Why does the Catholic Church administer Baptism to Infants?
There are three reasons to justify why does the Catholic Church administers the sacrament of Baptism to Infants. But before we start, let’s define Baptism.
” Baptism is the way out of the kingdom of death into life, the gateway to the… Church, and the beginning of a lasting communion with God.” [ CCC 1213-1216,1276-1278]
If you ask my personal opinion, on whether it is the right thing to administer this sacrament to the infants, I would say that this is one of the best decisions of the Church. Infants are the purest form of life. Isn’t it best to remove the only stain from their soul that they have now when they are pure otherwise than to wait for other stains to cover up their soul once they grow and be mature?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives two reasons why this sacrament of baptism is administered to infants. I will personally add another reason to this argument.
1. Before we decide on God, God has decided on us.
” From antiquity the… Church has practiced infant baptism. there is one reason for this: before we decide on God, God has decided on us. Baptism is, therefore, a grace, an undeserved gift of God, who accepts us unconditionally.” [ CCC 1250] .
You see, God created us. He knows us from every dimension. He is our Father who loves us, and He has given us the name that we are called by today. Before we even knew ourselves, He already knew us from the outside and the inside. It is, therefore, very normal and obvious to say that we are His since the time we are conceived in our mother’s womb. When we are baptized, the sacrament is a visible sign from our Heavenly Father to us which tells us that we are his first and then to anybody else. Through Baptism He anoints us and appoints us for the work that needs to be done by us. It is a mark on our soul to tell the world that we belong to Heaven and our Heavenly Father. It is also a way for us to tell God, that we love him and WANT to belong to Him.
2. Our Parents aren’t selfish.
” Believing Parents who want what is best for their child want Baptism also, in which the chid is freed from the influence of the original sin and the power of death.” ] CCC1282]
Our parents who have lived a Catholic lifestyle for decades do have the sweet taste of living in ONE Catholic family. And when I say ‘One’ i mean that quite literally. You see, the Catholic Church is the only church that practices the same dogmas everywhere in every corner of the world. No matter which country you are in, the order of the Eucharistic celebration is the same everywhere. Also, living in a family which is united, meeting your friends and family every Sunday and on every parish occasion, being a part of teens or youth ministry, receiving every sacrament in all its grandeur- where else can you find this? Where can you find, that every action of our Lord Jesus is demonstrated in its very spirit, that it was done the time He did it himself? The union of the Church and its family is the best gift that a parent can give to their child. Of course, the child once he/she grows up is free to choose which way to go. But that does not mean the parents do not have the responsibility to teach them, the values and teachings that they have received from their elders. Just because a child can speak, does not take away the responsibility of a teacher to teach them a language.
3. Suffering in Purgatory
This point is my personal addition to this topic. in between Heaven and Hell, there is purgatory. Purgatory is a place where souls are sent to be pure if they aren’t. Because is Heaven is ONLY for the ABSOLUTE PURE SOULS, hence no one can enter Heaven if one is not pure. Hence, anyone who has their due penance to be done, but due to lack of time could not finish, is sent to purgatory to be purified. Now, let’s pause for a moment and think deeply. A newborn baby is pure, but the only stain that it has is the stain of original sin. Unfortunately, if a newborn baby due to any cause, dies, will have to be purified just because of that only stain that is there on its little innocent soul. Will any parent want, that her little prince or princess, who doesn’t even know how to talk, to be suffering in purgatory, because they were trying to be ” too liberal”? My dear, this is a matter of Eternal Life! No parent would want this in a million years. Therefore, every parent wants the same for their child, to be rejoicing in Heaven in the warmth of our Lord Jesus. Hence, they do what is their infant’s ticket to heaven, should they face death.
So these are the three reasons, to answer the question of why does the Catholic Church administer the Sacrament of Baptism to infants.
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