A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

By Water or by Blood

Posted on: January 13, 2014

By water, by blood, by desire—the three types of baptism available to us, as the priest reminded us during yesterday’s Mass celebrating the Baptism of the Lord.

Most of us don’t know someone baptized by blood—that is, a martyr for his or her faith. We probably don’t know someone baptized by desire—in other words, someone who would be baptized given the opportunity but can’t for some reason (for example, because it’s not legal where that person lives or no priest is available to perform the baptism). But as Catholics, we’re all baptized by water.

The priest posed some interesting questions: do we ever think about our own baptism? Or the priest who performed it? Do we give thanks for that priest and for those who led us to baptism?

baptism day

Me with my godparents on the day of my baptism

I know that I was baptized in the Anglican Church at a chapel on a military base and that my parents met my godparents through the military. But I’ve never given much thought to my baptism beyond that. Or to prayer for the chaplain who baptized me, for my godparents for standing with my mother and father, and for my parents for having me baptized.

My father’s family mostly leans toward agnosticism, and so I’m thankful that Dad allowed Mom to raise me as a Christian. I’m thankful each day to know the Lord and to be able to share with him my joys and sorrows in my roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece and friend. To be able to thank him for blessings such as my family and be comforted by him in times of loss.

Maybe I would have found my way to Christ somehow, but I’m thankful that I was guided to him, beginning with my baptism.

The next time we renew our faith in reciting the creed, may we give thanks for those who led us to baptism, for those who supported us in our growth in the faith, and for the Body of Christ we joined through baptism.

Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ: ‘Therefore. . . we are members one of another.’ Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races and sexes: ‘For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.’

~ s. 1267 of the Catechism

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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