"How then can we justify the baptism in children?"

Dear father:

May the Lord bless you abundantly, and give you the strength to continue your wonderful ministry.

I have had the opportunity to participate in Cursillos, Charismatic Renewal, and Marriage Encounters; and did find in these groups a vitality, which is almost invisible in the general catholic population. A common factor in these groups is a call to conversion, and lives are changed almost overnight, to the point that many members refer to this experience as their true starting gate.

My questions are:

a) It is necessary to have a conversion, for the Grace received in baptism be a real transforming force in my life?

b) How then can we justify the baptism in children?

God bless

Jose

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Dear Josť,

Great to hear from you. Wonderful that you have had the opportunity to participate in Cursillos, etc. Regarding your questions:

a) Yes. It is necessary to have a conversion for the Grace of baptism to really transform a person's life. But the conversion itself is God's work, a result of his grace operating. Often time the preparation for that crucial moment ("starting gate") involves many things - learning about the faith, good example from other people, the home environment one is raised in, etc. When Jesus said, "Repent, the kingdom of God is near," he presumed certain things such as a knowledge of the moral law (Ten Commandments, etc.) awareness of ones own sin and some sense of the long Old Testament background of prophets, kings, etc.

b) Infant baptism relies first of all on God's unmerited grace and secondly on the parent's and godparents's own faith, their desire and commitment to raise their child in the practice of the faith. We believe that all of us are by nature creatures of God, but only by the grace of baptism do we become his children, so baptism is necessary for salvation. Catholic Answers has a good article on Infant Baptism.

Prayers for you and your family. God bless,

Fr. Bloom

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