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Church Fathers
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Born Again in Water and Spirit-St. Basil

Baptism:  To Be Born Again

in Water and the Spirit

St. Basil the Great

Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church


Saint Basil the Great, Early Church Father and Doctor of the ChurchThis excerpt on the sacrament of baptism from St. Basil the Greatís book On the Holy Spirit (Cap 15, 35-36: SC 17 bis, 364-370) describes how baptism fulfills what Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3 about being born again in water and the Spirit.  He also here outlines how baptism was celebrated and understood in the early Church.  The reading is used in the Roman Office of Readings for Monday of the fourth week of Easter with the accompanying biblical reading from Revelation 13:1-18.  St. Basil, who lived in the fourth century, was one of the greatest of the Early Church Fathers, revered by Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians alike.


Our Lord made a covenant with us through baptism in order to give us eternal life. There is in baptism an image both of death and of life, the water being the symbol of death, the Spirit giving the pledge of life. The association of water and the Spirit is explained by the twofold purpose for which baptism was instituted, namely, to destroy the sin in us so that it could never again give birth to death, and to enable us to live by the Spirit and so win the reward of holiness. The water into which the body enters as into a tomb symbolizes death; the Spirit instills into us his life-giving power, awakening our souls from the death of sin to the life that they had in the beginning. This then is what it means to be born again of water and the Spirit: we die in the water, and we come to life again through the Spirit.


To signify this death and to enlighten the baptized by transmitting to them knowledge of God, the great sacrament of baptism is administered by means of a triple immersion and the invocation of each of the three divine Persons. Whatever grace there is in the water comes not from its own nature but from the presence of the Spirit, since baptism is not a cleansing of the body, but a pledge made to God from a clear conscience.


As a preparation for our life after the resurrection, our Lord tells us in the gospel how we should live here and now. He teaches us to be peaceable, long-suffering, undefiled by desire for pleasure, and detached from worldly wealth. In this way we can achieve, by our own free choice, the kind of life that will be natural in the world to come.


Through the Holy Spirit we are restored to paradise, we ascend to the kingdom of heaven, and we are reinstated as adopted sons. Thanks to the Spirit we obtain the right to call God our Father, we become sharers in the grace of Christ, we are called children of light, and we share in everlasting glory. In a word, every blessing is showered upon us, both in this world and in the world to come. As we contemplate them even now, like a reflection in a mirror, it is as though we already possessed the good things our faith tells us that we shall one day enjoy. If this is the pledge, what will the perfection be? If these are the first fruits, what will the full harvest be?


This reading and other wonderful readings can be found in the Baptism Library and Holy Week Lenten Library.


Be sure to check out Buried with Christ in Baptism by St. Basil.


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The Early Church Fathers, Catholic Church, Fathers of the Church, Marcellino D'AmbrosioThe Early Church Fathers


A society characterized by the violence, loss of respect for life, exotic religious cults, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and even pedophilia. No, we're not talking about modern times -


The Early Church Fathers succeeded in bringing a Pagan society to Christ. If we pay attention to what they taught, we will succeed in doing the same for our own de-Christianized society!


Album 1: The Apostolic Fathers and Irenaeus

Album 2: The Apologists, Ambrose, and Augustine

Early Church Fathers 2 DVD Setó$49.95

Early Church Fathers 2 CD Setó$18.00 



 Sacrament of Confirmation sacrament of Champions, confirmation gift for RCIA & Catholic teens Sacrament of Champions CD on Sacrament of Confirmation
Why do we need the sacrament of confirmation? What is the purpose and meaning of this sacrament? These questions on confirmation and more are answered by this dynamic talk.


Exploring the Catholic Church:

An Introduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice


Exploring the Catholic Church, Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Catholic Church, Vatican IIby Catholic theologican Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

 Beginning with Marcellino's own story of finding new life and meaning in Christ within the Catholic Church, Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice covers the most prominent Catholic distinctives most commonly misunderstood by non-Catholics and Catholics alike.  In the pages of Exploring the Catholic Church, Dr. D'Ambrosio makes plain why Catholic teaching makes sense and why living as a Catholic is an exciting adventure.  The perfect gift for that person you've been wanting to talk to about your faith.  The perfect enrichment text for adult religious ed, RCIA, and confirmation class.

1 Exploring the Catholic Church - $9.99



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