Let me tell you a story. When I was three months old, my maternal grandmother carried me to her Methodist Church to get baptized over the objections of my hippie, "God is everywhere, we don't need to go to Church to find him" parents. My other grandmother sent the antique family baptismal gown for me to wear during my ceremony. No matter what the fads were during the early 1970s, my two grandmothers were united in one firm conviction. Their beloved granddaughter was going to get an old fashioned head dunking in a "real" church as soon as possible.
I have done an absolutely miserable job of keeping my baptismal garment spot-less until my death (praise God for the restorative powers of Confession). Yet even if I was more pure of heart from the get-go, I would NEVER, ever be able to repay those two women for the priceless gift they gave me.
Just like the baby Jesus, a woman carried me up to my Father's Temple when I was a mere infant and dedicated me to God. I lived the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in real life, as did many of my readers.
Now contrast my story with President Obama. From all appearances his Kansas Mom and his Kansas Grandma did an awesome job raising him. The guy ended up as the first African-American head of the Harvard Law Review. He's in a solid marriage, has two wonderful girls, and he's currently President of the United States of America.
From what I've been able to piece together, however, it appears that there is one thing they omitted. He didn't get baptized as a kid.
We have a strong fight with the Obama administration's recent ruling that Catholic institutions must pay for birth control pills, abortions and sterilizations. While we must support our Bishops, write our outraged letters to Congress, and pray fervent prayers to Saint Micheal the Archangel, we also need to remember one crucial fact.
Our fight is not with President Obama.
Our fight is with the Devil.
That tricky, mean-spirited Devil who often paints black as white and can easily mislead boatloads of people away from God's glorious Truth.
So during all our intense activity let us remember the virtue of humility.
Most of us got graced with infant baptism. We didn't become Christians because of our own efforts. We were carried to Christ in a faithful woman's arms. Let us have compassion on those who didn't get that favor.
On this Feast of the Presentation, let us truly pray for our enemies.
Let us pray that the Illumination of Christ comes to enlighten all minds, our own minds and President Obama's mind too.
Mother Mary, pray for us. Pray for President Obama to become one of your beloved sons, fashioned in the image and likeness of your dear Jesus.