Lesson 26 – Baptism


(The Twice Born)

Peace be to you..

Sacrament of Baptism:

In order to live a natural life we have to be born to it. In order to live a super natural or divine life we must be born to it and

that is the Sacrament of Baptism which is the subject of this lesson.


**      Baptism is the sacrament that incorporates us into the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, and is therefore called the door of the Church. **


There is just a faint parallel to be drawn between the Church and the nation – in this sense.

  • Most of us did not wait until we were 21, then study the constitution and the history of the United States and decide to become American citizens. We were born out of the womb of America. The country was first, we were born into it as citizens.
  • But in the strict sense, the Church itself is first, Christ’s Mystical Body. Baptism incorporates us into it. We are born out of the womb of the Church. As we explained before, we do not become members of the Church in somewhat the same way as a brick is added to brick in a house.  We become incorporated into the Church very much as cells expand from central cells.


How Baptism  incorporates us into the Mystical Body of Christ:

But you may ask, “What difference does the pouring of a little water make?

Well as regards to the water itself, it probably makes very little difference.  That is to say the water alone.

Take the water in the steam engine you might ask “What difference does a little water make?”  When you combine it with a mind and the spirit of an engineer, it can drive a steam engine from one end of the country to the other

  • and so too when water is united with the Spirit of God it is capable of making us something that we are not, namely partakers of His Divine Nature.

Remember the beautiful description of baptism?

It is given in the gospel of St. John.  I shall read the third chapter, verse 1 down to 7. (John 3:1-7)

There was a man called Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and one of the rulers of the Jews who came to see Jesus by night. “Master,” he said to him.  “We know that thou hast come from God to teach us.  No one, unless God were with him, could do the miracles which thou dost.”  Jesus answered him.  “Believe me when I tell you this.  A man cannot see the kingdom of God without being born anew.”


Nicodemus asked him “How is it possible that a man should be born when he is already old?  Can he enter into a womb a second time and so come to birth?”  Jesus answered “Believe me no man can enter the Kingdom of God unless birth comes to him from water and from the Holy SpiritWhat is born by natural birth is a thing of nature.  What is born by spiritual birth is a thing of the Spirit.” (1)  Jn 3:1-8


Second Birth:

Our Lord is here speaking of a second birth that is completed by two agencies: Water and the Holy Spirit.

  • Water of and by itself can exercise no spiritual influence but it is a material sign of what is done and communicated invisibly and spiritually in the soul thanks to the words of Baptism “I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Water was rather a good sign for the Sacrament of Baptism.
  1. First of all, it signifies a washing and baptism washes us from our sins.
  2. Furthermore, water is transparent to light, it signifies how light can be communicated, the light of faith into the soul.


The Greeks used to say that all life came from water.  Their biology might have been wrong but theologically, they were rather sound, for all Divine Life really does begin with water. 


Notice that our blessed Lord said to Nicodemus “…that unless he was born again of baptism in the Holy Spirit he could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  In other words, it was impossible.


We should not be surprised at this after all we cannot live a human life unless we are born of the flesh and we cannot live a divine life unless we are born of God.  Now we are capable of that.  We are, as some philosophers have said capax Dei   We are capable of God.


Nature is full of examples of such capacities.

  • All seeds are of this nature. They are dead until favorable circumstances of soil quicken them into life.
  • The egg of a bird has in it the capacity to become a bird like the parent but it remains a dead thing and will corrupt, if the parent forsakes it.
  • There are many of the summer insects which are twice born. First of their insect parents then of the sun. If the frost comes in place of the sun they die.

The caterpillar has already a life of its own with which, no doubt, it is well content, but enclosed in its nature is a creeping thing it has a capacity of becoming something higher and different.  It may become a moth or a butterfly but in most the capacity is never developed.  They die before they reach that end.  Circumstances do not favor their development.

  • These analogies show how common it is for capacities of life to lie dormant and how common a thing it is for a creature in one stage of its existence to have a capacity for passing into a higher stage. But note this:
  • A capacity which can be developed only by some agency outside of it and adapted to it.
  • It is in this condition man is born of human parents. He is born with a capacity for higher life than that which he lives as an animal in this world.  There is in him a capacity for becoming something different and higher.  That capacity lies dormant and dead until the Holy Spirit comes and quickens itThe influence has to come from without. 


There must be the efficient touch of the Holy Spirit.

  • The impartation of His Life. The capacity to be a child of God is man’s, but the development of this lies with God. We have to be quickened from without.  We cannot give physical birth to ourselves and we cannot give divine birth to ourselves. 


When the sacrament is received, what are some of the effects?

  • One of the principal effects is that it remits original sin, that is to say, that sin of nature which we have inherited from Adam. If we are adults who have never been baptized before, baptism remits not only original sin but all of our personal sins.
  • Imagine, therefore, a great sinner being baptized on his deathbed. Suppose he dies immediately after baptism he has no sins to go before the judgment seat of God and the reason is he has just been born.
  • We are not, however, to presume that God will give us this grace for our deathbed. Baptism, therefore, is something that makes us pass out of one land or one kingdom to another. It is like the passage of the Jews over the Dead Sea, from the slavery of Egypt to the land of freedom. (2) Ex 14:5-31

Baptism is a passage like that where we are transmuted from the kingdom of earth to the Kingdom of Heaven.


We belong to the race of the new Adam.


>>>We no longer belong to the race of Adam.<<< 

>>>We belong to the race of the new Adam. <<<

We pass from one master to another.  That is why in the ceremony of baptism the one that was baptized is asked “Does thou renounce Satan?”  Are you willing to pass from the over lordship of Satan to the over lordship of Christ?

  • We die, therefore, in baptism to our old nature; that is why in the early Church baptism was often given by immersion.


  • Paul tells us that, when we are baptized, we are buried with Christ. (3) Rm 6:4 It is like our old Adam being crucified. And then, when we are baptized, which corresponds to the resurrection, we receive the newness of the life of Christ.


Two humanities

There are, therefore, in the world really not a multiplicity of races and nations; there are two humanities:

*One is the humanity of Adam and

  • the other is the humanity of Christ.

*One if the unregenerate humanity and

  • the other is the reborn spiritualized humanity, those who are incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ.


There is no such thing as being baptized into a certain sect.

Something else to be noted about that baptism is this:  There is no such thing as being baptized into a certain sect.

For example, no one is baptized a holy roller.  No one is baptized into the four square gospel.  No one is baptized into the triangular Church.

St. Paul says, “For all you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (4) Ga 3:27

We are baptized into Christ’s Body which is the Church.

That is when there is only One Body.  That is why it is not necessary for us if we are absolutely certain of the baptism of anyone outside of the Church to rebaptize that person.  It makes no difference who baptized. It is only important that the one who baptized outside of the Church have the necessity or rather the intention of doing what the Church intends to do

But today we can not be sure that there are many who believe in the Divinity of Christ, original sin, and therefore when they baptize have the intention of doing what the Church intends.  I know of one who baptizes his catechumens with a water lily.  He stands them up before him and strikes each of them on the head with a lily and declares them baptized.  It is a water lily, I should say, but it is hardly a valid baptism.

***But the point to be noted is we are all baptized into the one Church, the One Body of Christ.  Whether we know it or not.***  


Here is a difficulty that is worth considering.

There are many that do not have an opportunity to be baptized.  How about them?


Three kinds of baptism

It must be noted that there are three kinds of baptism: in addition to the baptism of water there is also the baptism of desire and baptism of blood.


Baptism of Desire:

  • Now baptism of desire takes place when a person who has never received baptism, who loves God above all things, and desires to be ardently united with him, has sorrow for sins, and has resolved to be baptized as soon as he can if he knows anything about baptism.

There must indeed be many pagans and Buddhists and Confucianist and all peoples who have had a desire according to the light that they have received to be united with God and have followed His commandments would willingly accept anything that God revealed to them, they have baptism of desire and therefore they are incorporated in some way to the Mystical Body of Christ.


Baptism of Blood

  • In addition to that there is baptism of blood. Suppose you are receiving instructions in a land where there was persecution. The soldiers of a dictator came to you and asked you if you intended to join the Church.  You answered in the affirmative.  They would then sentence you to death.  Rather than deny the faith that you had and the hope that you might be baptized you submit to death.  That is what is known as baptism by blood because, here there is the supreme witness to Christ by blood as there is a supreme love of Christ, a supreme as there can be in the natural order on the part of those who have baptism of desire.

I was once instructing a person who came to the subject of baptism and she said, “I have never been baptized.  Suppose that I should die tonight, what would happen to me?”  “Well” I said, “you certainly desire do you not to receive baptism?”  She answered most ardently “I can hardly wait.”  She did die that night.  She had baptism of desire.


Another difficulty.

How about children who, through no fault of their own, die without baptism.  Are they punished and sent to hell?  No, no, no.

  • Un-baptized children are not sent to hell nor are they punished. Their capacity for the supernatural order was never actualized but they have all of the natural happiness that is possible for them, in that state we call Limbo.


Another affect of baptism is the infusion of certain virtues into the soul.

These virtues are seven.  Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude.

  • The first three Faith, Hope and Charity relate us directly to God so that we believe in Him, hope in Him and love
  • The other virtues are concerned with the means or the steps by which we come to God. Namely, we are prudent, for example, about the use of this world in order to attain the Kingdom of God and so on for the other virtues.

These virtues are infused into the soul.  Now, in order to understand a virtue, the best way to think of it probably is in terms of a habit.


There are two kinds of habits: acquired and infused.

  • An acquired habit is playing tennis or playing a violin.
  • An infused habit is swimming for a duck.

Now these virtues are infused into the soul.  It is very much as if we woke up some morning and discovered that we could play musical instruments which before we never touched.  Then we would have an infused habit or virtue in the natural order which was not our own.  When we’re baptized, the habit of faith is infused or the virtue of faith.

That, incidentally, is why, when children come to us in our parochial schools, small though they be, they are immediately receptive to all the teachings about God, our blessed Lord, and the Church.  They already have the faith.  We do not have to prove to them the existence of God.  We merely have to give reasons and give developments and explanations of the faith that is already in them.


A brief word now about, particularly, faith and hope and charity.

Faith is not a wish to believe or a will to believe something, something contrary to reason.  Faith is not living as if something were true.

  • Faith is the acceptance of a truth on the authority of God revealing as manifested in the Church and in scripture. God alone causes faith in the believer and faith is not the acceptance of abstract ideas.

It is so often said, “Oh by faith you have to accept the number of dogmas.”

NoFaith is participation in the life of God.  In faith, two persons meet, God, and ourselves.  Our affirmation of faith does not come because we see a truth very clearly but it comes from the vision of Him who reveals that Truth and we know that He cannot deceive nor be deceived.

  • Faith is not contrary to reason. Then you will ask, “How could you ever accept the faith, do you not have to abandon reason?”

No, faith perfects reasonFaith is to reason very much like the telescope is to the eye.

A telescope enables us to see new worlds and new stars that often by our own selves and unaided eyes we could not see.

  • And so, too, faith enables us to see truths which we could not see by our reason alone.


Human reason is stronger with faith than without it

Here is another fact.  Human reason is stronger with faith than without it.

Just as our senses are stronger with reason than without reason.  Take a drunkard, he has lost his power of reason.  Do his senses function well?  Does he see well?  Does he walk well?  Does he talk well?  Why do not his senses work well?  Because God intended that they should be perfected by reason; so too, reason is to be perfected by faith.

That too is often why a person who loses faith, will discover that his reason does not exercise itself as well as it did before.  It is very interesting to read the writings of those who once had faith and lost it.  Your mind is wandering and confused.


We have the same eyes at night as we have in the daytime, but we cannot see at night.  The reason is we lack the additional light of the sun.


And so, let two people look out on the Host: one sees bread and the other, with the eyes of faith, sees our Blessed Lord.  And because one has a light which the other has not.


Therefore we thank God for revealing to us this beautiful sacrament of baptism which gives us this light which makes us his children.


The ceremony of the sacraments are beautiful.

Assist sometime at a baptism and the priest will explain all of the ceremonies as they take place.  They are beautiful.  Like putting on the white robe.


 Dante spoke of it, saying that purgatory was a place where we go to wash our baptismal robes. 


Would to God that that robe of innocence that we receive in baptism we could always keep clean before God and men.


God love you.

1. In today’s lesson on – Baptism what stood out the most to you?


2. Why do you think Bishop Sheen gave the subtitle “The Twice Born” to this lesson?


3. How would you explain to someone seeking a deeper understanding of Baptism?


4. Now that you have learned more about – Baptism– what changes do you think this will have in your daily life?

14. “Those who belong to Christ through faith and BAPTISM must confess their baptismal faith before men.[Cf. Mt 10:32 ; Rom 10:9 .] First therefore the Catechism expounds revelation, by which God addresses and gives himself to man, and the faith by which man responds to God (Section One). The profession of faith summarizes the gifts that God gives man: as the Author of all that is good; as Redeemer; and as Sanctifier. It develops these in the three chapters on our baptismal faith in the one God: the almighty Father, the Creator; his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, in the Holy Church (Section Two). ”

117. “The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.
1. The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian BAPTISM.[Cf. 1 Cor 10:2 .]
2. The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written ‘for our instruction’.[1 Cor 10:11 ; cf. Heb 3:1 -4:11 .]
3. The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, ‘leading’). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.[Cf. Rev 21:1 – 22:5.]”

172. “Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Church has constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by one BAPTISM, and grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and Father.[Cf. Eph 4:4-6 .] St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared: ”

249. “From the beginning, the revealed truth of the Holy Trinity has been at the very root of the Church’s living faith, principally by means of BAPTISM. It finds its expression in the rule of baptismal faith, formulated in the preaching, catechesis and prayer of the Church. Such formulations are already found in the apostolic writings, such as this salutation taken up in the Eucharistic liturgy: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.'[2 Cor 13:14 ; cf. 1 Cor 12:4 – 6 ; Eph 4:4-6 .]”
265. “By the grace of BAPTISM ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’, we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light (cf. Paul VI, CPG # 9).”

536. “The BAPTISM of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God’s suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’.[Jn 1:29 ; cf. Is 53:12 .] Already he is anticipating the ‘BAPTISM’ of his bloody death.[Cf. Mk 10:38 ; Lk 12:50 .] Already he is coming to ‘fulfil all righteousness’, that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father’s will: out of love he consents to this BAPTISM of death for the remission of our sins.[Mt 3:15 ; cf. Mt 26:39 .] The Father’s voice responds to the Son’s acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son.[Cf. Lk 3:22 ; Is 42:1 .] The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to ‘rest on him’.[Jn 1:32-33 ; cf. Is 11:2 .] Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his BAPTISM ‘the heavens were opened'[Mt 3:16 .] – the heavens that Adam’s sin had closed – and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.”

537. “Through BAPTISM the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in his own BAPTISM anticipates his death and resurrection. The Christian must enter into this mystery of humble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father’s beloved son in the Son and ‘walk in newness of life’:[Rom 6:4 .] Let us be buried with Christ by BAPTISM to rise with him; let us go down with him to be raised with him; and let us rise with him to be glorified with him.[St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 40, 9: PG 36, 369.]
Everything that happened to Christ lets us know that, after the bath of water, the Holy Spirit swoops down upon us from high heaven and that, adopted by the Father’s voice, we become sons of God.[St. Hilary of Poitiers, In Matth. 2, 5: PL 9, 927.]”

694. “Water. The symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit’s action in BAPTISM, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of BAPTISM truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. As ‘by one Spirit we were all baptized,’ so we are also ‘made to drink of one Spirit.'[1 Cor 12:13 .] Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified[Jn 19:34 ; 1Jn 5:8 .] as its source and welling up in us to eternal life.[Cf. Jn 4:10-14 ; Jn 738 ; Ex 17:1-6 ; Isa 55:1 ; Zech 14:8 ; 1 Cor 10:4 ; Rev 21:6; Rev 22:17.]”

698. “The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. ‘The Father has set his seal’ on Christ and also seals us in him.[Jn 6:27 ; cf. 2 Cor 1:22 ; Eph 1:13 ; Eph 4:30 .] Because this seal indicates the indelible effect of the anointing with the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of BAPTISM, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, the image of the seal (sphragis) has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible ‘character’ imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments.”

701. “The dove. At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to BAPTISM, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable.[Cf. Gen 8:8-12 .] When Christ comes up from the water of his BAPTISM, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him.[Cf. Mt 3:16 and parallels .] The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized. In certain churches, the Eucharist is reserved in a metal receptacle in the form of a dove (columbarium) suspended above the altar. Christian iconography traditionally uses a dove to suggest the Spirit. ”

720. “Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of ‘the divine likeness,’ prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s BAPTISM was for repentance; BAPTISM in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.[Cf Jn 3:5 .]”

782. “The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:
– It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.'[1 Pet 2:9 .]
– One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being ‘born anew,’ a birth ‘of water and the Spirit,'[Jn 3:3-5 .] that is, by faith in Christ, and BAPTISM.
– This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is ‘the messianic people.’
– ‘The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.’
– ‘Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.'[Cf. Jn 13 34 .] This is the ‘new’ law of the Holy Spirit.[Rom 8:2 ; Gal 5:25 .]
– Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world.[Cf. Mt 5:13-16 .] This people is ‘a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.’
-Its destiny, finally, ‘is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time.'[LG 9 # 2.]”

804. “One enters into the People of God by faith and BAPTISM. ‘All men are called to belong to the new People of God’ (LG 13), so that, in Christ, ‘men may form one family and one People of God’ [AG 1.].”

818. “‘However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities (that resulted from such separation) and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers …. All who have been justified by faith in BAPTISM are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.'[UR 3 # 1.]”

804. “One enters into the People of God by faith and BAPTISM. ‘All men are called to belong to the new People of God’ (LG 13), so that, in Christ, ‘men may form one family and one People of God’ [AG 1.].”

818. “‘However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities (that resulted from such separation) and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers …. All who have been justified by faith in BAPTISM are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.'[UR 3 # 1.]”

977. “Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and BAPTISM: ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved.'[Mk 16:15-16 .] BAPTISM is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that ‘we too might walk in newness of life.'[Rom 6:4 ; Cf. Rom 4:25 .]”

978. “‘When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy BAPTISM that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them…. Yet the grace of BAPTISM delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil ‘[Roman Catechism I, 11,3.]”

985. “BAPTISM is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. ”

1003. “United with Christ by BAPTISM, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ, but this life remains ‘hidden with Christ in God.'[Col 3:3 ; cf. Phil 3:20 .] The Father has already ‘raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.'[Eph 2:6 .] Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we ‘also will appear with him in glory.'[Col 3:4 .]”

1213. “Holy BAPTISM is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),[Cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314: vitae spiritualis ianua.] and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through BAPTISM we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘BAPTISM is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.'[Roman Catechism II, 2, 5; Cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314; CIC, cann.]”

1214. “This sacrament is called BAPTISM, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to ‘plunge’ or ‘immerse’; the ‘plunge’ into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as ‘a new creature.'[2 Cor 5:17 ; Gal 6:15 ; Cf. Rom 6:34 ; Col 2:12 .]”

1216. “‘This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this (catechetical) instruction are enlightened in their understanding
. . . .'[St. Justin, Apol. 1, 61, 12: PG 6, 421.] Having received in BAPTISM the Word, ‘the true light that enlightens every man,’ the person baptized has been ‘enlightened,’ he becomes a ‘son of light,’ indeed, he becomes ‘light’ himself:[Jn 1:9 ; 1 Thess 5:5; Heb 10:32 ; Eph 5:8 .]
BAPTISM is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift….We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; BAPTISM because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.[St. Gregory Of Nazianzus, Oratio 40, 3-4: PG 36, 361C.]”

1217. “In the liturgy of the Easter Vigil, during the blessing of the baptismal water, the Church solemnly commemorates the great events in salvation history that already prefigured the mystery of BAPTISM:
Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power.
In BAPTISM we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you give us in this sacrament.[Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water.] ”

1219. “The Church has seen in Noah’s ark a prefiguring of salvation by BAPTISM, for by it ‘a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water’:[1 Pet 3:20 .]
The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of BAPTISM, that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness.[Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water.]”
1220. “If water springing up from the earth symbolizes life, the water of the sea is a symbol of death and so can represent the mystery of the cross. By this symbolism BAPTISM signifies communion with Christ’s death. ”

1221. “But above all, the crossing of the Red Sea, literally the liberation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, announces the liberation wrought by BAPTISM:
You freed the children of Abraham from the slavery of Pharaoh, bringing them dry-shod through the waters of the Red Sea, to be an image of the people set free in BAPTISM.[Roman Missal, Easter Vigil 42: Blessing of Water: ‘Abrahae filios per mare Rubrum sicco vestigio transire fecisti, ut plebs, a Pharaonis servitute liberata, populum baptizatorum praefiguraret.’]”

1222. “Finally, BAPTISM is prefigured in the crossing of the Jordan River by which the People of God received the gift of the land promised to Abraham’s descendants, an image of eternal life. The promise of this blessed inheritance is fulfilled in the New Covenant. ”

1224. “Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to the BAPTISM of St. John, intended for sinners, in order to ‘fulfill all righteousness.'[Mt 3:15 .] Jesus’ gesture is a manifestation of his self-emptying.[Cf. Phil 2:7 .] The Spirit who had hovered over the waters of the first creation descended then on the Christ as a prelude of the new creation, and the Father revealed Jesus as his ‘beloved Son.'[Mt 3:16-17 .]”

1225. “In his Passover Christ opened to all men the fountain of BAPTISM. He had already spoken of his Passion, which he was about to suffer in Jerusalem, as a ‘BAPTISM’ with which he had to be baptized.[Mk 10:38 ; cf. Lk 12:50 .] The blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus are types of BAPTISM and the Eucharist, the sacraments of new life.[Cf. Jn 19:34 ; 1Jn 5:6-8 .] From then on, it is possible ‘to be born of water and the Spirit'[Cf. Jn 3:5 .] in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
See where you are baptized, see where BAPTISM comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from his death. There is the whole mystery: he died for you. In him you are redeemed, in him you are saved.[St. Ambrose, De sacr. 2, 2, 6: PL 16, 444; Cf. Jn 3:5 .]”

1227. “According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through BAPTISM into communion with Christ’s death, is buried with him, and rises with him:
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by BAPTISM into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.[Rom 6:3-4 ; cf. Col 2:12 .]
The baptized have ‘put on Christ.'[Gal 3:27 .] Through the Holy Spirit, BAPTISM is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.[CE 1 Cor 6:11 ; 1 Cor 12:13 .]”

1228. “Hence BAPTISM is a bath of water in which the ‘imperishable seed’ of the Word of God produces its life-giving effect.[1 Pet 1:23 ; cf. Eph 5:26 .] St. Augustine says of BAPTISM: ‘The word is brought to the material element, and it becomes a sacrament.'[St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 80, 3: PL 35, 1840.]”

1231. “Where infant BAPTISM has become the form in which this sacrament is usually celebrated, it has become a single act encapsulating the preparatory stages of Christian initiation in a very abridged way. By its very nature infant BAPTISM requires a post-baptismal catechumenate. Not only is there a need for instruction after BAPTISM, but also for the necessary flowering of baptismal grace in personal growth. The catechism has its proper place here. ”

1258. “The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received BAPTISM are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This BAPTISM of blood, like the desire for BAPTISM, brings about the fruits of BAPTISM without being a sacrament. ”

1259. “For catechumens who die before their BAPTISM, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament. ”

1260. “‘Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery.'[GS 22 # 5; cf. LG 16; AG 7.] Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired BAPTISM explicitly if they had known its necessity.”

1261. “As regards children who have died without BAPTISM, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,'[Mk 10 14 ; cf. 1 Tim 2:4 .] allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without BAPTISM. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy BAPTISM.”

1268. “The baptized have become ‘living stones’ to be ‘built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.'[1 Pet 2:5 .] By BAPTISM they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that (they) may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called (them) out of darkness into his marvelous light.'[1 Pet 2:9 .] BAPTISM gives a share in the common priesthood of all believers.”

1269. “Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us.[Cf. 1 Cor 6:19 ; 2 Cor 5:15 .] From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to ‘obey and submit’ to the Church’s leaders,[Heb 13:17 .] holding them in respect and affection.[Cf. Eph 5:21 ; 1 Cor 16:15-16 ; 1 Thess 5:12-13; Jn 13:12-15 .] Just as BAPTISM is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.[Cf. LG 37; CIC, cann. 208 223; CCEO, can. 675:2.]”

1271. “BAPTISM constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: ‘For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in BAPTISM, (they) are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.'[UR 3.] ‘BAPTISM therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all who through it are reborn.'[UR 22 # 2.]”

1272. “Incorporated into Christ by BAPTISM, the person baptized is configured to Christ. BAPTISM seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents BAPTISM from bearing the fruits of salvation.[Cf. Rom 8:29; Council of Trent (1547): DS 1609-1619.] Given once for all, BAPTISM cannot be repeated. ”

2520. “BAPTISM confers on its recipient the grace of purification from all sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires. With God’s grace he will prevail
– by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with upright and undivided heart;
– by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man: with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to fulfill God’s will in everything;[Cf. Rom 12:2 ; Col 1:10 .]
– by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings and imagination; by refusing all complicity in impure thoughts that incline us to turn aside from the path of God’s commandments: ‘Appearance arouses yearning in fools’;[Wis 15:5 .]
– by prayer:
I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you.[St. Augustine, Conf. 6, 11, 20: PL 32, 729-730.]”

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