Monday, June 08, 2009

The Big Deal

I've spoken with quite a few people lately regarding baptism. Most of them don't seem to understand that a Catholic baptism is a pretty big deal. They tell me, "so what, you go under water, you let the few people around you know that you're now a Christian, that's it." When I talk to Catholics and tell them I'm being baptized, they respond with blessings and smiles. (Which group of people would you rather hang out with?)

So I did some research. I knew some of this before, but I wanted to write it down here in case anyone else didn't know. Baptism isn't some little event, it isn't some quick and easy process, and it has a far greater impact on one's life than simply getting wet for a few minutes.

Baptism in the Catholic Church imparts special graces, purification, and a special mark on the soul. It's a big deal! It's a process, a moment, and a divine intervention all at once. Baptism...

...purifies from sins and gives new life in the Holy Spirit. Peter promised his hearers (on Pentecost) that by Baptism they would receive "forgiveness for your sins" and "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

...forgives all sins (original and personal) and all punishment for sin. Nothing remains to impede entrance into heaven.

...makes the believer an adopted child of God, a sharer in God's nature, a co-heir with Christ, and a temple of the Holy Spirit.

...seals the Christian with an indelible spiritual mark (the "character of Baptism") which sin cannot erase. Therefore, Baptism cannot be repeated. This sacramental seal consecrates the person for Christian religious worship and requires them to participate in the Church's liturgy and to bear witness by their holy lives.

By sanctifying grace (the grace of justification), the baptized:
-Are enabled to believe in God, hope in him, and love him (theological virtues)
-Can live according to the power of the Holy Spirit (the sanctifying gifts)
-Can grow in goodness (the moral virtues)
Baptism bestows the whole organism of the supernatural life.

By Baptism "we are members one of another" (Eph 4:25). This Body of Christ transcends all cultures, because "by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body" (1 Cor 12:13). (Source:

See? It's not just a dunking and some clapping. Baptism into the Catholic Church as an adult is even more special than as an infant: I'm making this decision to accept the Church's views, ways, and values myself. I'm walking into a life filled with the Holy Spirit, hooray!

Baptism really is a big deal.


Ian Oberst said...

Woot! Indeed it is! Congratulations once again!

cm0978 said...

I am so excited for you, and really looking forward to tomorrow night when you show your beliefs to the world. I am very proud of you for all the work you have put into your search for the right faith for you. I hope we will have time in the future to talk about all you have learned. It feels like a more important "event" than when the kids got baptized, because you have made an adult choice. Congratulations!