eternal life

DEAR FATHER | Church remains hopeful children who died before birth will have eternal life with God

First, let's review.

Baptism is the necessary sacrament for one to receive to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5). While ideally one would receive this sacrament, the Church has understood from her foundation two other ways to receive the graces of this sacrament.

The Baptism of Desire is received by someone preparing for baptism but dying before the sacrament is conferred, or by a person who never hears about Christ but lives a good life as their culture understands that to be. The Baptism of Blood is received by someone who is martyred for the faith, but isn't baptized.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Receiving Christ’s Body and Blood preserves us for eternal life

The poet John Ciardi once said, "I love to hang around words and listen to what they mean." Catholics might aptly paraphrase that by saying, "We Catholics love to hang around Christ's words as He reveals to us the meaning of the Holy Eucharist."

In the Gospel for the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus says, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day."

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