Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  223 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 223 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

Chapter 15. Baptism: Becoming a Christian • 195

(character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if

sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for

all Baptism cannot be repeated” (CCC, no. 1272). This spiritual mark is

also called a character, which St. Augustine likened to distinctive brand-

ings impressed upon soldiers and slaves during Roman times to signify

the commander or owner to whom they belonged. Baptism marks us

permanently as belonging to Christ, whose image we bear.


Reborn . . . [the baptized] . . . must participate in the

apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.

—CCC, no. 1270

“Baptism is the door to life and to the Kingdom of God. Christ offered

the first sacrament of the new law to all that they may have eternal

life. Baptism is, above all, the sacrament of that faith by which men

A number of non-Catholic Christians call themselves “born-again.”

Catholics, for the most part, do not use this term. A “born-again”

Christian is one who has experienced a particularly intense

moment of conversion that leads him or her to want to dedicate

his or her life to God. It is a one-time action that is not necessar-

ily tied to any type of baptismal rite. While we Catholics are born

again as children of God in the Sacrament of Baptism, our rebirth

happens in and through the grace of the Sacrament. Our rebirth

in Baptism is also not a one-time event but a lifelong process

through which we continually strive to die to sin and rise to new

life in Christ. Catholics are indeed born again.