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I am writing in response to John Young's article and Mark Moriarty's letter, calling the article ‘callous’.
We know from God's revelation that a heavenly destiny is a free gift to which no one has any entitlement, so that God is doing no injustice to any baby that dies unbaptised. We are all born in a state of original sin, due to the sin of Adam. Baptism removes this taint from the soul and pours in the supernatural gifts of the sacrament.
We are given to understand that limbo is a state of wonderful natural happiness. It may well be that parents in heaven will know their children who go there. The sad thing is that, happy though these children are, they will not have the Beatific Vision.
I recall a time I attended many baptisms, within my own family, or celebrated with friends. The babies were all very young, less than three weeks old. Parents made the sacrament a top priority. The most recent baptism I attended was for three members of the same family: a three months-old baby and her brothers, aged four and eleven respectively. Their mother said that it was time they got the boys ‘done’.
One usually hears the event described as a ‘christening’ rather than a baptism, and it is often delayed for months until it is a convenient time to get everyone together for a celebratory ‘do’ afterwards.
Perhaps what is needed is education on the importance of the sacrament, and what better place to start than from the pulpit?
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 10 (November 2006), p. 14
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