Beneath the Surface

Several years ago I engaged in a discussion with a group of guys at school.  For several days, and possibly weeks, we discussed various topics on faith.  When the discussion came around to Baptism, we found a glaring separation in beliefs.  Like all passionate individuals, we discussed our individual views, beliefs and the different traditions of the Church (and the different divisions of the Body). 

I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic Church.  As an infant, I was Baptized by a priest, parents and God-parents. 

Many of my friends at school were raised under different traditions and soon asked me if I believed my baptism as an infant, then later Confirmation into the Catholic Church, was the same as the tradition of baptism under the early Church and followers of Christ. 

Being baptized as an infant, you have no say in your beliefs.  With this commitment, the parents and God-parents take on the responsibility of raising the child in the Body of Christ.  They teach their children (and God-children) all they know about God, Christ and His sacrifice, raising them in the knowledge of faith. 

This is Baptism by water.  A symbol.  A commitment by the parents. 

As the child grows into who God has called them to be, the choice eventually becomes theirs to make.  In the Catholic Church, this is the act of Confirmation.  When the child confirms their faith and becomes an adult in the church.  At this time, the Spirit of God comes down and the individual is baptized in the Spirit. 

This weekend, I joined family and friends as I received the honor of being a God-father for my niece (Zoey) and being present for the baptism of both my niece and nephew (each just 6 months old).  I gladly take on the responsibility of teaching and showing them how to live out the faith, to be a part of the Body of Christ. 

In my personal journey of faith, in the years following my confirmation, I struggled to discover God.  I searched and wandered down paths of darkness.  I discovered the difference between the Religion that I was brought up in and the Faith that I seeked and found in the blood of Christ. 

Baptism is a rebirth into the creation of God.  As we are taken under the waters, we die and everything we were is stripped away.  We emerge reborn, washed clean in the blood of Christ.  It is in that moment that we invite the Spirit of God into our lives and we are forever changed. 

It is more than a symbol of faith, an outward expression of our beliefs.  It is a powerful commitment between us and God that changes us. 

As I discovered what it meant to live by faith, I asked a good friend to Baptize me in the lake near Anderson.  For me, it was more than a simple act, but it set me free to live how God was calling me to live.  This act was not saying that my baptism at birth and confirmation into the Catholic Church did not make a difference, but through this, I was reinforcing my dedication to live by Faith. 

I baptize you with water for repentance.  But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Hold Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his thrashing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
 – Matthew 3:11-12

God Bless and PEACE

1 Comment »

  1. Mark Said:

    No mere symbol; the grace of God was poured out on those beautiful children and they entered into the Mystical Body of Christ. The Eucharist and Confirmation will add to that grace and give them the strength to lead Christian lives.

    It is also through that grace that you received at Baptism and Confirmation that lead you to search for God, accept him deeply within your heart and make the personal profession of faith.

    God is Good.

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