Do the Sacraments Need A “Digestive Juice”?

by Steve Ray on October 13, 2018

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At a recent conference, I mentioned that when we eat we need digestive juices in order to make our food do for our bodies what it was intended to do. I said sacraments are the same. The digestive juice of the sacraments is faith.

A listener honestly and respectfully questioned my comments. She asked her friend to contact me with the questions. Below is what she wrote:

I can’t go tonight or I would ask Steve this question myself but maybe if you get a chance, could you ask him to clarify something he said about Baptism. He talked about Baptism being somehow dependent on the faith of the one being baptized. Maybe I misunderstood him? I don’t think it’s proper to speak about Baptism in “receptionist” terms but maybe I’m missing something?

My response follows:

Dear Friend:

Baptism_photo_1First, I want to say that I did mean what I said in my talk about faith required for Baptism—and the other sacraments. The two go hand-in-hand and both are necessary. I have heard said that in baptism, if one does not have faith or believe—he just gets wet. For example, would an atheist who gets baptized for a joke, have the grace of salvation conferred?

Now, with infants, faith is still expressed through the intention of the parents. Even here it is not allowed, if I remember correctly, to baptize an infant against the will—thus the absence of faith and intention—of the parents.

For my whole response, click here.

 

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