On the 12th of July, Isabel turned four years old. Isn’t she cute covered in ketchup?
Isabel got a birthday phone call from “Grandma Liz”, Chris’s mom, that struck me as incredibly ironic. She had just returned from “The Twelfth” parades. It’s the Protestant Northern Irish national holiday, celebrating the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II. The Protestants in Chris’s hometown celebrate by burning an effigy of Robert Lundy, who aided the Catholics in the war, in giant bonfires.
Chris’s family was thrilled that Isabel was born on this day. Our little Catholic girl. She’s been baptized Catholic. She crosses herself when she prays. She hardly mentions Jesus, but she wants to include Mary. She picks out prayer cards and crucifixes for herself at Catholic bookstores, and already believes and takes great comfort in the communion of saints. It’s as if God, in His infinite humor, looked at this day celebrated in Protestants in Northern Ireland and said in response, “This day is what I make it.” He took a Protestant from Northern Ireland, made him Catholic, made his family Catholic, and brought a little Catholic girl into the world on this day. Coincidence? Or Divine Irony?