Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Are Catholics “Born Again?”
Catholic Sensibility ^ | March 13, 2010

Posted on 03/13/2010 1:24:38 PM PST by NYer

Our parish has a Q&A feature in which staff members tackle the queries left in a comment box or e-mailed to the parish. I volunteered to reply to the question titled above:

The root of this principle is in John 3:3-5, and it reads:

Jesus said to (Nicodemus), “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”

Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”

Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.

Scripture scholars note that the Greek word ἄνωθεν (anothen) means both “from above” and “again.” Jesus seems to be referring to the first meaning, and Nicodemus seems to misinterpret the Lord, taking the second meaning.

Misunderstandings aside, the notion of being reborn in baptism, in “water and Spirit,” tells of the great significance of the sacrament, and of the commitment to the Christian life it implies. Jesus certainly preaches that those who wish to see and participate in the kingdom of God will experience such a momentous change in their lives, that the notion of a second birth is not an exaggeration.

Many Christians speak of being “born again,” as a graced event in which people, usually adults, experience the Lord in such a significant way that it’s like a whole new life for them. And ideally, this is what all Christians should experience when they commit themselves to Jesus Christ. The question might be raised: does it happen only once? Or is it possible, through a continuing conversion, to go progressively deeper into a Christian commitment to God? The witness of the saints might suggest that this continuing experience is the mark of a godly life.

In baptism, and even as infants, Catholics are “born again,” in the sense Jesus means: “being born of water and Spirit.” It’s no accident that the baptismal font at our parish was designed to suggest a tomb, and that in baptism we participate in death and rebirth, as Saint Paul describes, “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

As a child grows, an openness to God’s grace is necessary. The same is true for adults. Baptism is not a magical event, and neither is the evangelical or charismatic experience of being “born again.” Each of these experiences is an opportunity for God’s grace to work in us. But we always have the freedom to choose: we can close ourselves off from divine grace, or we can cooperate with God’s will and live out a Christian life after being “born from above.”

Image Credit: painter Edward Tanner (1899), Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Theology
KEYWORDS: bornagain; catholic; salvation
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 221-240241-260261-280281-291 last
To: raybbr

**I have always had a negative reaction to the phrase “born again”. It suggests having been “born” once and then “born again” into a new religion.**

Then your issue is with jesus. He said it.

281 posted on 07/13/2010 2:30:40 AM PDT by Gamecock ("God leads us to eternal life not by our merits but according to his mercy." - Augustine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: AGreatPer; wagglebee
Born Again - a method for churches, ministers, etc. to make more money.

The concept of "born again" is not a man-made creation. Jesus is credited with those words in the bible.

Therefore, it is valid, and it should be respected by true followers of Jesus. That doesn't mean it isn't abused by some, but we don't jettison truth just because someone distorts it.

It is not about denomination. It's about Jesus' words.

Since Jesus said, "You must be born again.", then we must take it seriously.

282 posted on 07/13/2010 3:06:43 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it. Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 277 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Then your issue is with jesus. He said it.

Not in the context of the people who claim to be "born again".

283 posted on 07/13/2010 3:59:41 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 281 | View Replies]

To: GGpaX4DumpedTea
I LOVE how you ignore what Jesus's words were.

I'm not asking you to turn Catholic, I'm just asking you to believe what Jesus HIMSELF said about Peter.

284 posted on 07/13/2010 4:26:40 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 276 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

I have Jesus in my heart, I take a bite out of him every week.

Frankly I think these threads do more to tear apart Freepers than bind them together. It is almost as if we play into the hands of those revolutionaries who have changed America since 1930.

It is up to God to answer the question of who gets into heaven. It is up to us to live our lives to glorify Him.

285 posted on 07/13/2010 5:12:44 AM PDT by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 256 | View Replies]

To: narses

Baptism and Confirmation are sufficient
(i.e., to be born “from above” according to the metaphor on St. John). All of the grace needed is there. How the person acts upon the grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit will vary from person to person as they mature. Since not everyone has mystical experiences or private revelations there is no requirement of that. A baptized infant goes to God in Heaven
regardless of any additional “born again” experience. To deny that would be heresy.

286 posted on 07/13/2010 5:47:15 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 278 | View Replies]

To: A CA Guy
We are all born again in Baptism.

1 Cor 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

287 posted on 07/13/2010 6:01:17 AM PDT by bkaycee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 265 | View Replies]

To: Ann Archy

“...You are Peter (rock)...”

If you look carefully at the name ‘Peter’ you will find that it means “pebble, or small stone”. Not a foundational “Rock”. We are told in Scripture that Jesus is the Rock, and the cornerstone. Jesus, Yashua, Son of God is the foundation for all that God is doing on earth, and with his creation, including men, including what we call the church.

Does God lie?

288 posted on 07/13/2010 7:04:29 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 284 | View Replies]

To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

See you in heaven, I hope.

289 posted on 07/13/2010 7:10:21 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 288 | View Replies]

To: Ann Archy

Where is heaven? If being in heaven means being with my Lord and my Savior, then yes, I will be in heaven. I KNOW that I will be with Him, whereever he is. I have that ‘hope’ is guarenteed, by Him. He is with me now, in my heart.

I hope you know with the same hope that I have.

Again, blessings. May the Peace of the Lord always be with you.

290 posted on 07/13/2010 8:29:57 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 289 | View Replies]

To: NYer; x_plus_one; Patton@Bastogne; Oldeconomybuyer; RightField; aposiopetic; rbmillerjr; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

291 posted on 09/07/2014 5:17:05 PM PDT by narses ( For the Son of man shall come ... and then will he render to every man according to his works.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 221-240241-260261-280281-291 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson