Christ sanctifies the waters of baptism
Christ sanctifies the waters of baptism (St Peter's Basilica)
I have a friend who is Mormon. She sent me copy of the Book of Mormon. I asked her to. I told her I had talked to some nice young men in the park and they wanted me to have a copy but they wanted me to call this 800 number and let the home office mail it to me. Yeah, I said, Uh, no, I’ll get one from my friend. She laughed when I told her all this.

But she didn’t laugh when I told her not to baptize me—or any of my family, living or deceased. Ever. Period. I requested and received baptism when I was twelve years old and a Methodist. That’s the only baptism I need or will ever need, thank you very much. Been there, done that. A valid baptism only needs to be done once. And mine was. As for my family, all my relatives (all the ones I ever knew personally, anyway) were baptized Methodists or Baptists. I could look up their geneaological records and have them baptized (or re-baptized, if “necessary”). If I were Mormon. Continue reading

I guess I’m going to have to start a new category for the blog. The “things I hear people say that blow me away” category. The other day the thing that blew me away was having a Christian tell me that, not only was the Bible just a book written by men, but it is also based on dreams. :O Today I was listening to Catholic radio and I heard a gentleman caller tell the hosts of the show that he doesn’t understand why his wife, who is not Catholic, cannot receive Holy Communion at Mass (which I will address in a separate post), and (it gets worse) now he doesn’t think he needs “religiosity” (or the Church or anything else) based upon the words of the Lord Himself in His conversation with the centurion. Continue reading

This is part of a continuing series of posts on the Mass, salvation and the sacraments. Acknowledgments may be found at the end of this post. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5)

Why do we get baptized or baptize our children? Why do we even need to go to church? I often hear people ask these questions of various believers, some of them teachers of the faith. Rarely do I hear them receive a good answer. Even more rarely do I hear them receive a true answer. I’ve heard people say that we go to church because we need the fellowship of other believers in order to stay faithful on our walk with the Lord. I’ve heard people say that we get baptized to show the Lord that we’re serious and ready to commit our lives to Him. I’ve heard that we Catholics baptize children because of some silly notion that baptism actually does something when anybody can see that it is merely symbolic of a decision made by a person who can reason about such things; so obviously a mere child isn’t capable of benefiting from it, much less, a baby. Continue reading

The following is Part 5 in a continuing series on the Church, salvation and the Sacraments. We’re beginning our exploration of the Sacraments themselves and where better to begin than with Baptism, the Sacrament by which we become members of the Body of Christ. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4)

In the series to follow this one we’ll be looking more closely at the Old Testament background of the Church and the Sacraments, but I want to spend some time reflecting on the Church as the Barque of Peter, carrying the faithful safely across the crashing waves of the world, guiding them on their journey home to the Father. I’ll base these reflections mostly on the sources listed below in the acknowledgements. I offer the drawing below in the hopes that it will help you to visualize what I’m saying and will help me too.

Let’s look first at the entry into the Church, the Sacrament of Initiation par excellence: Baptism.

Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter

Continue reading

The following is Part 3 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. In the next set of posts we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* Notes and credits at the end of this post. (Part 1) (Part 2) Continue reading

The following is Part 2 in a continuing series which began as a write-up of a talk by a talk by Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, but instead took on a life of its own and has become some rather broad reflections on salvation history as it leads up to the founding of the Church by Christ, and the Church’s role in salvation. Soon we’ll go deeper and into more detail.* In this part we are still looking at how mankind got itself into a situation wherein it needed to be saved. Acknowledgments at the end of this post. (Part 1) Continue reading

Below is an illustration I made tonight of the Church as the Body of Christ and the fact that as members of the Church we unite ourselves with Christ on His cross during the Mass. The image of Christ Crucified overlays the image of the Church building in the shape of a cross, with Christ’s Head in the Sanctuary and with His Body in the nave. He and the tabernacle, the Host, the Priest, the Altar, are all in the Sanctuary. The doorway into the vestibule lies at His Feet. We the congregation form the Body of Christ. The Priest represents Christ for us. Continue reading