192 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated
this the Church confidently hopes for the salvation of children who die
Baptism of Blood, Baptism of Desire
Often the question is raised about those who die without Baptism. The
offers this principle: “God has bound salvation to the sacra-
ment of baptism, but he himself is not bound by the sacraments” (CCC,
no. 1257). The Church holds that those who suffer and die for their faith
in Christ before they could be baptized are saved by Baptism of Blood.
Candidates for Baptism who die before they receive the Sacrament
but have repented their sins and have embraced Christ’s love are saved
by what is called Baptism of Desire. What about those people who have
never had the Gospel presented to them, who do not know Jesus or the
Church, yet seek the truth and try to do God’s will as they understand
it? “It is may be supposed that such persons would have desired baptism
explicitly had they known its necessity” (CCC, no. 1260).
EFFECTS OF BAPTISM
By Baptism all sins are forgiven, Original Sin and all personal sins, and
temporal punishment due to sin is removed. After one has been reborn
in Christ, there is nothing to prevent one’s entry into God’s Kingdom.
However, though all sins are removed, there remains, as an effect
of Original Sin, the inclination to sin that is called
inclination to sin shows itself in what is sometimes referred to as a dark-
ening of the mind and a weakening of the will, that is, the inability to
know clearly the right or wrong of an action and/or the lack of strength
to resist temptation and always to do the right thing no matter how hard
this is. The effects of Original Sin need not harm us so long as we seek
strength to resist them through the Sacrament of Penance, the Sacrament
of the Eucharist, prayer, a deepening spirituality, growth in virtue, and a
wholehearted dependence on God.