Take the Plunge: Living Baptism and Confirmation


Fr. Ernesto Balducci, who died 20 years ago, said that Christianity would have died if it had locked himself in, like a cult, because it is universal - declined today as globalization - its main feature. A view also shared by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe in his book, "Being a Christian in the twenty-first century". He wrote,

"If you want Christianity to continue to live and grow, you must avoid two temptations: the first is to withdraw into a ghetto, the 'other is to assimilate into society and be enslaved by a secularized culture. We must rather be with people, share their problems. Putting ourselves at the side of our contemporaries, listening to the gospel and the teachings of the Church. And only then can we discover together a word that must be shared. "

This is reechoed today in his latest publication titled, “Take the Plunge: Living Baptism and Confirmation”.  As Christians, to live our Baptism is to overcome at the same time the challenges of secularism than that of fundamentalism, both deleterious and what is worse, profoundly contrary to the gospel. Because "God is present in every human being, supports his existence, he lives his ability to love, whatever his beliefs, even if it does not have anyone."

The word "catholic" means universal, says Fr. Radcliffe, former Master General of the Order of Preachers (1992-2001) and one of the most widely read Christian authors in the world. In a pluralistic society such as our contemporary world,

"We need to improve our "products" to maintain our market share "and that means reaching to the very essence of Christianity freed from the burdens accumulated throughout history. Faith does not focus first on what they believe, as we consumers at the supermarket of religions where one chooses according to his needs and preferences. Faith is primarily our response to the extraordinary discovery of God's love for us". Thus, even eternal life is not the icing on the cake of our lives, but a free gift that surpasses by far all the credit that we have accumulated.

A language which in our context may be a little 'light-hearted. Fr Radcliffe is a theologian with a key title in the New Testament, but at the same time, he is known for his great communication skills which makes him understood in the small parishes was well as the most prestigious universities.

Using the same pattern of an earlier text in which he analyzed the Mass - "Why go to Church?" (Why go to church? St. Paul 2009), here he examines the various phases of the celebration of baptism to help understand the full significance for the whole Christian life. As well as being part of the Church, a community of those called to holiness in the same extreme, without any barrier; man / woman, religious / secular, rich / poor, because the love of God, he explains, is Trinitarian and then of perfect communion.

Thus, "we must accept to be brothers and sisters of Borgia as Pope John XXIII, of the worst Inquisitor as Thomas Aquinas”


MARIA TERESA Pontara Pederiva, Rome