has made shallow and distracted old me into a steward of the deepest of Mysteries. As I present her to her pastor to be baptized, there's a kind of wholesome grief about it too, of letting go of a child who is about to become an adult in the spiritual order, and whom I now set free into the confounding and delightful economies of Grace within which we stumble on our way through the pilgrimage of this life.
May God delight in his neophyte.