Post Images

Choosing adult Christian baptism

Each Easter across the Catholic world many adults are baptised, confirmed and receive Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil ceremony. In a tradition that is ancient, this most holy night is the occasion for adults to be initiated into the Catholic faith.

They have completed a period of preparation known commonly as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This practice has origins back in the early centuries of Christianity, especially following the toleration of Christians under the Emperor Constantine.

In many places there are reports that the numbers of adult converts are increasing. It is reported that in France this year 5,463 adults were initiated into the Church at the Easter Vigil. This is a 21% increase from the year before. In 16 dioceses the number of converts to the faith doubled. Within this cohort a third of those baptised were between 18-25.

There is the view in our society held by many that Christianity is dying. These figures suggest it is too early to declare the death notice. Those who argue that Christianity has had its day claim that it is out of touch with modern life. They argue that its morality is actually opposed to human development and the advancement of human society as currently proposed by a secular mindset.

Clearly there are many adults who do not accept this idea. They are finding something in Christianity that is very significant for their lives. Those who consider that Christianity is a threat to human flourishing are, in a way, echoing the serpent in the Garden of Eden who whispered that God was not telling the truth about the way to be human.

Those adults who are baptised are convinced that the Christian faith is a path to human flourishing, not its diminution.

Society now promotes a new way of being human. It supports an understanding of gender disconnected to biological sex, which as a result has limitless possibilities. It encourages the pursuit of self-actualisation based on what we feel about ourselves. Such views deny the intention and wisdom of the Creator.

In the modern view, Christian morality must be replaced by current societal values which are subject to prevailing attitudes, and ebb and flow according to the issues of the moment. Many today with a secular mentality consider that they have a superior morality grounded in the promotion of values like equality and diversity. This is a morality totally devoid of a transcendent element. There is no reference to God and his plan for human life. Without this transcendent focus human morality easily becomes distorted. This is what we are now witnessing in our society.

There are many who are working seriously to hasten the cultural demise of Christianity. Wave after wave of legislation is restricting the freedom of Christians to hold to and live by what we believe to be true. There are now serious attacks on the rights of our schools to uphold Christian beliefs and tenets, especially in the area of the nature of human sexuality.

We can expect our institutions to come under increasing pressure to conform to the secular cultural agenda. Our right to religious freedom is being denied us. In a way we find ourselves in a situation very similar to that of the early Christians who for three centuries lived under the shadow of the pagan Roman Empire.

Constant and shrill criticism of traditional Christian beliefs can tempt us to begin to doubt our faith. We are labelled as bigots, narrow and reactionary. Cancel culture seeks to supress the expression of any alternate view. We are forced to remain silent so that we do not find ourselves subject to anger and harsh condemnation for what we believe and treasure.

Being a Christian today will mean that we have to contend with pressures to conform to the path that society is taking. We are now the odd ones out. This pressure will be hard to resist. For the sake of not making waves we will be urged to go along with things that we know are not right, and many will choose this path. We are finding that even within the Church community voices are urging us to follow what society dictates.

Thus, an adult who embraces the Catholic faith is not doing something that is socially acceptable. They are clearly following this path out of personal conviction.

Each adult embracing the faith has a personal journey to finding truth and meaning in the Catholic faith, joining millions who have found the faith to be a sound foundation for human life and offering the hope for eternal beatitude.

We, as Christians, stand with our victorious saviour in the triumph of his Resurrection and are prepared to endure what we must. We will not abandon the path that Christ has marked out for us, and that God, in his mercy, has revealed to us. We will be faithful. We will not live by lies. We will live in Christ, our risen Lord. We will live in the quiet assurance that the victory is already his.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *