Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Original Sin, Catholic Baptism, Human Nature

Catholic Catechism Reflections (pgs. 113 – 116)
We simply can’t unwash a glass, unring a bell, or undo an act that’s already been done. No matter how much we’d like to believe that human nature wasn’t tainted by that first sin, we can’t. It’s a lie. We are no longer innocent, not because we’ve done anything wrong, but because human nature changed that day, giving way to temptation. Children born to sinful parents could no longer bask in the glory of God. They too became tainted by original sin.
Babies are not born sinful. They are merely a product of their parents, as we all are. They are touched by the weakness that all people must strive to overcome in their efforts to have an eternity with God. Spiritual battles must be fought on all fronts. From the moment we begin living until the day we die, our nature is subject to trials, temptations and injustice. We respond, sometimes for God and sometimes against Him.
Baptism cleanses little babies, giving them the grace to remove the circumstances of their birth, a state – not an act, of original sin. Salvation through the birth, death and resurrection of Christ atones for all sin. Catholic Catechism teaches the importance of being cleansed as infants to allow more of God’s grace to help us, as we deal with temptation throughout our lives. Grace like love multiplies, thereby making infant baptism extremely powerful.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit should never be underestimated. Children are exposed to so many things, and ensuring that they have as much grace as possible to deal with these things, is the least we can do in our efforts to raise them properly. These are gifts that make the battle to eternity a little bit easier on mankind. We are who we are, but we are never abandoned or alone in the midst of our humanness. Christ Himself came down to earth as a true God and true Man. He knows the state of human nature, and He helps us conquer it to be with Him forever in eternity.