+Andrew Paul

O you of little faith!

I have been working on this for months, knowing this day was coming. It is a day of sadness, yet it is a celebration of profound joy. A child was born, weak and humble, he opened his eyes and beheld his parents. The child encountered love incarnate in his parents and sisters and his godparents.

The child lived for 121 minutes. He gave us his entire life. We could only give him a brief moment of our life.

The father had the joy of baptizing his son, a joy few receive.

A modest and humble priest was present to Chrismate the child and give him the sacred Mystery of Holy Communion.

Finally, his coffin was blessed.

Our good and loving God gave the child to his parents five weeks early. Perhaps He did so to enable them to share a few moments with their son as he was struggling to survive. And then it was time for the child to return to Him who gave him life, breathed into him, animating him.

The father was preparing for this day. The father was creating the last gift, aside from prayer, that he could give his son in this world. The father was making the coffin.

How many throughout history have made coffins for their loved ones? How many parents had to do it for their children? How many of us have the courage, today, to do the same? How different would our lives be today if we had to make our own coffins – now, in preparation for eternity? Would the temporary nature and conduct of our lives change? Perhaps we should all contemplate on eternity and the truth . . . perhaps we should all contemplate on the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Would we, today, then do things differently? I pray so.

Ours is an experiential faith, not one premised on facilities – but knowing God.

“Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.” – St. Silouan the Athonite

+Andrew Paul knew God. And God protected him from the environment created by man. The entire family received all of the protection necessary from God Himself – our God of Love. And we celebrate because the soul of their son, +Andrew Paul, “cannot be bound to any earthly thing” or unbelieving person. +Andrew Paul is free and in the embrace of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – promises fulfilled.