"Un Ti Morceau"

"A Little Something," mini-lessons and reflections by our pastor, Father Paul Counce

Baptismal Community

Published July 25, 2010 by Fr. Paul Counce

As I mentioned in the previous Morceau, Baptism is the “entrance” into the new life of grace for us. But Baptism is a beginning in many other ways. For instance, in Baptism a person becomes a member of the community of the Church.

This “community” aspect of Baptism is something that’s often undervalued: some people wish that their faith and religion could be purely “personal” and private. But this is not what God wills and so this is not the way the Church has understood it down through the centuries. As St. Paul told one early congregation, “We are members of one another” (Eph 4:25); he also reminded another one that the baptized “no longer live for themselves alone” (2 Cor 5:15). You might wish to read the 4 paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church about this (nos. 1267-1270).

This is why Church law now forbids immediate Baptism when there is no founded hope that an infant will be raised Catholic (can. 868, §1, 2° of the Code of Canon Law). It’s not fair to anyone to impose religious obligations on him or her, and then “abandon” that person to fail! Of course, for us who prize and live out our Catholic faith, Baptism soon after birth is one of the most precious gifts and opportunities that we can possibly give to our children.

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