Monday, November 20, 2006

Catholic, XX

We are baptized into Christ, into one body (Gal 3.27; 1 Cor 12.13).

It is in receiving this sacrament, because of our belief, that we are saved (Acts 2.38; Col 2.12; 1 Pe 3.21). In it, our sins are washed away (Acts 22.16).

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 (A.D. c 325-389), Oratio

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