CANON IV.If any one saith, that the sacraments of
the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification; though all (the sacraments) are not necessary for every individual; let him be Anathema. 

 

BAPTISM

Baptism Commanded By Christ

Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.              (Matthew 28: 19)

He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.  (Mark 16,:16)

Unless a man be born again …  By these words our Savior hath declared the necessity of baptism;       (John 3, 5) and by the word water it is evident that the application of it is necessary with the words.      (Matthew. 28.:19)
 

I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen

 

I INTRODUCTION
II NATURE OF BAPTISM
III THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM
IV THE EFFECTS OF BAPTISM
V THE CAUSE OF BAPTISM
VI THE KINDS OF BAPTISM

 

I INTRODUCTION

A sacrament is a sign of a sacred thing precisely as that sacred thing here and now sanctifies man. Now we shall begin to use our knowledge by applying this doctrine to the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. These are particular sacraments which in particular ways signify the intrinsic principle of man’s holiness, sanctifying grace. Christ’s passion; signify the purpose of man’s holiness, eternal glory. We shall see that their effect, man’s sanctification, is produced here and now when they actually signify that effect. We shall also examine the sensible realities which God has chosen to bear the sacramental signification expressive of baptism and confirmation. 

Baptism and confirmation are prime examples of this doctrine on sacred signs. But, and foremost, they are tremendously important in themselves. Through baptism man is reborn spiritually: he begins to live in union with Christ. Through confirmation he is brought to his spiritual maturity and given a spiritual strength to confirm him in that maturity.

Our method of proceeding will be the same as that used for the sacraments in general. An outline has been placed in the introduction to each of the two sacraments.

THE SACRAMENT OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION

 

Do you not know that all we who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into death ? For we were baptized with him by means of baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ has arisen from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be so in the likeness of his resurrection also. For we know that our old self has been crucified with him, in order that the body of sin may be destroyed, that we may no longer be slaves to sin; for he who is dead is acquitted of sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live together with Christ; for we know that Christ, having risen from the dead, dies now no more, death shall no longer have any domination over him. For the death that he died, he died to sin once and for all, but the life that he lives, he lives unto God. Thus do you consider yourselves also as dead to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ. {1}
 

Dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus– thus does Saint Paul describe the wonders wrought in the Christian by the first and most necessary of the sacraments of faith instituted by the Savior of mankind. Baptism is the sacrament of Christian initiation, of the illumination of the Spirit, of the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ. It is the indispensable contact with Christ’s passion of which we spoke in the beginning of the preceding chapter, the sacred symbol which in sens-perceptible terms express all that we have previously seen regarding the wondrous signs God’s love and wisdom establish, to bring each man, throughout his life, the fruits of Christ’s Redemption. Baptism reveals all the characteristics of a sacrament of the New Law, and a theological consideration of it will deepen, in a practical manner, our previous investigation of the sacraments in general.

A thorough study of this vital and fundamental reality of Christian life is, of course, impossible here; but the essentials of the sacrament can be disclosed in this investigation. Our study of Baptism will follow this plan.  {1} (Romans 6:3-11)
 
II NATURE OF BAPTISM
 
Just what kind of reality this thing is can be a very important question. The answer will disclose the nature of the thing investigated, what makes it up, what distinguishes it from all other realities. We know already that all the sacraments are sacred signs of man’s sanctification. We know that the sacraments instituted by Christ are composed of certain formulas {the form of the sacramenttogether with certain senseperceptible actions {analogously called the matter of the sacrament}. The union of these two elements constitutes the sacred symbol, and this symbol, efficaciously produces what it signifies. In case of baptism, then, we must determine just what constitutes the matter and form of this sacred sign, if we wish to know what this particular sacrament is and how it differs from the other sacraments. Our investigation of the essence of baptism will necessarily center on the determination of its matter and form, but we shall first make an inquiry as to its metaphysical definition.
 
 
A.THE METAPHYSICAL DEFINITION
 

Baptism is the sacrament of spiritual regeneration . This is the the metaphysical definition of baptism. An explanation of this definition follows easily on what we have learned about sacraments in general. Baptism is a sacrament, and sacraments belong to that broad class of things which we call signs. It is a reality which tells us about another reality. Thus the eternal washing with water in baptism tells us that the sins which have soiled the soul have been washed away. Baptism is the sign of spiritual regeneration. In this, we find baptism’s special way of here and now sanctifying man. Through spiritual regeneration, man is given a special sanctifying grace, effective at the moment the sacramental sign is present. Other sacraments signify other means of sanctification and thus differ specifically from the sacrament of baptism.

B.PHYSICAL NATURE OF BAPTISM

All of the sacraments of the New Law are composed of matter and form. {cf. Chapter nine Section 3} The physical Nature of the Sacraments}. For the greater number of sacraments, the matter itself composed of a twofold element: the sensible thing with which the sacrament deals (the remote matter), and the actual use which is made of the remote matter (the proximate matter). So also with Baptism.

(1) The Remote Matter

The remote matter of baptism is all natural water, and it aloneThis is clear from Christ’s own words { Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit }, from the practice of the apostles (cf. Acts 8 27:39, 10: 44-48) and their teaching (cf. Ephesians 5:26; I Peter 3:20), and from the constant practices of the Church. Natural water is the sensible material instituted by Christ Himself as one of the constituent elements of this particular sensible sign. It is a material whose natural qualities well fit it for its signifying role: as a cleansing agent it can symbolize the spiritual washing from sin; as a cooling substance it indicates the tempering of the fires of concupiscence; as a translucent, reflecting material it is well suited to represent the illumination it confers, Moreover, it is a most common and easily obtainable material, and so admirably chosen for a sacrament of such vital necessity as baptism.
 

Two further principles specify in a more determined manner the remote matter of this sacrament:

1) For validity natural water in a liquid state is required. Natural water means such as is usually judged to be water by men in general and so given that name. Regardless of taste, color, smell or previous state, if this substance is commonly considered to be water it is valid matter for the sacrament. Other liquid substances, however, not commonly recognized as water {fruit juices, distilled liquors of herbs, flowers, etc., urine, saliva, etc.,etc.} would be invalid as matter, or at best of doubtful validity. Water in other than a liquid stateice, hail, snowwould also be invalid, since then it would be unfitted for its baptismal use.

2)
 For the lawful administration of baptism, clean and pure water is required, and for solemn baptism water especially consecrated for this purpose. The dignity of the sacrament demands that only fitting materials be used, and one would sin gravely through a lack of reverence to ignore this fact by using unsuitable matter necessity.

(2)
 The Proximate Matter
 
The proximate matter of baptism is the exterior washing of the body with water. As the very name of this sacrament indicates; as the effects it is supposed to symbolize declare; as the constant liturgical practice of the Church attests – the ceremonial action which constitutes this sacrament is one of washing, symbolic of the interior cleansing of the soul. This may be accomplished in three ways:

(1)
 by immersion (common in the early Church and still practiced today by some sects and in the Eastern rites, in which the catechumen’s whole body is moved through a pool or body of water;

(2)
 by sprinkling with a sufficient quantity of water so that it flows on the person;

(3)
 by pouring water on the one to be baptized.

 

All of these are valid methods of using the remote matter, but the following conditions must be observed:

a) The action should truly be one of washing. The water must physically and directly touch the body, flowing over some part of it. A very small quantity of water will suffice for this— there is no necessity cleansing be accomplished that an actual physical cleansing be accomplished.

b) It must be performed by the one baptizing. The words of the form clearly indicate this.

c) It must be washing of the one to be baptized, (example) of his body, either the entire body or its principal part, the head. The Baptism or any other part would be doubtful validity, (c.f. Canon, 746, §§ 2 and 3). The water must touch the body itself, not merely the hair or the garments.

Although a triple washing {in honor of the Trinity} is prescribed by the Church {and for the Latin Church this should be done by pouring the water in the form of a cross, not by immersion or sprinkling, for the ceremony to be lawful}, one such ceremonial washing, suffices for validity and in case of necessity even for Liceity.
 

Liceity, meaning lawfulness or legitimacy, is a word that seems only to be used to describe certain religious actions from the Roman Catholic point of view.

(3) The Form of Baptism

baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These are the words which constitute the sacred formula of this sacrament of Christian initiation, expressing as they do the causes which make this human being, through this sacred action, a member of Christ and His Church. No substantial change of the form can take place, and for the sacrament to be valid these five elements must be at least equivalently expressed:

1) The person baptizing I“. This must be implicit in the formula. The Greek Church uses the words, The servant of God is baptized..., and from the attendant circumstances it is clear the words by me” are equivalently expressed. For greater certainty the one baptizing should always be explicitly indicated by the words

2) The action of baptizing baptize. Since water can be poured for various purposes, the use made of it in this ceremony should be specified. A synonym {wash, bathe} would express the same fact, and the baptism would be valid.

3) The person baptizedyou. Here again my word indicating the precise one being baptizedthe child’s name, for examplewould suffice for validity.

4) The unity of the divine naturein the name. The central mystery of Christianity is that of the Trinity. Thus the sacrament which initiates a human being into the mysteries of Christianity fittingly professes the belief of the one being baptized in the chief and fundamental dogma of Christian faith. The use of the singular word, name, states the essential unity of the three divine persons; and deviation from the phrase, in the name, runs grave risk of making the formula invalid.

5) The Trinity of Personsof the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). Each person the Trinity should be distinctly mentioned, with a clear indication that one is speaking of three distinct persons {hence the repetition of the and}. The proper names of the divine Persons should be used, for in this case of synonyms would lead to doubt as to the precise meaning intended, and hence make the sacrament of doubtful validity.

This formula, so full of meaning and of such vital importance for the effects it causes, should be pronounced as the water is being poured on the head of the one to be baptized. It is not necessary that water be poured all the time during the saying of the words, but at least while some of the words are being said the sacred action of washing should take place.

C The Ceremonies of Baptism

The sacrament of Baptism comprises three essential elementsthe form, which designates the principal cause of the sacrament, the Blessed Trinity; the minister, who is Christ’s instrument in conferring the sacrament; and the use of application of the matter, the washing with water, which symbolizes the principal effect of the sacrament. In case of necessity, only these three elements are required for the conferring of necessity, of a true sacrament, but all of them are necessary.

The Church of Christ, however, surrounds these essential elements with some of her most beautiful prayers and ceremonies, and solemn Baptism, in which her full ritual is observed, is one of the most impressive and significant of the Church’s liturgical actions. In this way she inspires her children with devotion and reverence for the sacred ceremony of Christian initiation, and instructs them concerning its profound symbolism and the tremendous effects it works in the soul of the one baptized.

It would well repay parents and sponsors, and all those in attendance at Baptism, to read these ceremonies before the actual baptism takes place. and to attend closely to the ritual while it is performed {much of it now is given in the vernacular}. In fact, it is a revealing experience for all who have been baptized to read over the ceremonies which made Christians of them, perhaps many years ago. A realization of the true meaning of Christian Baptism at long last, disclosed the  rites themselves, cannot but make better Christians of them now.

III THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM
(back to menu)

Baptism is so necessary a sacrament that, after the promulgation of the New Law, no man can be saved without it. No adult can be saved without the actual reception of its saving waters or at least an implicit desire to receive the sacrament; saving only the case of martyrdom, no one without the use of reason can be saved, except by actually receiving Baptism. Baptism is the necessary means for salvation, and both the natural law and divine positive law make its reception a matter of precept as well. As Christ Himself told Nicodemus, Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5)He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned  (Mark 16:16). It is for this reason that Christ commanded His apostles and disciples to go, not to the Jews alone, but to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

Several conclusions may be immediately drawn from this universal necessity of Baptism:

1) There is a grave obligation not to delay the Baptism of infants longer than necessary, lest they should die without the sacrament. To postpone the ceremony beyond a week or two after birth without good reason would probably be gravely sinful. Although the same urgency is not present in the case of adults, neither should their baptism be deferred unreasonably.

2) Every unbaptized human being, infant or adult, is capable of receiving this sacrament. For infants, and those perpetually without the use of reason, no disposition of soul is necessary for the valid and fruitful reception of the sacrament  as is obvious, they place no obstacle to its reception, and the faith and intention of Christ’s Mystical Body brings them to the sacred font which is the womb of the Church. Adults, on the other hand, must be spiritually disposed: they must have the intention of receiving the sacrament {at least habitual and implicit}; they must have faith, i.e., supernatural assent to the chief mysteries of Christianity, and they must have supernatural sorrow  at least attrition or imperfect contrition} for their past sins. {1a}

3) If an infant’s parents are nonCatholics, the child should not, as a general rule, be baptized by a Catholic, except when there is approximate danger of the child’s death. This general norm {which admits of several exceptions} is based on the following points:

a) The children of infidels remain in the care of their parents until they attain the use of reason;

b) There should be a solid hope that the baptized children would be raised as Catholics {hence although the Church possesses rights over the children of heretics, schismatics, and apostates, she ordinary does not exercise them, because of the grave danger of defection on the part of the baptized children who will be raised in a nonCatholic atmosphere}. It should be noted, however, that the baptism of all these children would be valid if conferred and that this general rule does not apply to the children of indifferent Catholics, nor where one of the parents is a Catholic.

4) The necessity of receiving Baptism makes it clear that unborn children in danger of death, aborted fetuses and the like should be baptized insofar possible. This is a matter of particular importance for Catholic doctors and nurses, who should receive special instruction on the subject; it is of too far technical a nature to be discussed here. 

{1a} Adults whose are in danger of death, and cannot be more carefully instructed in the principal Christian mysteries, may nevertheless be baptized if in some way they show their assent to these mysteries and make a serious promise to observe the precepts of Christianity. Moreover, if they cannot ask for baptism (e.g., if they are unconscience), may be baptized conditionally, if they hand in the past indicated an intention of receiving the sacrament. However, if they should recover and a doubt of the validity of the previous

baptism should persist, they should be re-baptized conditionally.   (Cf. Canon 752).

IV THE EFFECTS OF BAPTISM
(back to menu)

By baptism man is born again to that life of the spirit which is had through the faith of Christ, as the Apostle says (Galatians.2:20)The life that I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God. But life exists only in those members which are united to the head, from which they derive sensation and movement. And thus it necessarily follows that by baptism man is incorporated in Christ, as if one of His members.

Moreover, just as the members derive sensation and movement from the head of the natural body, so from their spiritual head {who is Christ} His members derive spiritual sensationthe knowledge of truth–and spiritual movement, under the inspiration of grace. Hence it is said: We saw him full of grace and of truth; and of His fullness we have all received (John 1:14, 16) And thus it follows that the baptized are illumined by Christ as  to the knowledge of truth, and made fruitful by Him with the fruitfulness of good works through the infusion of grace{2}

Dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. This great sacred sign produces these three major effects of incomparable value:

(1) The remission of all sin;
(2) The conferring of divine life through grace; and
(3) Incorporation in Christ. Each of these effects merits a few words of explanation.
{2} Saint Thomas, Summa, III, q.69, a. 5.

A
. Remission of Sin
 

In all those who place no obstacle to the fruitful reception of this sacrament, sin is entirely removed by the power of the sanctifying waters.

THIS MEANS:

1) The remission of original sin.
2) The remission of any actual sins that have been committed, weather mortal or venial.

3) The remission of every penalty due to sin, not only eternal punishment but all temporal punishment as well, so that the person who dies immediately after Baptism will enter heaven directly.
4) Consequently, the opening of the gates of the kingdom of heaven, closed to us by sin and the punishment due to sin.
5) The removal of concupiscence and all the penalties which flow from original sin. This will be perfectly accomplished only in heaven; they are permitted in this life, not as punishments, but as opportunities for the practice of virtue by which we become more like to our Savior.

B. Conferring of Divine Life in Christ

All the sacraments of faith signify and thus effect man’s sanctification, which is accomplished by the grace Christ won for us on His cross. Baptism initiates this life in us. Hence in those who place no obstacle to its fruitful reception this sacrament causes:

1) Sanctifying grace, which makes the soul holy and pleasing to God by conferring a physical but analogous participation of God’s own nature. In those already in the state of grace, this means an increase of grace; for those not yet justified, it produces this first and fundamental participation of divine life.

2) All the infused moral and theological virtues and all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, for these are properties of habitual grace and the proximate principles of supernatural action for the Christian.

3) A special sacramental grace corresponding to the special end of this sacrament, namely, man’s death to sin and rebirth in Jesus Christ.

C Incorporation In Christ and in Christ’s Church

This is accomplished through the consecration of baptismal character (which is caused by the sacrament even in those who do not receive it fruitfully because of some obstacle). Through this spiritual and indelible power man receives a participation of Christ’s priesthood which enables him to join in the official worship of God, which derives from Christ’s passion and is perpetuated by His Mystical Body. Only those who possess this mark of a Christian may receive the other sacraments validly, for only they can share in the divine liturgy which is constituted by the sacraments.

Two important corollaries flow from the doctrine concerning the effects of baptism:

1) Baptism cannot be repeated. It is a spiritual rebirth, and man is born but once; it is a death to sin through a washing in Christ’s death, Christ dies but once; it is chiefly a remedy for original sin, which is not committed again; and finally, it imprints an indelible character. This last reason, as the Church declares, is definitive; it makes one incapable of receiving the sacrament again. {3}

2) When the obstacle to fruitful reception of baptism is removed (as, example, by Penance), the sacrament revives, example, it then and there causes man’s sanctification through the remission of sin and the infusion of grace, or produces one of the secondary effects of grace previously impeded by the lack of disposition on the part of the subject.

{3} Cf. The Council of Trent, Session VII, Canon 9; Denzinger 852.

V THE CAUSE OF BAPTISM
(back to menu)

A. Its Institution

The word Baptism is derived from the Greek word meaning to immerse,” and by human usage came to acquire the more general signification of to bathe or twash. St Paul describes Christian baptism as a bath of water (Ephesian 5:26) ” bath of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3: 5) a meaningful phrase which indicates the vast difference between this Christian washing and all other ceremonial washing, those of pagan religions, or of the Old Law, or even the penitential baptism of John.

The question before us, then, is this: did Jesus Christ Himself institute such a ritual of washing of water as a true sacrament, as a sacred sign of man’s sanctification efficacious of the effect it signifies? With the entire Christian tradition, with all the Fathers and all theologians, we unhesitatingly answer yes.” Baptism is one of the seven sacraments of the New Law instituted by our Saviorthis is a dogma of faith. {4} Sacred Scripture clearly attests to the fact of the institution of Baptism by Christ, but the exact moment of its institution is not so clear. Four have been suggested by various theologians. 

1) Christ’s baptism in the Jordan.                                                      (Luke 3:21 ff.; – Mathew 3:16 ff.; Mark 1:10 f.).

2) At the time of the conversion of Nicodemus.               (John 3:22, 5:1 ff.).
 
3) When the first disciple were sent to baptize      (John 3:22-26, 5:1ff.).

 

4) At the time of the apostles received the solemn command to baptize all nations.                 (Matthew 28:19).

With most of the Fathers and with most theologians, both old and new, Saint Thomas maintains that the occasion of his baptism likewise was the occasion of Christ’s institution of the this “sacrament. {5} For by Christ’s infinite power, the contact of His body gave a regenerative force not only to those waters which touched him but to all waters everywhere on earth and through all ages.  {5a} Whatever be the case, the essential fact remains that Christ is the true author of this sacred efficacious sign, as the gospels themselves point out.
 
{4} Cf/.Council of Trent, Session, VII,Canon 1: Denzinger. 844.
{5}  Summa, III. q. 606, a. 2.

{5a} Ibid. 78, a. 2.

B The Administration of Baptism

(1) The Minister of Baptism

Man becomes God’s agent in the distribution of the graces of His love. Christ’s instrument in applying the fruits of his passion to individual men. This fact, which is verified in a most special manner in the administration of the sacraments, is perhaps most evident with respect to baptism, the most necessary of all the sacraments. No one can administer Baptism to himself, all men are dependent of the agency of some of other man, but in case of necessary any man will suffice. For solemn Baptism, however, the Church designates special ministers.

The minister of the sacrament of Baptism may be indicated by means of the following outline:

By the law of the Church, the Local Ordinary or the local pastor alone have the right to baptize (they are officially entrusted by the Church with the care of souls in their territories)But with the per mission of one or the other any priest may legitimately baptize (his sacerdotal power over Christ’s Eucharistic body is the source of this power over Christ’s Mystical Body). For a just reason, this permission may even be granted to one who is ordained a deacon. In either case of permission may be lawfully presumed if it is a case of necessity. {6}

Although anyone may baptize privately when there is danger of death (provided only if he uses the correct matter and form and has the proper intention)” if a priest is present he is preferred to a deacon, a deacon to a sub deacon, a cleric to a layman, a man to a woman (unless for the sake of modesty it would be more fitting for a woman than a man to baptize, or unless the woman knows the form and manner of baptizing better). {7} The baptism of adults should be referred to the Local Ordinary, in order that, if he wishes, baptism may be more solemnly conferred by him or by his delegate. {8}

(2) The Baptismal Sponsors

Saint Thomas considers the baptismal sponsors as a kind of minister of the sacrament, for by their sponsorship they assume the grave responsibility of nursing and instructing the newly born Christian in the faith and in Christian practices; they become, as it were spiritual parents. For solemn baptism at least one sponsor is required (unless this is impossible); two may be furnished, one of either sex, but no more than two. If a sponsor can be supplied for private baptism, this should be done.

Since the role of the sponsor is an important one and may, due to the death or neglect of the parents, in the future become one which is vital for the spiritual welfare of the baptized, the Church legislates carefully in order to provide worthy sponsors:

(1) For validity a sponsor must:
 
a) be baptized, have the use of reason, and posses the intention of fulfilling this office;
 
b) be a practicing Catholic;
 
c) be one who is not the father, not the mother, nor the spouse of the one being baptized;

 

d) be designated as sponsor by the one baptized or by his parents or guardians or, if they should be lacking, by the minister;

e) hold or touch the being one baptized (by himself or by proxy) during the action of baptizing, or immediately take up the one baptized from the sacred font or from the hands of the minister. (Cf. Canon 765.)

(2) For liceity the sponsor must possess these further qualities:
 
a) be at least 14 years old;
b) be free of ecclesiastical penalties;
c) know the basic principles of Catholicism;
d) not to be a novice or a professed religious (unless it is necessary, and the express permission of the superior, at least the local superior, is obtained);

 e) not to be in holy orders, in unless the Ordinary gives express permission. (Cf. Canon 766.)  The baptismal sponsors contract a true obligation of caring for the spiritual welfare of their charge, although only in case of necessity where their care and instruction would be needed does the obligation arise. Moreover, they contract a spiritual relationship with the one baptized, which between sponsor and baptized of opposite sexes results in an impediment to their valid marriage. (Cf. Cannon 1079).

{6} Cf. Canon 738, 1; 741                        {7} Cf. Canon 742. 1 and 2.                      {8} Cf. Canon 744.

VI THE KINDS OF BAPTISM
(back to menu)

From what we have seen of the essence of the sacrament of Baptism, we may formulate the following definition:

Baptism is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Jesus Christ, by which a man, through the washing with water the invocation of the most Holy Trinity performed by the minister, is reborn to divine and supernatural life and made a member of the Catholic Church.

This is sacramental baptism, called baptism of water. By analogy with the sacrament, two kinds of baptism are recognized by the Church  baptism of blood (martyrdom undergone for Christ, for the faith, or for some Christian virtue) and baptism of the spirit or desire (an act of divine charity or of contrition perfected by charity, which includes at least implicitly the desire of receiving sacramental baptism). Baptism of blood takes the place of  sacramental baptism, even for children (see our Lords explicit teaching on this, (Matthew 10:32,39; – Luke 9:240); it is for this reason that the Church recognizes the Holy Innocents as saints); it is a true imitation of Christ’s passion, configuring the martyr to him in a most real fashion and thus obtaining for Him the application of the merits of Christ’s passion and the supernatural sanctification produced in others by the sacrament. Similarly, baptism of desire unites one to Christ through the love inspired by the Holy Ghost, and thus also procures man’s salvation; it is, however, necessarily limited to adults. It should be noted that neither baptism of blood nor baptism of fire is a sacrament, nor does either confer all the effects of the sacramentsacramental grace is not given by them and the sacramental character in not imprinted on their souls. Thus the man already justified by baptism of desire still remains under serious obligation to receive the
sacrament.
 
 
 

Intro Bapt Conf Pena HolComm HolOrd ExtUnc Matr Confs Sacr Misc TraSit

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: These links are provided in order to allow you to benefit from the good work done by others. Please consider that these linked but separate web sites can change from time to time. Furthermore, we do not necessarily endorse all their content. Neither do they necessarily agree.

852 total views, 1 views today