On the front cover of the new June Edition of Faith Magazine you’ll find proud dad, Greg Ingle, and his baby son, Isidore Benedict Mark. Baby Isidore was born at 12:33 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, the Feast of Saint Mark. Mother, Heather, and baby are well. Deo gratias.
The Ingle family are parishioners at Church of the Resurrection in Lansing where baby Isidore was baptized on Sunday, April 30. With Father’s Day approaching, FAITH asked Greg to pen a personal letter from a Christian father to his Christian son. Here is his letter to Isidore:
Dear First Born Son,
Oh how your mother and I have been waiting to meet you. We have longed for the day when we get to hold you since we fell in love. You truly are a special gift to us. We learned of your coming into the world on August 15, 2022, the Solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption, and from then we knew that with Mary’s protection, God had a mission for you. Before we learned of your existence, it felt like you would never come but, as you will soon learn, God has perfection in His timing and we ought to surrender everything to trust that.
The first words to leave my mouth and fill your ears on the day of your birth were from the Prologue of the Gospel of John for this is the summation of the redemption of mankind. The Word from all eternity became incarnate and entered into time and space to free us from sin and to fill us with abundant life. My son, the world seems so dark. Every age has had its gloom and vice but God gifted you to our care at this time in history. He chose you to come into this age and encounter this present world. Know that He is “the true Light, which enlightens every man…” (John 1:9) and that “…the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5).
Listen to the still small voice of God, vox Dei, beckoning to you as you discern, lifelong, the vocation that He calls you to. May you be led with clarity as you approach various challenges, events, and decisions in life. God has formed your heart after His own Sacred Heart and he has gifted you with reason and an intellect to discern the promptings of your heart. Test the desires of your heart and then trust them, for the deepest longing of the soul is to be united with God for eternity.
There is nothing more real than the faith in Jesus Christ that your mother and I are blessed to share with you. The allurement of the world will present many temptations and challenges to you. Many people around you, all gripped in the snare of the evil one, will rear their heads, waving the flags of wealth, popularity, sloth, and pride, but I pray you quickly see their emptiness. The one and only thing that can truly satisfy the longings and desires of the human heart is Jesus Christ.
The spiritual conflict that we are immersed in requires us, by God’s grace, to arm ourselves with virtue. The fight requires strength, not only of physique, but in mind and spirit. Soak in the spiritual writings of the Doctors and Early Fathers of the Church, for they will assist in the refining of your arms. Cultivate the soil of your soul so that the seeds of the faith may flourish and bloom. As your primary instructors of the faith, your mother and I will strive in our own weakness to catechize you well and adapt and sacrifice ourselves to your needs and desires so as to prepare you to participate fully in the life of the Church.
As your parents, your mother and I are your primary educators, and we intend to offer you many experiences so that you may grow and your mind may be formed to participate fully in creation. Just as Jesus learned skills and sought guidance from Mary and Joseph, we hope that we can nurture many opportunities for you to explore your gifts and use them for the Kingdom of God.
Do not worry about making impressions on others, but strive for humility and modesty in your words and actions.
My son, God created you a man, in his own image and likeness. This is a great gift that comes with great responsibility. As men we are called to protect, provide, sacrifice, and lead those around us in lives of charity and virtue. We give you the name Isidore Benedict Mark after three men who have demonstrated these qualities. St. Isidore, the strong laborer and patron of farmers. St. Benedict, the father of monasticism who calls us to pray and work. St. Mark, the missionary and evangelist whose Feast day you were born on. I pray that, I too, will be an example to you of what it means to be a faithful man through our life on the farm, my job as an educator, the way that I treat your mother, and all the little deaths in between.
We give you to Our Blessed Mother Mary, who through her intercession with the Father, has gifted you to us.
St. Isidore, Pray for us!
St. Benedict, Pray for us!
St. Mark, Pray for us!