Lesson 24 from the Baltimore Cathechism
315. What is Baptism?
Baptism is the sacrament that gives our souls the new life of sanctifying grace by which we become children of God and heirs of heaven.
Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
316. What sins does Baptism take away?
Baptism takes away original sin; and also actual sin and all the punishment due to them, if the person baptized be guilty of any actual sins and truly sorry for them.
Get up and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on his name. (Acts 22:16)
317. What are the effects of the character imprinted on the soul by Baptism?
The effects of the character imprinted on the soul by Baptism are that we become members of the Church, subject to its laws, and capable of receiving other sacraments.
318. Who can administer Baptism?
The priest is the usual minister of Baptism, but if there is danger that someone will die without Baptism, anyone else may and should baptize.
319. How would you give Baptism?
I would give Baptism by pouring ordinary water on the forehead of the person to be baptized, saying while pouring it: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
320. Why is Baptism necessary for the salvation of all men?
Baptism is necessary for the salvation of all men because Christ has said: "Unless a man be born again of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Now they who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)
321. How can those be saved who through no fault of their own have not received the sacrament of Baptism?
Those who through no fault of their own have not received the sacrament of Baptism can be saved through what is called baptism of blood or baptism of desire.
322. How does an unbaptized person receive the baptism of blood?
An unbaptized person receives the baptism of blood when he suffers martyrdom for the faith of Christ.
Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
323. How does an unbaptized person receive the baptism of desire?
An unbaptized person receives the baptism of desire when he loves God above all things and desires to do all that is necessary for his salvation.
If anyone love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
324. When should children be baptized?
Children should be baptized as soon as possible after birth.
325. What sin do Catholic parents commit who put off for a long time, or entirely neglect, the Baptism of their children?
Catholic parents who put off for a long time, or entirely neglect, the Baptism of their children, commit a mortal sin.
326. What do we promise through our godparents in Baptism?
We promise through our godparents in Baptism to renounce the devil and to live according to the teachings of Christ and of His Church.
327. Why is the name of a saint given in Baptism?
The name of a saint is given in Baptism in order that the person baptized may imitate his virtues and have him for a protector.
328. What is the duty of a godparent after Baptism?
The duty of a godparent after Baptism is to see that the child is brought up a good Catholic, if this is not done by the parents.
329. Who should be chosen as godparents for Baptism?
Only Catholics who know their faith and live up to the duties of their religion should be chosen as godparents for Baptism.