Thought for the Day – 12 April– The Sacrament of Baptism

Thought for the Day – 12 April– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Sacrament of Baptism

“Like the other Sacraments, Baptism is composed of a material and a spiritual element.
The sensible outward sign produces the grace, or spiritual element, which it signifies.
Since we are composed of body and soul, it is fitting that the Sacrament should also consist of this double element.
Baptism, for example, being a spiritual cleansing of the soul, is conferred by the pouring of natural water, accompanied by the sacramental words by Jesus Christ.

The Church adds its own ceremonial to the essential part of the Sacrament.
By means of the exorcisms, the devil is expelled and the tongue is consecrated with the salt of wisdom, to indicate, that it should be the instrument of goodness.
The body is sanctified by the oil and chrism, so that it may always be the living temple of the Holy Spirit.
The white garment, symbolises the innocence which we ought to preserve for the rest of our lives and the lighted candle, stands for the faith and charity, which ought always to inspire the soul.

All this is done for us before we are in a position to understand anything about it.
Nevertheless, we should reflect today on the meaning of these sacred ceremonies and on how they should affect our lives.
Can we claim to have kept our promises?
Or are we forced to admit that we have not always lived up to our obligations?
Let us renew our promises today and let us ask Jesus, for the grace, to be faithful to them all, until the end of our lives. Amen!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci




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