Q: My mom includes what I call a “brag letter” in her Christmas cards. I find this so egotistical especially during a holy season, and I am uncomfortable being included. How can I address this with her?
I’ve always cringed when I hear the expression “offer it up.” While the phrase actually refers to something called redemptive suffering—the idea that our suffering can unite with Christ’s on the cross and, in doing so, can take on redemptive power for ourselves and others—redemption isn’t what comes to mind when I hear someone (usually an older woman or a Catholic mommy blogger) use the expression.
There are moments when I wonder if I’m trying too hard to control the circumstances of my daughter’s baptism, if—with both a nagging perfectionism and an air of hubris—I’m trying to micromanage the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps I am. Then again, Jesus turned water to wine during the wedding at Cana even though everyone would have survived without it. A crass utilitarian he was not. He did the unnecessary—the extra—in favor of celebration and delight. If the Son of God himself wasn’t a “check the box and be done with it” kind of guy, then, well, I don’t have to be either. I’m holding out for my daughter’s baptism with patient hope and joyful anticipation.