I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.
Ezekiel 36: 25-27, Sunday Morning Reading, Week II, Liturgy of the Hours
Posts Tagged With: Baptism
From a letter by Saint Peter Claver, priest:
Yesterday, May 30, 1627, on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, numerous blacks, brought from the rivers of Africa, disembarked from a large ship. Carrying two baskets of oranges, lemons, sweet biscuits, and I know not what else, we hurried toward them. When we approached their quarters, we thought we were entering another Guinea. We had to force our way through the crowd until we reached the sick. Large numbers of the sick were lying on the wet ground or rather in puddles of mud. To prevent excessive dampness, someone had thought of building up a mound with a mixture of tiles and broken pieces of bricks. This, then, was their couch, a very uncomfortable one not only for that reason, but especially because they were naked, without any clothing to protect them.
We laid aside our cloaks, therefore, and brought from a warehouse whatever was handy to build a platform. In that way we covered a space to which we at last transferred the sick, by forcing a passage through bands of slaves. Then we divided the sick into two groups: one group my companion approached with an interpreter, while I addressed the other group. There were two blacks, nearer death than life, already cold, whose pulse could scarcely be detected. With the help of a tile we pulled some live coals together and placed them in the middle near the dying men. Into this fire we tossed aromatics. Of these we had two wallets full, and we used them all up on this occasion. Then, using our own cloaks, for they had nothing of this sort, and to ask the owners for others would have been a waste of words, we provided for them a smoke treatment, by which they seemed to recover their warmth and the breath of life. The joy in their eyes as they looked at us was something to see.
This was how we spoke to them, not with words but with our hands and our actions. And in fact, convinced as they were that they had been brought here to be eaten, any other language would have proved utterly useless. Then we sat, or rather knelt, beside them and bathed their faces and bodies with wine. We made every effort to encourage them with friendly gestures and displayed in their presence the emotions which somehow naturally tend to hearten the sick.
After this we began an elementary instruction about baptism, that is, the wonderful effects of the sacrament on body and soul. When by their answers to our question they showed they had sufficiently understood this, we went on to a more extensive instruction, namely, about the one God, who rewards and punishes each one according to his merit, and the rest. We asked them to make an act of contrition and to manifest their detestation for their sins. Finally, when they appeared sufficiently prepared, we declared to them the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation and the Passion. Showing them Christ fastened to the cross, as he is depicted on the baptismal font on which streams of blood flow down from his wounds, we led them in reciting an act of contrition in their own language.
Spiritual breathing was one of the most awesome things I knew of when I was a student and leader involved with Campus Crusade for Christ back in my college days. What is spiritual breathing? Well, I would first and foremost consider it to be one of the sacraments of Evangelicalism. Of course you wouldn’t hear many (if any) Evangelicals call spiritual breathing a sacrament, and it is unlikely that the average Evangelical even knows what a sacrament is. But, according the very definition of a sacrament, spiritual breathing would be considered a sacrament by Evangelicals.
A sacrament is an outward sign that conveys an inward grace. That is, the sign confers the grace that it symbolizes. Naturally one becomes curious as to what spiritual breathing is and how it is considered a sacrament.Spiritual breathing is an exercise of faith, a discipline. It involves “exhaling” the impure and “inhaling” the Holy Spirit. In the same way that physical breathing dispels carbon dioxide, which is toxic in large quantities, spiritual breathing dispels our sins and failures by confessing them to God. In the same way that physical breathing supplies the body with life-sustaining oxygen, spiritual breathing supplies the soul with life-sustaining Spirit. Through the physical-mental act of confessing and praying, the actual grace of sin being washed away and the Holy Spirit coming upon the soul occurs. This is how all sacraments work.
Spiritual breathing, as you can imagine, is greatly beneficial. If taken seriously and done consistently, it strengthens and forms one’s conscience and beats the body and the will into shape. Holiness is a certain result. If not taken seriously, the grace received will be wasted and thrown to the wayside.
But as great as the sacrament of spiritual breathing is, I would be derelict in my duties as a Christian if I promoted this without the following statement, and that is this:
Nowhere in Scripture is such a practice as spiritual breathing mentioned. Spiritual breathing is a man-made discipline. Now that does not mean that it is bad. Spiritual breathing is very beneficial and is based on sound orthodox principles, mainly contrition for one’s sins. However, there are two things mentioned in Scripture by Jesus Christ and his Apostles that render spiritual breathing subordinate and useless. These two things are also sacraments and have been recognized as such throughout the history of Christianity.
The first is Baptism. Baptism does much of the same thing that spiritual breathing does, the difference is that Christ commands us to baptized, whereas he does not command us to practice spiritual breathing.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
St. John 3:5
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
St. Matthew 28:19
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
St. Mark 16:16
Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism, which corresponds to this [Noah's ark], now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience.
1 Peter 3:21
Scripture clearly initiates Baptism to serve the purpose that spiritual breathing does: the forgiveness of sins. It also provides us with a clean slate, the Holy Spirit, and makes us members of the Body. Jesus also founded a second sacrament that serves a similar purpose:
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
St. John 20:19-23
Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to his Apostles and allows them to take part in his mission, the mission of mercy and forgiveness. By the Spirit, through the lips of the Apostles, our confessed sins are forgiven.
So, while spiritual breathing is good and beneficial, it is unnecessary because Christ already gave us two sacraments to deal with the issues of confession and forgiveness. I do not ask you to give up spiritual breathing, but rather, to first use the gifts that Jesus actually gave us before inventing to new ways to receive his pardon and grace.
This is just a preview, but I’ve been thinking about and actually had someone ask me about Baptism by desire. So I’m going to be writing a post in a few days (after my senior project is finished) to talk about what it is and what it means. From what I’ve looked into it thus far, it can be a challenging topic and isn’t something that many have a great handle on, so it should be interesting.
This very life was already bestowed upon us on the day of our Baptism, when we “become sharers in Christ’s death and Resurrection”, and there began for us “the joyful and exulting adventure of his disciples. In his Letters, St. Paul repeatedly insists on the singular communion with the Son of God that this washing brings about. The fact that, in most cases, Baptism is received in infancy highlights how it is a gift of God: no one earns eternal life through their own efforts. The mercy of God, which cancels sin and, at the same time, allows us to experience in our lives “the mind of Christ Jesus” (Phil 2: 5), is given to men and women freely. The Apostle to the Gentiles, in the Letter to the Philippians, expresses the meaning of the transformation that takes place through participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, pointing to its goal: that “I may come to know him and the power of his resurrection, and partake of his sufferings by being molded to the pattern of his death, striving towards the goal of resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3: 10-11). Hence, Baptism is not a rite from the past, but the encounter with Christ, which informs the entire existence of the baptized, imparting divine life and calling for sincere conversion; initiated and supported by Grace, it permits the baptized to reach the adult stature of Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI
You know the word which he sent to the sons of Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father reveals that Jesus is not just any other man, but the Son of God. At that moment, he is anointed with the Holy Spirit, and in that instance, the fullness of the Trinity is displayed for all to see, and is recorded so that we may still see it today. There are three main things that are mentioned about Jesus’ baptism as recorded in this passage from Acts. The first is that at the baptism, Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. Now, this is not to say that before being baptized, Jesus had neither of these things. We know that when Jesus was left behind at the temple, he was already aware of who he was in some capacity as he said, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). But while he always had power and the Holy Spirit at his disposal, continually guiding him, his baptism made these gifts more “prominent” more “official” for lack of a better term. Jesus was now ready to begin the task that had been set before him before time began.
The second thing that this passage mentions is that after his anointing he did good things. Now, Jesus certainly didn’t do “bad” things before, but now that he had been anointed, or set apart, he did even more good. His lifestyle was now undeniably one of good works. Certainly this involved fulfillment of the precepts of Judaism, but also went much higher, to the point of obedience to the supreme law, that is, to love God and neighbor. This sort of goodness isn’t simply “not murdering” or “not stealing” or “not committing adultery”. This sort of goodness is “helping people live a more dignified life” and “giving to others” and “respecting the chastity of others”. Thirdly, Jesus now heals. After his anointing, when the Holy Spirit is upon him, his presence heals others, whether it be a physical ailment, a demonic possession, or forgiveness of sin and the restoration of hope.
We too are people who are baptized. Our baptisms are very similar to the baptism of Jesus. By our baptism we are declared to be children of God Most High. At baptism we are counted among his children, with whom he, God the Father, is most pleased. But that is not all, we too, receive the very things that Jesus himself received. First, we receive the Holy Spirit and power. God the Holy Spirit, comes and dwells in our souls. Make no mistake, God has always been there. The Holy Spirit has been forming us, leading us, but always living outside of us. Now, at baptism, he lives within us, and we receive the power, the grace, to cooperate with him. We, like Jesus, are now to live a life of doing good. We have the gifts to do so, and if we respond to those gifts, we do good. And like Christ, this good isn’t a mere list of things we must refrain from doing, but is a list of things to engage in. We have the power to help the poor, to love our neighbors, to respect them. Lastly, we have the power to heal. Through our actions, and words, our very presence can help to heal the pain that others experience in their souls. A smile, a helping hand, a shared Little Debbie snack on the bus on the way to school can spark a light in someone’s heart that heals a little darkness.
God has granted us a beautiful gift in baptism, to be the hands and feet of Christ, to become a part of his body, to carry out his ministry of good works and healing. We are free to accept and use these gifts or store them in a closet where they will do nobody any good. So let us consider our baptisms today and the rest of this week. Are we using our God-given gifts? Are we remaining faithful to our promises? Are we truly being the hands and feet of Christ?
Our Savior came to be baptized, so that through the cleansing waters of baptism he might restore the old man to new life, heal our sinful nature and clothe us with unfailing holiness.
-Antiphon for the Canticle of Mary
Evening Prayer I, Baptism of the Lord
Sometimes I feel like my whole life has just been wasted. When I think about the first twenty-one and a half years of my time on earth, I don’t see much that is of value, of what really matters. I don’t see God. I mean, he was there all along, but I don’t see any recognition, any response on my part, and it kind of bothers me. When I go up for Communion or go into the Confessional, or I pray my Rosary, I feel a sense of loss in that I haven’t always taken joy of these things, that I’ve missed out. I just feel like my life has been a big old stinkin’ pot of sewage, and that there are 21 years that I will never get back. All that time being shy or all that time spent being mischievous is just completely wasted.
The truth is, my life really was a big old stinkin’ pot of sewage. But as I’ve been riding my bike past the Fargo waste treatment plant lately, one thing I realize is that sewage can be treated, can be purified, made new again. The yucky can be removed and be made into clean, drinkable water. That’s when I understand once more what happened to me in Baptism. God washed away those 21 wasted years. He does not even remember them! When those blessed and holy waters poured over my head, I died with Christ. All the terrible things I had done and said, my lack of faith in God, my prideful will in determining my own view of God, my apathy, my fears, my idleness, all of it was buried with Christ. It hung on the cross, stinking like sewage, very displeasing to God. But when I lifted my head from that font and the waters dripped off of me like grave clothes, I was truly risen with Christ. Those things were busted and broken, conquered and destroyed. They no longer were a part of me, thrown to the wind like chafe. God no longer holds those 21 years against me. I am free from them. They are confirmed dead. God doesn’t go there, so I don’t need to either. What matters now is that I continue to strive on the path that God has set before me, set before us. And when I fail, which I do constantly, I will stand back up and walk into that Confessional and will be made “Baptism clean” once again as my sins and failures are buried in Christ and new life is breathed on me through Christ from the lips of his priests.
O God, whose only begotten Son, by his life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.
It’s official, I’ve been a Christian now for a year. One year ago today it was April 11, 2009, and I received my first Sacraments. Two years of learning about God, and months of preparation for actually being baptized into his Passion, Death, and Resurrection triumphed in the Easter Vigil. It’s exciting to end the first week of Easter on Divine Mercy Sunday and my anniversary.
The last year has been awesome, and I can say with confidence that I did not make a mistake in following Christ even when it seemed difficult. The mistake would have been staying where I was, where truth was relative to how I interpreted it. Sometimes it is difficult for me to see just how different my life is. I often feel like I’m in the same old routine, day-in and day-out. But if I look around, it really has changed, and if I truly trust in Christ, I must admit that it is for the better. It might be hard to see the goodness in this, but my entire social network has changed. A lot of people have left my life and many new ones have come in. It used to sadden me because I felt like I was breaking the rule that my sister would sing about in Girl Scouts:
Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold.
But you know what, its alright. In addition I am far more involved in my faith than I ever have been in my life. I go to Church consistently, something my faith never prodded me to do before. And not just on Sundays, but usually 5 or 6 times every single week! And obviously, God’s graces permeate me more than ever, and that is undeniable in the fact that receiving the physical Flesh and Blood of Christ is better than any spiritual exercise, philosophy, or belief of any group, any where. It is to consummate his love in such a way that no simple prayer or meditation can come close to. It is the unity that marriage can only imperfectly mimic, and it is the fulfillment of the desire of every Christian everywhere, if only they knew!
I have much to be thankful for and have more blessings now than ever before. And I can earn a plenary indulgence today if I meet all the necessary requirements and faithfully and devoutly renew my baptismal promises!
The picture you see to the left is a picture of the people I spent my Easter with last year. It was with people who understood me and what I was doing. And what was I doing? The most important thing I have ever done in my entire life, and that is truly give in to Christ, that is following his command to be Baptized, and follow his lead into his One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The events of that weekend have forever and eternally changed me as a human being. On that day, I was made a new creation in Christ.
And my family? My family wasn’t really a part of that. From the beginning they doubted my decision to follow Christ. But really it began long before that. Even when I found my way to Jesus during my freshman year, my family made it an unbearable time. They constantly brought me down. Anytime that I failed as a Christian, it was just one more excuse for them to call me a hypocrite. Suddenly coming home became a burdensome task. I was constantly met with unneeded opposition. My zeal for Christ was not welcome, and that was a zeal that was not even rooted in a firm basis of truth. You can only imagine how a family like that responds when their son becomes a Roman Catholic. Things have only gotten more tense at home, and when your family doesn’t say grace before meals and it makes you feel terrible, or when you want to talk about how awesome God is, and everyone else wants to watch Biggest Loser, or WWF, or Stupid Crap on TV that No One in Their Right Mind Should Even Give a Moments Notice To, you just want to scream. You pray for them, you do your best to explain the truth to them, and even when its hard, you try to be charitable, but you fail with that one most of the time. And then you feel alone because nobody in your family seems to care about God the way you do. They either don’t care, or they only care as far as they can go without feeling uncomfortable. The loneliness and the desperation slowly sucks the life out of your faith. You yearn for another place, such as the Newman Center where you are surrounded by people who are as dedicated to God as you are, who challenge you to be all that God made you to be, who encourage you in your suffering, who can see the beauty of God disguised in the Eucharist, who join with your heart in the midst of persecution.
And THAT is why I am not going home for Easter. Easter is too important to me to have it ruined. It is the most important day in the life of every Christian and my family will turn it into a ham eating, egg dying, tv watching day, with little to no acknowledgment of the Savior’s Glorious Resurrection. And for me, Easter is also the liturgical celebration of my Baptism, my new life in Christ. It’s an important day that needs to be treated as such. And seeing as how my parents really weren’t a major part of that big day last year, and have even admitted that they wish I weren’t Catholic, why in the world would I spend it with them. All odds point to me just fighting with them and further damaging their view of my faith anyways, so why bother. I’d much rather spend the Easter Vigil at St. Mary’s Cathedral recalling all of salvation history, and renewing my Baptismal promises to the Lord.
Am I wrong in this decision?
Today we begin the celebration of Ordinary Time with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We see in today’s Gospel, John the Baptist baptizes our Lord and Savior, and we, being faithful Christians, following Jesus’ command to “follow me” are also baptized, and our Baptism is very similar to the Lord’s in that in our Baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon us, and we are declared sons and daughters of the Most High God.
Baptism is a very important event in any Christian’s life, especially for Catholics because we believe that Baptism is a true Sacrament, a literal gift, a literal grace, the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5). But not all Christians believe this to be true, some only believing it to be a symbol, not a mandate, not a gift given to us by Christ. However, Scripture, in conjunction with historical Christian teaches, points to the regenerative Baptism that the Roman Catholic Church teaches.
Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift…We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal because it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.
-St. Gregory of Nazianzus
Prefigurations of Baptism in the Old Testament
From the very beginning of time, God overshadowed the waters, waters that were, and still are, vital to our physical existence. From them comes all the fruits of the earth, all life depends on water. God sanctified it and made it holy.
“The earth was void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”
St. Peter, in his first epistle recounts Noah’s ark as a prefiguration to Baptism and is a very strong argument for the regenerative spirit of Baptism.
…the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
-1 Peter 3:20b-21
St. Peter draws a direct correlation between Noah being saved through water and Baptism doing the same for us. He even illustrates that the nature of Baptism is not simply a physical bath, but an appeal to God, that we might have a clear conscience. Another way to word that is that it asks God to free our soul from sin. All of this, of course, is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle states. Baptism is not just a physical act, but is a line of communication between our soul and the Father, in which our conscience is cleared by the merits of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Two final prefigurations are the crossing of the Red Sea, and the crossing of the Jordan River. The former being a deliverance from slavery and bondage through water and the latter being a reception of the great gift of the promised land by crossing the waters. In the same way, Baptism utilizes water to free us from bondage and slavery and to deliver us to the blessings and promises of God.
The New Testament on Baptism
We’ll begin with the gospel of John and the famous visit of Nicodemus, a Pharisee, to Jesus.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Many non-Catholics will stop you here and point to the word ‘water’ and say that Jesus here is inferring to our natural birth and that the ‘Spirit’ is some kind of gift of believing, not really referring to baptism. I used to believe this, but if you keep reading you’ll see that this is not the case.
Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Here Jesus clearly refers to our natural birth as being ‘born of the flesh’. The water birth referred to in verse 3 is none other than Baptism and is a supernatural birth of the Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, the day which the Church was born of the Spirit, the Apostle Peter speaks to the crowds.
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Peter links repentance and baptism, meaning they go together. He further explains that we are baptized for the forgiveness of sins and for the reception of the Holy Spirit. He never mentions symbols, but preaches on the reality of superabundant grace of baptism. Another great example of the need to be baptized is found within the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (this story also points the need for a Magisterium and the fact that we cannot all interpret infallibly, but that is for another time). Philip comes across a Eunuch reading from the Prophet Isaiah, and Philip shares the good news of Christ from within the Isaiah’s writings. Then the Eunuch asks to be baptized.
And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the Eunuch, and he baptized him.
I don’t know exactly what Philip told the Ethiopian, but he must have made it clear that one needed to be baptized in order to be saved. The last example from the New Testament I will use is a short bit from St. Paul’s conversion.
“And now why do you [Saul] wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”
In baptism we have our sins washed away by calling on his name. Even the Apostle Paul, great hero of every Protestant submitted to this teaching of the first Twelve Apostles, thus if it is good enough for Paul, and is what Jesus taught, and is what is found in our infallible Scripture, it should be good enough for us.
Well all of the above may be true, but doesn’t that point to a believer’s baptism, in which we must consciously choose to be baptized? Not exactly. Let’s just look at Scripture first. Let’s begin with comparing the New and Old Covenants. In the old covenant, circumcision was the sign that we were in the covenant with God. In the new covenant, baptism is that sign that we have entered into the promise, as evident in the above passages. How do circumcision and baptism compare?
“You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He that is eight days old among you shall be circumcised; every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house, or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not your offspring, both he that is born in your house and he that is bought with your money, shall be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
Circumcision was the sign of the covenant, a covenant given based on the faith of Abram. Yet the sign was extended to those who were far too young to consciously choose to make a covenant with God. They were brought into the covenant based on the faith of their parents. We can even gather that all the men in the house were to be circumcised whether they believed or not, even if they were beyond the age of reason! So why cannot baptism work the same way?
Christ himself clearly establishes the Kingdom of God also belongs to children:
And they were bringing children to him, that be might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
There is no age-limit for the kingdom, and since we must be born of water and the Spirit (John 3:3) to see the kingdom, we cannot deny that water and Spirit (baptism) to children, no matter how young. And we need to remember that no matter our age we are all stained with original sin, from the moment of our conception.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
From the moment of our conception we are fallen, and in need of the cleansing of Baptism, so yes, even infants need baptism to cleanse them from original sin.
And Finally: Immersion, Sprinkling, and Pouring
For something that is “symbolic” Protestants make a big hullabaloo over the form of baptism, often citing that only baptism by immersion is legitimate. I’ll try to keep this brief. Generally the argument is that baptizo means “to immerse” and that only baptism by immersion is really a baptism. However, in Mark 7:3 the Pharisees will not eat unless they wash their hands. The word baptizo is used here, showing that it is not always used in conjunction with immersion. We also see in Acts 9:18 that Paul rose to be baptized in a house. The form of baptism is not what matters, what matters is that water is used and the sinner is baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The fact of the matter is that Baptism is a regenerative act, the moment that the graces Christ has gained for us are initially applied to us. All are invited to this wonderful gift, both the young and the old, the fit and the cripple. Sprinkled, poured, or immersed, in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit all bring this most powerful and wonderful gift to the wounded soul of the human person.
For more information, visit Scripture Catholic.