The Sacrament Of Baptism
( Originally Published 1922 )
Baptism is the Sacrament which takes away original sin from our soul. In adults Baptism also takes away any sins they may have committed. We cannot receive any other Sacrament until we have been baptized. In Baptism we are said to be born again because thereby we receive the life of grace. By Baptism we become children of God, heirs of heaven, and members of the Catholic Church. We can receive Baptism but once. The priest baptizes us, but in case of necessity any one may baptize.
Children, no doubt you would like to talk again about God's grace. What does this new life do for your soul? What makes your soul holy and pure? What makes your soul beautiful to God? Why do you need God's grace ? How many people need God's grace to get to heaven? Yes ; this new life of grace is wonderful. What can you do when you have God's grace? What enables you to love God ? What enables you to keep the Commandments ? Why are you able to avoid sin? What enables you to believe all that the Catholic Church teaches ?
How does God's grace come to us? How many Sacraments give God's grace? Why did God give us the seven Sacraments? What do the seven Sacraments bring into our soul? Why does God give us His grace? Why does God wish to have us in heaven?
Tell me about the time when you were a little baby. How long is it since you were born? Ask them individually. When did God give you your life? Why did they take you to the church when you were but a few days old? What Sacrament did the priest give you then? What did the Sacrament of Baptism bring into your soul? When did you receive a new life for your soul? What is this new life called? Why are we said to be born again in Baptism?
When did you first receive God's grace? What new life did you receive in Baptism? When did you become a child of God ? Whose child did you become when you were baptized? What does God's grace do for your soul? What makes your soul holy and pure? What can you do when you have God's grace? What is God's grace to our soul? What is the only thing that can take away God's grace from the soul?
Why are we all born without God's grace? In what sin were we all born? From whom does original sin come down to us? How many people are born in the sin of Adam and Eve? Who was the only one that was always free from original sin? Why . did God keep the Blessed Virgin free from original sin? Whose mother was she to be? What Sacrament took away original sin from your soul? When did you receive the Sacrament of Baptism? What sin did Baptism take away from your soul? Why, then, do they baptize all little babies? What sin was on your soul before you were baptized? What took original sin away from your soul? Why did you not have God's grace when you were born? When did you first receive God's grace ?
When did you become a child of God? What made your soul holy and pure? Why did God give you His grace? What is God's grace called when you receive it? Why are we said to be born again in Baptism?
What Sacrament makes us members of the Catholic Church? When did you become a member of the Catholic Church? Whose Church is the Catholic Church? Who founded the Catholic Church? What is the only Church that Christ started? What made you a member of the Catholic Church?
Which is the first Sacrament that we receive? What Sacrament do we have to receive before we can receive any other Sacrament? When did you receive a new life for your soul? How long will you be free from original sin? What made you a child of God? How long will you be a child of God? Of course you can receive Baptism but once. For then you are born again in the life of grace. What is the first Sacrament that you need to get to heaven? Where would you have gone if you had died the day after you were baptized? Why cannot little babies go to heaven if they die without baptism? What sin is on their soul?
Why should little babies be baptized soon after they are born? Where could they not go if they died without Baptism ? Why, then, do we all have to be baptized? Whose children do we become in Baptism? When does our soul become pure and holy? What makes our soul pure and holy in Baptism?
Who gave the Sacrament of Baptism to the Catholic Church? Why did God give the Sacra-ment of Baptism to the Catholic Church? What is the only Church that belongs to God? Where did they take you to baptize you when you were a little baby? Who baptized you in the church? Who sent the priest to baptize you? Who were the first priests of the Catholic Church? Who baptized the people and the little babies after our Lord went up to heaven ? Who told the Apostles to baptize them?
What did the priest pour on your head when he baptized you? Who told the priest to pour water on your head? What did the Apostles do when they baptized people? Who told the Apostles to pour water on their head? In whose name did the priest baptize you? What did the priest say when he poured water on your head? Yes ; he said : "I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." What did the Apostles say when they baptized people?
You know on Holy Saturday and on Saturday before Pentecost the priest blesses water for Baptism. This blessed water is different from ordinary holy water. It is used only for Baptism. When the priest blesses baptismal water he mixes holy oil with it. Now when does the priest bless baptismal water? For what is baptismal water used? What does the priest mix with the baptismal water when he is blessing it? Where did the priest pour the water when he baptized you?
What two people took you to the church to be baptized? Yes; your godfather and godmother took you to receive holy Baptism. Your god-mother held you with your head on her right arm.
Then the priest asked what your name was to be, for you received your name when you were baptized. Now, tell me what your godfather and godmother did for you. How did your godmother hold you in her arms ? She opened your clothing at the neck and uncovered your head. Your godfather stood on the right side. Then the priest spoke to you and your godfather and god-mother answered for you. First he asked you : "What do you seek from the Church of God?" Then your godparents answered : "Faith."
Then he asked : "What does faith bring you to ?" They then answered : "To life everlasting."
Now, how did your godmother hold you? What did she do to your clothing and to your head? Where did your godfather stand? What was the first thing the priest asked you? What did your godparents answer for you? What did they say when he asked you what does faith bring you to?
After that the priest made the sign of the cross on your forehead and on your breast. Then he read some beautiful prayers over you. Then he blessed salt and put a little bit of it into your mouth. This blessed salt was a sign that you be true to God all your life. Now, tell me when the priest made the sign of the cross. What did he do after he read prayers over you? Of what was the blessed salt a sign?
After that the priest read other prayers over you and then put the end of the stole on your head. At the same time he said to you : "Enter into the temple of God so that you will be with Christ forever in heaven." Then your god-parents recited the Apostles' Creed and the Our Father for you. Now, what did the priest say when he put the end of the stole on your head ? Explain to the children what the stole is. Show them one, or a picture of it. What prayers did your godparents say for you?
Afterwards the priest took spittle on his finger and touching your ears and your nostrils, asked God to make you love the things that God wants you to love. Then he asked you if you would avoid the devil and all his works and pomps. Your godparents promised for you that you would do it. Now, what did the priest do with spittle? What did he ask you to avoid? What did your godparents promise for you?
Then the priest anointed you on your breast and between your shoulders with holy oil. That is the reason why your godmother opened your clothing at the neck. When the priest anointed you with holy oil it was a sign for you to save your soul. Where, then, did the priest anoint you with holy oil? Why did your godmother open your clothes at the neck ? Of what was the holy oil a sign?
Again, the priest asked you some questions. First he asked : "Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth ? " Your godparents answered for you : "I do believe." Then he asked : "Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was born and suffered for us?" They answered : "I do believe." Then he asked : "Do you believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?" For the third time, they answered : "I do believe." Then the priest asked you : "Do you wish to be baptized?" Your godparents answered : "I do." Tell me now some of the things the priest asked you. What did he ask you about God the Father? What did your god-parents answer ? What did he ask you about God the Son ? What did your godparents answer ? What did he ask you about the Holy Ghost and the Catholic Church ? What did your godparents answer ? What did the priest then ask you about Baptism ? What did your godparents answer ?
Then your godmother held you in her arms and your godfather put his hand upon you. Then the priest baptized you. What did the priest do when he baptized you? Where did he pour the water? How did your godmother hold you? What did your godfather do whilst the priest was pouring the water? Where did he put his hand? What did the priest say whilst he was pouring the water on your head ?
After he baptized you the priest anointed the top of your head with holy oil, called holy chrism. This was a sign that you had become a child of God. He then put a white robe upon you. This was a sign that your soul had been made pure and holy by God's grace. Then your god-parents held a lighted candle for you. This was a sign that you had received the gift of faith. Where did the priest anoint you after he baptized you? Of what was this a sign? Whose child had you become? What kind of robe did he put on you after that? Of what was this white robe a sign? What did your godparents then hold for you? Of what was the lighted candle a sign?
Of what Church were you a member as soon as the priest had baptized you? Whose child had you become? What had you received from God? Why were you born again when you were baptized? What life had you received? What made your soul pure and holy then ? What did Baptism take from your soul? How had original sin come upon your soul?
When could you baptize any one? Of course you would just baptize him ; you would not do all that the priest does. What would you do to baptize any one? What would you say while you poured the water on his head? If you were afraid a child would die before the priest could come to baptize it, what would you do? You could baptize it with ordinary clean water.
Why did our Lord give us the Sacrament of Baptism? Where can we go if we are baptized? Why do we have to be baptized? Why does God want us to go to heaven? How does the Sacrament of Baptism show that God loves us?