The Spirit Gives Life

From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil the Great, bishop

The Spirit Gives Life

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, 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 firstfruits, what will the full harvest be?

The Full Story Is Not Being Told- A Thoughtful Discussion

The Church is about Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  The Church, being the Body of Christ, can expect to be on the Cross, century after century, in this world. Christ was sinless and “became sin” for us.  The Church, being the People of God, hangs on that Cross in Christ.  At the Last Supper there was Communion.  The Church hangs on that Cross mystically born in the heart of Christ. We are humiliated by our sins, the sin of people, and the sin of the world for which Christ is dying.

Resurrection comes after the suffering and the Passion. Our sinfulness is not the end.  It’s the reason Christ died and now lives in His People, including His pope and His clergy. We are still learning how to be Christlike.

The Anchoress posted “No one wants to see pope prostrate.” In light of the grandiloquence surrounding the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, getting the facts out is more important than ever to the Church, but with the wizardry of Presentism, the smoke and mirrors of time employed by The New York Times, distortions rule. Presentism, “a mode of historical analysis in which present-day ideas and perspectives are anachronistically introduced into depictions or interpretations of the Past, or as Webster states it “an attitude toward the past dominated by present-day attitudes and experiences,” is, itself, a distortion.  It is illogical and unreasonable. It is important to note that newspapers like the NY Times sell newspapers; sex and scandal sell.