The Sacrament of Baptism

Bill Nolan and I are in the middle of a three-week program at St. Thomas Apostle on the Sacraments of Initiation. Our subject this week was the sacrament of Baptism.

Bill provided some historical context for Baptism, focusing on Jewish roots, the early church, Augustine and original sun, the movement from adult to child baptism, and the eventual separation of the initiation sacraments into separate rituals.

I then spoke about the spiritual significance of baptism, focusing on the radical nature of our baptismal promises. I also noted the Vatican II emphasis on baptism as a sacramental bond of unity linking all who have been reborn in Christ and as that from which we “are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord himself.” (For that portion of the discussion, I shared some thoughts of Michael Himes on the meaning of our Baptismal promises.) We then moved to a discussion of the power of symbol and some initiation rites in other faith traditions.

In the discussion we had, we talked about Baptism not only as event, but as process, as we gain a deeper and deeper appreciation of the meaning of our baptismal promises as we grow in our faith.

You can access a recording of Bill and my talk here or stream it from the icon below. The podcast runs for 55:29.

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