Fr. Robert Bengry: Holy Baptism
It’s the Easter season but a very odd one what with the Covid-19 pandemic, the social isolation and the quarantines. I’ve had a great deal of time to think and to pray as I stay in the clergy house with Fr. Beahen, my dearest friend and fellow Catholic Priest. He and I have been thinking these last few days about the baptisms that were to take place at the Great Easter Vigil at St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, as well as the baptisms that were to take place in the near coming weeks. Obviously they couldn’t take place as planned. This has been an heartbreak for me as I consider the necessity of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism for salvation. In this uncertain time as I pray for these good people and families who wish to be a part of God’s own family, I do take great comfort in the teaching of the Universal Church as described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptised by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.”
and of particular comfort as I pray for my catechumens:
“For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.”
The Church is so very beautiful in her theology, which is truly a theology of love.
Holy Baptism is such a beautiful thing. Though the storms rage against it and the Church during this pandemic, we know for certain that God is faithful even in the most difficult of circumstances.