May the Word of God be forever on my mind, on my lips and in my heart!
This prayer, said by the priest or deacon right before the proclamation of the Gospel at Mass, is often unspoken, yet it is one of my favorites. The only indication of the congregation saying this prayer is the tracing of a cross on the forehead, lips and heart. I love how so many of the most beautiful aspects of our faith are seen and not heard.
One such beautiful part of our faith is the gift of Baptism, our spiritual adoption by God. Most of us who were born into Catholic families don’t remember our baptisms. I think I was a few weeks old when I was baptized and I can’t say I really remember much from the day. I do remember perfectly, the days my Godchildren were baptized and each one of them is a treasure.
Even though I have experienced Baptisms before, participating in the Sacrament with my own daughter was uniquely joyful. I am in the process of adopting an amazing, lively, sweet, funny, and energetic 7-year-old girl. Recently I was able to arrange for her baptism and entrance into the Catholic Church, and to say that the experience was breathtaking would be an understatement. The pure joy that my daughter radiated was like getting to see the transformation of, as she likes to put it, “having her soul made squeaky clean.”
The transformation was more than just the way she looked though; there were moments where God let me see the transformation that had occurred within. Later that day, when the party had ended and friends and family had gone home, my daughter wandered into the kitchen to get a snack. Suddenly, I heard her singing the Lamb of God Doxology, word for word and perfectly in tune. I didn’t even know she knew that song!
Because of the short time we have been together, combined with all of the COVID-19 disruptions, I hadn’t realized how much my daughter had already picked up from the Mass. I was completely in awe listening to her singing when she further astounded me by reciting this prayer:
May the Word of God be forever on my mind, on my lips and in my heart.
At that moment, I realized that the prayer she was reciting was actually happening within her. God had opened her mind, lips and heart to praise Him and it was as if the floodgates had been opened and she couldn’t stop even if she wanted to. I recognized at that moment God was beginning His work to make her into a saint and it was amazing that He was allowing me to be a part of the process.
Now don’t get me wrong, my daughter is still a 100% normal boundary-testing, persistent, very opinionated and a-bit-nosy little girl. I am sure that as we go through life together, I will not always be as patient, gentle, caring and loving as I ought to, but now, in such a completely special way, I also realize that she is 100% God’s little girl too. Lucky for me, I get the blessing of being her mother and watching God work within her.
Christine Dufresne has been a Promised Pauline Cooperator for 5 years. Originally from New Bedford, MA, she served at a mission in Kentucky for 16 months before moving back to MA where she currently lives in Norwood. In addition to being a foster parent, she has been working with children in various ways for the past 25 years, helping with the children’s program on retreats and with the Holy Family Institute group in Boston, and is currently a nanny for several families. She serves as a Eucharistic minister in her home parish of St. Catherine’s in Norwood. Most recently she has completed her studies and is awaiting graduation with her Bachelor’s in Psychology/Human Services. She has embarked on latest part of her journey to adoption from foster care of a sweet seven year old little girl. God is Good!!!