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“I’ve done a lot of bad things in my life and made a lot of mistakes, but today … it all starts over.”

I tried to suppress my laughter as I chatted with a five year-old just before his Baptism.

“You bet it does,” I responded.

My young friend had grasped a deep truth in a way that only the pure heart of a child can: Baptism makes us brand new. In its cleansing from the stain of original sin, Baptism claims us as children of God the Father and citizens of Heaven.

“What color is my marking?” my same young friend asked, as I told him about God placing a mark on his soul that would forever indicate to Whom he belongs. “I hope mine is orange.”

Although invisible in physical terms, the transformation of a soul in Baptism is total and irreversible. Hidden in the quiet of our hearts is the presence of Someone. As baptized Christians, we are never alone. Our souls are wed to an Eternal Love beyond our wildest imaginings. Nothing we can do will ever cause Him to take back His love. It will never diminish, or fade, or depart. Nothing else will satisfy a heart that is made for and claimed by this love.

Now, it’s true — we will often fall short of this love. We will make mistakes and do bad things. We can cut ourselves off from love, but He never ceases to pursue our hearts, in order that we might be restored to grace. He never tires to beckon us home to the love we were made for, the love that is promised to us. Every time we turn back to the Lord and seek His forgiveness, we are restored to the life of grace. A fresh start is always possible thanks to the mercy of God.

This is the marvelous brilliance of God’s redeeming and victorious love. It draws forth beauty in every shade and color. We sell ourselves short when we live in darkness. His vision for us is radiant.

By Sr. Beata Victoria, SV. Originally printed in IMPRINT Magazine Fall 2021.