My Christmas present to my wife this last year was a glider, which provides all the comfort of a recliner with the smooth rhythmic motion of a rocking chair. Since we were expecting our first-born child in a few months, it seemed a fitting gift, useful and comfortable and perfect for quiet mornings.
Now I’m sitting in this chair, typing this on my phone with one hand and holding my newborn baby boy in the other, using the chair for the purpose for which it was intended.
He was born the evening of Palm Sunday, and in keeping with the liturgical color for the day, he was wearing red when he made his appearance. As I think about it, a birth during Holy Week is profoundly fitting: for what could be more Christ-like than someone going through pain and blood out of love for another to give new life to that person?
As John G. West, Peter Kreeft, and others have said, Calvary is the rule, not the exception. The love Christ showed for us on the cross is the standard and measure of all love. And a love having the depth and magnitude of that of a parent for a child could only be of God, who is himself Love.
He is a little miracle, as we all are–a “great might-not-have-been,” as Chesterton said. And the miracle is no less miraculous for being numerous, as with the feeding of the 5,000, or the multitude of healings that have happened at Lourdes and other holy places. In his short life span, he has already been in a holy place; indeed, he was from the beginning.
At the moment of conception, God created life by constituting this newly-formed being with a rational soul, capable of knowing and loving him. It was a deeply sacred instant, and I will henceforth look at my wife with all the more reverence for being the locus of such divine action.
And now, after months of preparation for his public debut, here he is, a perfect little man, with his mother’s cheekbones, my nose, and Kirk Douglas’s chin. He has so much to experience and to learn: basketball and Latin and meal times that aren’t 3am. He will learn his ABCs and the 10 Commandments and the names of all six of the Three Stooges.
And soon he will be baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ and become a new man–not bad for one so little! God bless you, baby boy. Daddy and Mommy love you.