Salvation has, once again, come to my household this day. My three-week-old son, Chastan, was baptised at the Anticipatory (Sunset) Mass this evening at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Johor Bahru.
It was an extremely historic moment in the life of my family. It was in this very parish that I first witnessed the Liturgy of the Catholic Church in 1993, this being my first ever exposure to the public worship of the Catholic Church which was largely unknown to me then. And today, in this place, my offspring was baptised into this One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church with his grandparents being his godparents (sponsors).
The great cultural tradition of the faith is home to a presence of immense power. What in museums is only a monument from the past, an occasion for mere nostalgic admiration, is constantly made present in the liturgy in all its freshness. But the present day, too, is not condemned to silence where the faith is concerned. Anyone who looks carefully will see that, even in our own time, important works of art, inspired by faith, have been produced and are being produced—in visual art as well as in music (and indeed literature). Today, too, joy in the Lord and contact with his presence in the liturgy has an inexhaustible power of inspiration. The artists who take this task upon themselves need not regard themselves as the rearguard of culture. They are weary of the empty freedom from which they have emerged. Humble submission to what goes before us releases authentic freedom and leads us to the true summit of our vocation as human beings.