This small book is about Holy Baptism, the Mystery of Man’s birth in Christ. Its aim is to make known the divine gifts that we received when we were baptised, so that subsequently we may participate in this holy Mystery with corresponding reverence and fear of God.
St John Chrysostom says that in Holy Baptism, “the magnitude of God’s gifts surpasses all expression and thought.” Everyone receives these divine gifts but unfortunately we go on to tarnish our radiant baptismal garment. If we understand the measure of these divine gifts, then we will be grateful to the Gift-giver and labour spiritually for the healing of our soul by means of repentance. Furthermore, those who are to serve as godparents will understand both the honour and responsibility which will accompany them throughout their lives.
Unfortunately, today the august Mysteries of man’s spiritual rebirth in Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, namely Holy Baptism and Chrismation, are usually treated as a social, obligation and an occasion for vain ostentation. The sacred space of the church is desecrated by being transformed into a video recording studio, while the decorations remind one more of a worldly place of entertainment than a place of divine worship. Anyone who compares the divinely inspired writings of the holy Fathers concerning the Mystery of Holy Baptism with today’s reality as it is observed in our holy churches is left confused. It is with sadness that one realises most of today’s Christians are essentially uncatechised.
Our fervent prayer, therefore, is that the gift and compassionate love of God offered in these sacred Mysteries should be perceived and understood, and that our participation in them be marked with both joy and godly fear. Rather than being the fulfilment of social obligation, may they become the starting point of spiritual struggle and the glorification of God who loves mankind. — Prologue
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