Baptism of Desire and Theological Principles by Fr. Cekada
(12-30-2011, 10:09 PM)Doce Me Wrote: Man frequently uses the words "unless" and "necessary"  allowing for a deliberately unspoken exception.  We say "water is necessary for tomatoes to grow", and it IS truly necessary, yet God may provide a miraculous exception.   A mother may say "Unless you get in the car in 1 minute no dessert for you", and she is not lying or forgetful or powerless,  yet if the child twists his ankle, she makes an exception, and not by rushing the child only  to make the 1 minute deadline.  How foolish would the mother be to add the words "but if you really are unable, I will make an exception"?  God allows men to "twist their ankle" on the way to obey a command, and does not count this a sin, but doesn't make such exceptions explicit!    It doesn't matter that God has absolute power and can foresee everything, He still allows such impossibility for man and can make an exception [i]without being explict - or saying "probably".  God is more merciful and wise than a mother.

God CAN
1) give Baptism via water, in the ordinary way
2) give Baptism via water, bringing a preacher and water by a miracle
3) give Baptism of Desire, by the desire and grace that ONLY HE can instill in a soul

If you disallow 3 you are binding Almighty God to water, and denying that all things are possible to Him.  (In my sample, a mother is not bound to drag her injured child to meet the deadline, for she set the deadline.  God is not bound to obey the command that He meant for US!)

Using the word "Unless" does not imply a truth binding the Trinity.  It implies a command that binds us in the eyes of God

Imagine a great king, making a proclamation "Unless a knight retrieves a diamond from our magical mines today, he shall not compete for the hand of my daughter". The solemnity of the words does not bind the king to make no exception if a knight is heroic but cannot meet the deadline - no matter what power the king may have to magically transport the knight.

Thank you Doce Me. On the face of it those analogies come very close to to explaining the allowablilty (if there be such a word) of BoD in certain circumstances and the first time I've heard it explained in this way.
The mother and child analogy works well in human terms where the mother of course does not have infinite power to prevent her child tripping up. This analogy IMO fails when we are talking of Divine power. He who established Baptism as a necessary means to salvation has also the power to bring His elect (all who so seek Him with a sincere heart) to the waters of Baptism.
The generally held view of the requirements for the reception of BoD are  a) Perfect contrition,  b) Perfect charity, and  c) A genuine desire to receive the sacrament -I say "generally held view" because there is also a view that implicit desire or invincible ignorance could also be acceptable dispositions (or rather non dispositions) for some who will also be included among those saved in this way (which brings us back to the problem of a working definition of BoD that all can at least be clear on).

Another place where I see the analogy failing when applying it to the Divine is in the theological principle that God will not refuse to provide all that is most efficacious to the soul of those who ask with the proper disposition. According to the requirements for one who merits salvation by the application of Bod, the proper disposition is already present, i.e, perfect contrition, perfect charity and sincere desire; the sincere desire no doubt being manifest in ardent prayer that one be delivered from an untimely death and be preserved to the reception of the sacrament.

I see similar problems with the king analogy when transferring it to the Divine but for brevity sake I won't comment for now but will move on to the three possibilities you list as follows.

God CAN
1) give Baptism via water, in the ordinary way
2) give Baptism via water, bringing a preacher and water by a miracle
3) give Baptism of Desire, by the desire and grace that ONLY HE can instill in a soul

Numbers 1 and 2 can be achieved without God moving outside His own infallible teaching on the necessity of water Baptism.
Number 3 requires of God to suspend (which He can) his own decree but which we know He won't for He is true to His own word, in order to bring about something which He can just as easily achieve within the confines of his own law without any contradiction.
The words God would not be contradicting are those upheld by Trent 6, Chap 4, " As it is written", Unless a man be born again of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God,"

One could argue that if the water is not necessary neither is the spirit. If what you say be true (that God did not wish the water to be taken as an absolute necessity) then the same can be said of the spirit. Can it not?










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Re: Baptism of Desire and Theological Principles by Fr. Cekada - by columb - 12-31-2011, 12:39 AM



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