Saturday, October 6, 2012

New Life and New Life

So grandson Liam Patrick arrives 6 weeks ahead of his scheduled time. In a sense that means you get to see a baby 'in utero'. And there is no mistaking what you are looking at, this is a baby. New life. A person. And he is already looking like he is his own man. Fascinating to see this, and fascinating to watch modern medicine do its thing. First impression of the machinery monitoring and feeding him was that the blinking lights, the dials, the lines, were reminiscent of the inside of a 747 cockpit. Of course when we realized that Liam was born on October 1, we knew there was another helper. That day is the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux  (great saint, known as the Little Flower, and designated a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II)who before she died at 24 said that she intended to spend her heaven 'doing good on earth.' We have a devotion to her in our home, and we give Liam into her hands to watch over him. We believe, however, that she already beat us to the punch.

You get reflecting on life at times like this. Watching the delight of the new parents even through the anxiousness of the first hours of Liam's life. Wondering what kind of big boy he is going to be, what kind of contribution he will make, how the world will be a better place for his having been here.

Apropos of nothing at all, we went over to Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill during a break in proceedings at the hospital. Went there simply because it was nearby, and it was an opportunity to visit graves of parents, grandparents, and several friends of ours. Lo and behold, the same questions arose in my mind. What did people wonder about when these folks were born? How were they loved, how much did they love? How did they deal with adversity? How was the world left a better place by their being here?

I guess if you do not have  faith, the questioning ends there. But in a faith context, the next question is, how are they spending their new life? New life. The one promised to us, the one we live for, ultimately, on this planet. Birth, life, new life. That reflection helps to anchor things - for me, anyway.

So God bless you Liam. St. Therese is looking out for you, buddy.  May you have a happy long life doing good on earth just the way she does.