F.U.N. (Faith Up Now!): Baptism | Inquirer News
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F.U.N. (Faith Up Now!): Baptism

/ 07:07 AM October 12, 2013

One day, I was explaining to some boys how important the sacrament of baptism is. Not only does it remove the greatest obstacle –original sin– to a life of grace and union with God, it is the door through which a person enters the Church and receives infinite spiritual ‘perks’ to later enter Heaven.

The boys were all wide-eyed. I encouraged them to always remember and celebrate the day when they became God’s children. Likewise, it is also an occasion to be grateful to their parents and godparents. These have handed down the most marvelous gift they could ever leave as an inheritance here on earth and for Heaven.

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As I paused to prepare the next part of the class, one of the boys excitedly raised his hand, “Father, may I tell you something?”

“Sure Alden, what do you have?”

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“You know, Father, I can still remember my baptism….”

“Really? Weren’t you just a baby then?” I said.

“Yes, I woke up when the water wet my head,” said Alden, gesturing how water trickles down the forehead.

“Well, that’s a cool thing to remember,” I answered.

“Unfortunately, most of us were just snoring ourselves through that graceful moment, God may have wanted to mark your spiritual birth with that special remembrance.”

* * *

Looking back at this anecdote, I don’t think I ever doubted Alden’s experience. In fact, there may be other wonderful folks who have had such a divine memory of God’s grace touching their souls with plain tap water. For the great majority of us who may not have Alden’s super-baby-memory-recall, we still have a chance to relive this milestone of grace in many other ways.

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Pope Francis, in a recent audience said: “The faith is a gift, it is a gift from God given to us in the Church and through the Church. And the Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God.” The date on which we were regenerated in the baptismal waters, in the name of and by the power of the Most Holy Trinity, is a very important day in our earthly life. (September 11, 2013)”

The Holy Father added, “How do I see the Church? As I am grateful to my parents for giving me life, am I grateful to the Church for generating me in the faith through Baptism? (Ibid.)” Thus, for example, when we attend the baptisms of our children, nephews and nieces and other relatives we can now recall and imbibe deeper the nature of this sacrament, the graces and the obligations we are entrusted with by God through His Church.

Another way to relive our baptism is by piously and lovingly reciting the Apostles’ Creed. We often recite the Creed when we pray the Rosary or attend Sunday Mass. Each time we pray the Creed, it links us to the miracle of grace God worked in our souls through baptism.

Benedict XVI thus taught, “Not without reason, Christians in the early centuries were required to learn the creed from memory. It served them as a daily prayer not to forget the commitment they had undertaken in baptism. (Porta fidei)”

In fact, St. Augustine already reminded the early Christians about the treasure of faith they have received. The bishop of Hippo says: “the symbol of the holy mystery that you have all received together and that today you have recited one by one, are the words on which the faith of Mother Church is firmly built above the stable foundation that is Christ the Lord. You have received it and recited it, but in your minds and hearts you must keep it ever present, you must repeat it in your beds, recall it in the public squares and not forget it during meals: even when your body is asleep, you must watch over it with your hearts. (Ibid.)”

With all these wonderful ideas, we cannot forget one more important lesson. If Baptism “ushers us into the life of communion with God and entry into the Church (Ibid.)” we must remember that we cannot enter alone. Baptism confers on the person a concrete apostolic mandate from Christ: “Go out to all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!”

With the Year of Faith drawing to a close on November, it is worth examining ourselves: in this grace-full year, how have I renewed my faith through concrete apostolic goals? How many people have I helped or guided to journey with greater conviction and a deeper spiritual commitment to their calling as God’s children and as soldiers of Christ in the Church?

If we take these ideas to heart, mind and action, perhaps, there are others who like Alden will experience a re-awakening in and a deeper remembrance of their faith as they encounter our constant faith-filled words, example and joy in the midst of our ordinary duties and circumstances.

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TAGS: Baptism, Religion & Belief
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