Baptism

I posted before regarding struggling with changing the Godmother of my now 6 month old daughter. I appreciated the help from this forum. I am now faced with two new issues and can use help again.
I am a Roman Catholic married to a Protestant. My husband has never questioned me about our differences and tells me that the baptism of our children “Is important to him because it is important to me”. But now his mother has started again with asking “why do you baptise a baby? do you think she has sinned? do you think she is not always in God’s grace? why do you Catholics believe this baptism of infants?” With my son 3 years ago, I simply told her “this is what I believe and this is what we Catholics do”. My husband said that should be enough and not to worry about explaining myself, but apparently it has started with my daughter again now, mostly when he is at work and I am alone with her. How do I politely answer her question without getting into a debate with her, she will never change me from being a Catholic and I do not worry, I just wish I could have a good way to make her stop acting so superior because she doesn’t think I can answer her to make her “understand”. I feel I shouldn’t have to make her understand…but want her off my back because she makes me feel defensive about the sacraments.

Second issue, I know very few people and have no one to ask to be my daughter’s Godparent, I have decided not to ask my siblings because my husband and I feel that they are not living good lives that we wish to project onto my daughter. How do I proceed without a Godparent? My parents would be perfect but they are 74 and 75 and think I should get someone who will be around during her important developmental years. I plan to guide her myself, how do I get her sacrament now? I just want to get my daughter baptized as soon as possible, what can i do?

I know that Canon law says I should have done this earlier but honestly I never posted why I waited before. My daughter was a medical miracle but the complex pregnancy separated my pelvis within the first few months which kept me in the hospital and bedridden the entire pregnancy. I was unable to walk until recently. I am still recovering and beginning to be able to walk with a walker and occassionally a cane. Since I am married to a Protestant and living with his parents (we live with them because we needed help with myself, the baby and our 3 year old because of my condition) , I am not exactly the majority in this house on the importance of baptism. Everyone has been assisting me in walking these past few months and now I am trying to hurry to get her sacrament. I know there should be no “excuse” for delaying but my in-laws were not about to rush her down to a Catholic church while I lay in bed to get her baptized, as you can read above, they don’t understand sacraments.

(Sorry for the long post, I appreciate your help again):o

She must have a godparent so why don’t you look around the community next time you’re at Mass and see if there is someone there that would make a good one. Or ask Father to help you choose one. There may be any number of couples in the parish who would welcome the opportunity to be godparents and part of a child’s life.

As for your MIL, tell her that no, your baby has not sinned, but we believe that original sin marks everyone from the moment they are conceived. Baptism wipes away the stain of original sin and we believe for that reason it is important to baptize babies as soon as possible after birth. She’ll think it’s nonsense but at least it will show her that you know WHY. If she keeps pressing just tell her you don’t want to discuss it any further.

You could also say, “As the mother, I am responsible before God for doing the right things spiritually for my own child. This, I believe, is one of them.”

Because of Original Sin. Because baptism is salvific: it saves us. (cf. 1 Pet. 3:18-21) Because it is entrance into the new covenant (as circumcision was the entrance into the old covenant).

I would suggest reading the 1980 instruction on infant baptism Pastoralis Actio. It’s not too long, and it explains why the Church baptizes infants and answers a few questions about the practice. If you read it, you’d probably be better equipped to explain the practice to your mother-in-law… maybe even suggest that she could read it.

I am sorry that I cannot give you counsel regarding the godparent issue.

These two tracts should help

catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp

catholic.com/library/Early_Teachings_of_Infant_Baptism.asp

The Church teaches that baptizing children is not pointless but necessary as stated above, all are born in the state of Original Sin. If we look at John 5:3 “Unless a man be born again of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” In Matt 19:14 , Jesus say’s “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me; for the kingdom of heaven is for such;…” Just as the old law required parents to present their children on the eighth day in the temple for circumcision, the “baptism” of the old testament. We are to present our children in the Church, for the baptism of the new testament. It is through baptism that we are brought into the universal society of the saints. Baptism and the remission of original sin is so important to eternal salvation that the Church clearly teaches that in necessity (danger of death) ANYONE can baptize. We believe Christ’s redemptive merits are not actually applied to a new-born child until, in baptism, he is incorporated with Christ. Being born without grace,separated from God and subject to the universal effects of the fall of Adam, they are born a member of the natural world only. That means that until their rebirth in baptism, the child is freely subjected to and influenced by satan! This is again the reason the Church say’s that children should be baptized as soon as possible, to protect them from yhe power of satan. It has been almost universally accepted that unbaptised children are deprived of the beatific vision of God, however we simply do not know the fate of children who die without Baptism.

What flavor of Protestant are the in-laws? Obviously not Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Methodist, but in any case, as far as addressing baptism, it’s helpful to know which group they belong to.

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