The Sacraments p. 2

Our Baptism is much like the grand “moments of grace” experienced by our Israelite ancestors, whether passing through the Red Sea or crossing the Jordan. Christian Baptism takes its cue from those experiences. How, then, can we remind ourselves of, appreciate, and live our Baptism more fully each day?

First and foremost, renew your Baptismal Promises each day. A formula like the one below would be a good start.

Second, it is imperative to establish and maintain a prayer life. Prayer is our communication with God. Some struggle to pray and tend to think that we need elaborate words or requests, but that is not the case. Prayer can be reflecting on a passage of Scripture, the Rosary, or sitting in a quiet space reflecting on God. Whatever you choose is up to you, but try to have a dedicated space and set aside time every day. Make it part of your routine. There is really no better way to start the day than by talking with our Creator.

Third, make it a habit to read Scripture. The Bible is the Word of God and is given to us for instruction, guidance, consolation, and wisdom. Have you ever seen the somewhat humorous suggestion that BIBLE stand for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth? Within its pages you will learn about some of the great men and women who preceded us and how we can learn from them. You will learn more about the life of Christ, and how to live the Christian life. Making time each day to be close to God’s Word is a discipline that can’t but help you draw closer to the Lord.

Finally, find a way to get involved in the parish. You have a skill and gift that will benefit the parish community. Often times people are hesitant because they think that ‘what they are good at’ is insignificant. No way! Even amid the limitations we are facing now, present opportunities still abound and they include gardening around the parish grounds, making masks, calling or otherwise reaching out to Seniors in the parish, praying, and helping others ministering at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry. Do not forget that we are a family, and each member of the family has a part to play in its success and its unity.

So, is it true that we are trying to make our way these days without the Sacraments of the Church? Of course not! Living our Baptism is a first and crucially important way we can continue to rely on the grace that is already ours, given to us by God. Pray that that grace will be renewed in you every time you bless yourself, with holy water or not, whether at home or (sometime in the future) in the church. Bless yourself and your family members and pray that God will renew the grace already given you. To do so will help you live out your Baptism as God’s children and be the presence of God to others. (Next in this series: How to “live out” Confirmation.)

A Daily Renewal of Baptismal Promises

O God, you made me and you give me life every day.

I believe in you, I turn to you, and I place my life

and the graces I need each day in your loving hands.

Jesus, my Lord and Savior, my life is in your care

and I trust in your promises, all of them.

Thank you for immersing me in your own life, death, and resurrection.

Holy Spirit of God, Jesus promised not to leave us orphans.

I desire to be enkindled with the fire of your love

because I want to be renewed in courage.

I believe in and renew my commitment to your work among us.

I want to contribute to the unity that you desire for us.

I hope to be merciful, for I have been shown mercy.

And I pledge to live my life each day on this earth

full of faith in the life Jesus gained for me.

May my life of faith, which began in the waters of Baptism,

bear much fruit this day, in order to give you glory and honor.

You who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

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