Encountering Christ’s Love in the Sacraments

In every way, the sacraments are about God’s love, fully revealed in Jesus Christ. In them, Jesus makes Himself present as the one who loves us “to the end” (Jn 13:1). In each Sacrament, He says: “I love you; I have given my life for you … [Read more...]

The Imperishable Crown

Martyrdom as the Fulfillment of the Baptismal Call

At the heart of the mystery of Christian life is a paradox: although those who are baptized receive all of the supernatural grace necessary for entering eternal life, they do not on that account escape the harsh reality of the present … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question:  Why was baptism by John so crucial for Jesus, but not for Jesus’ followers? Answer: The baptism by John is the last in a number of rituals established by God as a part of the progressive preparation of the human race for the … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Please distinguish between baptism by water, desire, and blood. Answer: Since the Second Vatican Council, there has been a lot of misunderstanding about the necessity of baptism for salvation. Prior to the Council, theologians … [Read more...]

“The Indelible Mark”

Sacramental Character in Patristic and Scholastic Theology

The history of the development of doctrine is, in many ways, a history of language. It is a story of the perpetual struggle to adequately communicate the divine realities in human words, or at the very least, to attempt to do so without … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Is Baptism by water "Baptism in the Holy Spirit?" Can medical research on incapacitated patients ever be justified? Is Baptism by water "Baptism in the Holy Spirit?" Question:  I have often heard the phrase “Baptism in the Holy … [Read more...]

Las Presentaciones: A Vibrant Hispanic Tradition

This principally Mexican tradition of the presenting of a child to God, and to the Church, stems from a strong desire by parents to ask for divine protection for their newborn, and thanksgiving for a safe childbirth, as infant mortality … [Read more...]

The sacrament of baptism as a participation in the death of Christ

To be baptized in Christ is to be baptized into his death as well as his Resurrection.

The Easter season is ultimately a time for rebirth, expressed most dramatically at the Easter Vigil by the life-giving waters of baptism. To impart new life, however, baptism must destroy the old life of sin and our fallen aversions to … [Read more...]

Hope for the salvation of infants who die without baptism

Editorial, August 2010

A constant theological problem, at least since the time of Augustine, is the question of the salvation of infants who die without baptism. Many solutions to the problem have been proposed, such as: they are in hell but not seriously … [Read more...]

The Disintegration of the Primitive Rite

Christian Initiation: Baptism in the Medieval West. By J.D.C. Fisher (Hillenbrand Books, 1000 E. Maple, Mundelein IL 60060, 2004; 1-847-837-4542), xvi +220 pp. PB. $24.

A reprint of a 1965 edition first published in London, this work is sub-titled “A Study in the Disintegration of the Primitive Rite of Initiation.” This primitive rite integrated baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist into one ritual as the … [Read more...]