The long-standing tradition of baptizing infants suggests that the sacraments plunge our bodies into salvation, so the revelation of God's love in the sacraments addresses the whole person, not the mind alone. In this work, the contemporary Roman Catholic rite of baptism for infants becomes a case study, manifesting the connections between the human body, the ecclesial body, and the Body of Christ. The sacramental life, for children as for adults, is an ongoing journey deeper into the life of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
By examining the church's practice of infant baptism, Kimberly Hope Belcher asks how human beings participate in God's life through the sacraments. Christian sacraments are embodied, cultural rituals performed by and for human beings. At the same time, the sacraments are God's gifts of grace, by which human beings enter into God's own life. In this study, contemporary ritual studies, sacramental theology, and trinitarian theology are used to explore how participation in the sacraments can be an efficacious engagement in God's life of love.
Kimberly Hope Belcher is an assistant professor of theology at Saint John's University, where she teaches sacramental theology and ritual studies. She is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and writes for the liturgical blog PrayTell.