Thursday, November 8, 2007

Letter to My Daughter

Dear O—,

You do not know it now, but someday — perhaps sooner, perhaps later — you will learn that the world is presently going through a crucial time and that the most important roles will be played by Catholics. A man who is a columnist for the Asia Times wrote this week: “Pope Benedict XVI is the most indispensable man of our times, and the Catholic Church, the founding institution of the West, its still-indispensable institution.” This is because the great conflict of the future will be between the West and Islam, and the West without the Church will not stand up to Islam. I am not talking about the war in Iraq, which is certainly being fought by the West without the Church.

So it is our gift to you, and the gift of your Wong and Murphy grandparents, that you are a Catholic — not that you will be happy being a Catholic, but that you may be given a chance, whether you like it or not, to play a role in or at least to partly understand the great events that will occur in your lifetime and probably beyond the lifetimes of your parents. You may find that, whatever your other talents, your being a Catholic will be a gift to the world and to God.

You do not understand this now, because no one you meet understands it or even talks about it and because no one alive understands all of it; and this is perhaps best, because your job as you prepare for Confirmation is to feed your faith and not to act in the wider world.

By “feeding your faith” I mean growing in the love of God, with the help of my love and the love of your Mom. You are God’s gift to us, God’s continuing gift, and I intend to show you how grateful I am for that gift.