A recent Baptism for a couple’s new born daughter got me thinking.
The form of the Rite they wanted was the old or “extraordinary form” or the former ( Latin) Rite of Baptism ( now allowable again). At one point after the baby was baptized, the Ritual directed me to touch the mouth and ears of the infant and say Ephetha!”…that is…Be opened! This was part of the Gospel a few Sundays ago when the Lord healed a deaf-mute and commanded his muteness and deafness Be opened!
The more ordinary form of Baptism we mostly use has a version (not as forceful in my opinion): May the Lord touch your ears to receive his Word, and your mouth to proclaim his Faith”.
In any event every one of us entered the Church with the injunction to open our eyes and our ears, to see and to listen. Not to shut our eyes and our ears like those old “See no evil…hear no evil…” monkey dolls!
It has been well remarked that one of the distinguishing characteristics of Christian iconography is that the Lord, His Mother, and the Saints are almost always depicted with eyes open, and indeed, often gesturing outwardly, not all drawn in and lotus-like.
Maybe we ought to be seeing and hearing better?
I have to say I have not been happy seeing and hearing some of what’s been occurring in our country and the world lately.
I saw and heard the convention of the majority political party in these United States becoming what some called an “abortion fest”. No longer is abortion spoken of in regretful sounding tones as only to be “safe..legal.. and rare.” Now it was proclaimed to be part of our “rights” along with you and me paying for young professional women’s birth control. A prominent person describing herself deliberately as a “Catholic woman” went out of her way to say how “proud” she was that her party was opposed to all forms of restriction of abortion, including live-birth/ late-term abortions.
The Administration proclaimed itself very solicitous that the “religious feelings” of Muslims not be offended even as our fellow citizens were murdered by rampaging mobs and decried a video that hardly anyone saw defaming Islam( it was claimed) as offensive. Somehow I failed to hear similar outrage over many more numerous attacks on Christianity and Catholicism. They even intend to force us to provide forms of “health care” directly contrary to our religious feelings. But I guess we don’t count.
Open your eyes..open your ears…Ephetha!