I went to Mass with great expectations and excitement - I admit, I am a Cathogeek and feasts get me all worked up. I learned that today's feast - Christ the King - was instituted in 1925. Well, I thought, the same year that my father was born and he was the man who gave me the greatest gift of my Catholic faith. I love coincidences like that.
At Mass today, a baby - oh, heavens, little Tessa Jane was no more than a month old - was Baptized. Naked, she was gently submerged into the (pre-warmed) waters of our font by Fr. Chris. The look on her face was comical but she didn't cry. I did. I get verklempt at scenes of such beauty.
And every year on Christ the King, I think of lBessed Miguel Pro. How can you not? A Jesuit priest who went "underground" during Mexico's dark days of religious persecution under Presidente Calles, to serve the people; he was also known for his humor and wit. He was executed by the Mexican government for his faith, and at the moment before the bullets tore into him, stretched out his arms and yelled, "Viva Cristo Rey!" ("Long live Christ the King!") Like a boss, Miguelito, like a boss!
In fact, I think I'll close with something he wrote:
Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with afflictions? Blessed be He a thousand times who desires it so. If life be harder, love makes it also stronger, and only this love, grounded on suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord Jesus Christ. Love without egotism, without relying on self, but enkindling in the depth of the heart an ardent thirst to love and suffer for all those around us: a thirst that neither misfortune nor contempt can extinguish...
I believe, O Lord; but strengthen my faith... Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life.