The Holy Spirit renews us in baptism

The Holy Spirit renews us in baptism


On this day, two years ago, Sophia Therese was baptized and received new life in Christ.

The Holy Spirit renews us in baptism through his godhead, which he shares with the Father and the Son. Finding us in a state of deformity, the Spirit restores our original beauty and fills us with his grace, leaving no room for anything unworthy of our love. The Spirit frees us from sin and death, and changes us from the earthly men we were, men of dust and ashes, into spiritual men, sharers in the divine glory, sons and heirs of God the Father who bear a likeness to the Son and are his co-heirs and brothers, destined to reign with him and to share his glory. In place of earth the Spirit reopens heaven to us and gladly admits us into paradise, giving us even now greater honour than the angels, and by the holy waters of baptism extinguishing the unquenchable fires of hell.

  We men are conceived twice: to the human body we owe our first conception, to the divine Spirit, our second. John says: To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. These were born not by human generation, not by the desire of the flesh, not by the will of man, but of God. All who believed in Christ, he says, received power to become children of God, that is, of the Holy Spirit, and to gain kinship with God. To show that their parent was God the Holy Spirit, he adds these words of Christ: I give you this solemn warning, that without being born of water and the Spirit, no one can enter the kingdom of God.

  Visibly, through the ministry of priests, the font gives symbolic birth to our visible bodies. Invisibly, through the ministry of angels, the Spirit of God, whom even the mind�s eye cannot see, baptises into himself both our souls and bodies, giving them a new birth.

  Speaking quite literally, and also in harmony with the words of water and the Spirit, John the Baptist says of Christ: He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Since we are only vessels of clay, we must first be cleansed in water and then hardened by spiritual fire � for God is a consuming fire. We need the Holy Spirit to perfect and renew us, for spiritual fire can cleanse us, and spiritual water can recast us as in a furnace and make us into new men.

From the treatise On the Trinity by Didymus of Alexandria*

I will pour out water on the thirsty soil, streams on the dry ground, I will pour out my spirit on your descendants, and they shall grow like poplars by running streams, alleluia.

The water that I shall give will turn into a spring, welling up to eternal life, and they shall grow like poplars by running streams, alleluia.


*This is from yesterday’s Office of Readings. Perfectly timely.

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  • My God bless you abundantly for upholding a most precious tradition in such a dignified manner.

  • Thank you, Daniel. It’s a new-to-me tradition I’ve only read about and I feel like I’m muddling through and making it up on the fly. I fear with our wee ones dignity often is more an ideal that we fall short of; but we do try.

  • Happy Baptismal day Sophia Therese!  I also have Therese in my name.

    As you said Melanie, a great tradition which your children will most likely pass on to their children.

    Lovely pictures, especially the one of St Pio.

  • When we had more kids than beaters [4 kids in the family] my mom let #3 lick the spatula [and left a bit extra on it] and #4 got to lick the bowl.

  • Melanie, what a lovely tradition to begin.  Anne beat me to the solution.  Fortunately, all five of mine were never beater-lickers at the same time.  By the time my youngest was interested, the oldest was a teen and officially Didn’t Believe in Food.  At least not food with calories.

    Don’t give up on the homemade cakes, though.  I have made them all the way through five kids, and although they may take a little longer (not much, though!), they give more opportunities for the helpers to “help” and they taste a lot better.  For me, the key has been to get everything out and within reach at the beginning.  I even involved the helpers in that process as soon as they were old enough to tell the difference between sizes of measuring cups and spoons.  It’s great math learning.

  • scotch meg,

    I do try to bake homemade at other times. But I try to pick my battles and I was already a little over-ambitious in trying to squeeze in Mass and making a cake and, well, I’d planned to roast a turkey for dinner, too but that fell through because the turkey hadn’t defrosted all the way. The extra time to find a recipe, get out all the ingredients and put them away afterward, follow a recipe while shepherding my helpers…. I knew it would be too much. And it would have been because Ben woke up not long after the cake went into the oven and needed to nurse and then it was lunch time and then it was nap time and then it was time to prep dinner….

    I did think about baking the cake the day before. But my helpers would not have been able to wait that long to partake of the fruit of their labors. When we get to the stage where they really are helping more than hindering, then we’ll probably implement the fully homemade cake on birthdays and feast days. Until then, thank God for cake mixes.