Baptism is a sacrament we often witness during Mass, but sometimes forget the significance of the implications it has for our spiritual life. When our son, Oliver, was born, we knew we wanted to have him baptized. In preparation for his baptism, we attended baptism class at St. Mary’s. This experience started to help us more fully understand the significance behind the sacrament of baptism and the rituals it involves. We were later asked to help teach the class and discovered that our thoughts and beliefs about baptism were similar to many other families seeking baptism for their children.
When asked the question, “Why do you want your child to be baptized?” at our baptism class, the response we gave, and have since heard from many others, reflected the strong tradition of the sacrament, but not necessarily the full spiritual meaning of it. Through further readings and discussions with other families, we have come to understand that baptism is the beginning of one’s spiritual life in the church. While the focus tends to be on the child, baptism is also significant for the parents and church community, as we are the ones who teach and model the faith for our children.
As baptized Christians, we find comfort in the knowledge that we have received the gift of God’s love, which washes away our sins and welcomes us into the church. Baptism provides us with hope because we know that God has great plans for us if we listen carefully to his calling and let him guide or actions.
Nathan & Sara Heitz