Violet's Other Birthday

Violet's Other Birthday -- that is, the anniversary of her baptism, her new birth in Christ -- was on Saturday, April 14. I knew it was in mid-April but couldn't remember the exact date, so I finally looked it up.

I wish I had remembered on the actual day, but better late than never, right?


  1. I've always wondered how the baptism is in the Catholic church. In our chourch we do a dedication, meaning we, as her parents, and the church body dedicate to raise the child in a Christian home. This is because a baby is too young to make this decision for him or herself.
    You state that is is her new birth in Christ, but accepting Christ into our heart should be a concience and mature decidion that we make when we are old enough to understand it. With Catholics, is there a time in their life that they make a concience decision to follow the Lord and then follow in Believer's Baptism?


  2. We do have confirmation - usually done at about the age 12-14.
    There is no need for a second baptism though since we have already received those graces. Also, there are multiple opportunities to renew our baptismal beliefs, such as attending another baptism or going to the Easter Vigil.

  3. Hi Kim,

    "but accepting Christ into our heart should be a concience and mature decidion that we make when we are old enough to understand it."

    I agree that the decision to follow Christ as an adult should be a conscious and mature decision made when we are old enough to understand and affirm. However, the purpose of baptism is not to accept Christ into our heart. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 1213, "Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: 'Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.'"

    Thus we don't have a "Believer's Baptism," given that infant baptism was practiced by the early church. Confirmation has similar elements, in that (unlike baptism) the decision to continue in the sacramental life of the Church is made by the person and not his or her parents, but even confirmation is more nuanced than that.

    Catholics make a conscious and mature decision (or rather, they SHOULD) to follow Christ every day, and at every Mass, and after receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and every time we receive the Eucharist. It's not a decision that we make once and never again; it's a commitment that we constantly need to reaffirm. Because we're sinful humans, we need a continual outpouring of grace to keep living our Christian faith, and that grace comes from the Sacraments.

  4. Also, as God so often does, He led me to another link that is a perfect response to your question, Kim!

    Ask a Carmelite Sister: Should I Delay Baptism until My Baby Can Choose?

  5. Yes, I second JoAnna's comments and ad that the Eastern Lung of the Catholic Church has Confirmation and Holy Eucharist at the time of Baptism (that is for infants) so I agree that Confirmation has some elements in the West of a "Believer's Baptism" but it most certainly is not the same and not intended to be.

    As JoAnna eloquently put it, for Catholics faith is renewed on a daily basis. We don't subscribe to the "once-saved, always-saved" mantra. Catholics are saved initially at Baptism but continue to work on their salvation during the entirety of their lives.


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