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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Baptisms

I had attended so many baptisms in my life. Starting from my own nephews and nieces then my four children. But all those times I haven't really felt the real essence of baptism, not until I become a member of an evangelistic community.

At the times when my life was still with the world I consider the rite as a mere ritual necessary to obtain documents to prove a person's existence and to adopt the needs of the material society. Without a sense of any spiritual significance a baptism is a mere show that you belong to a "Church." The church I meant here is just an organization that requires a member some baptismal certificate in order to be wed with another member from the opposite sex, a society that require the certificate to allow you to be buried in the church controlled cemetery. These on top of the feelings that your child is accepted by the society when you prepare a luxurious feast after baptism with the God parents and the neighborhood. Baptism for me then is just going with the fad or subjecting to the accepted norms.

In recent times after I joined the community of faith, I became a God-father to several young Christians. Only then that I realized the value of this very important ceremony and there are things I learned in different perspectives: that of the baptized, the Godparents, and the real parents. Catholics allow the little ones to receive baptism, which is not practiced in other Christian societies as they argue the children are without knowledge of the message and conditions required of baptism. I may not be an authority to say this, but I believe children have the right to become Christians which qualifies them for the sacrament. By the fact that they need to nurture the values required of being a disciple worthy for baptism is where the role of Godparents come. God-parents simply means parental role in faith. For me, gone are the ideas that being a God-father requires me to provide gifts during Christmas and the child's birthday. The essence of being a Godparent is rooted on the responsibility that you have to sow into the child's well-being the responsibilities of being a baptized person which you accepted for the child's sake. There is the greater responsibility of letting the child grow in the values required of him as a Christian baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And if the child fails, your being a father in faith also failed. Parents should carry most of the load in fulfilling upon the baptized child the things required of him to be a real Christian.

As the child matures, the sacrament of Confirmation, for the Catholics, would then be the point of affirmation on the values and the conditions laid during baptism. By then the Godparents would serve as guides in the path the child should follow in his journey as a Christian faithful.

To Godparents out there let's do more guiding and pastoring for our Godchildren.

(Other Photos)

2 comments:

tri said...

I was raised Methodist and then Baptist as a teenager. I was baptized at 15 as my own choice. I converted to Catholicism after I married. My own baptism was so spiritual and left me with a very enlightened feeling. I had been a practicing Catholic for about 5 years when my 1st child was born. Baptism??? I read every book and talked to every person I could about what Baptism meant in the Catholic Church. I realized my importance in the Baptism of my children. I have one god-son, and yes, I am strictly his spiritual leader. His mother is Jewish, so I feel I have to give a little more when I am encouraging him to live with the faith in God and Jesus Christ. Everytime I attend a Baptism, I truly feel my baptismal promises being renewed.

Romeo L. Dignos said...

Thanks tri for your comment

 
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