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Baptism


Bap­tism (kresh­e­nie) in the Russ­ian lan­guage sounds like cross (krest). This is for­tu­nate con­so­nance, for al­ though the vis­i­ble action of bap­tism is sub­mer­sion, its essence is a co-cru­ci­fix­ion with Christ on the inner, spir­i­tu­al cross. The Apos­tle Paul says: our old man is cru­ci­fied with him in bap­tism (Rom. 6:6). This is not some sort of mechan­i­cal act, but a moral change, or a rev­o­lu­tion of thoughts, goals, desires, and sym­ pathies. Before, all of these were stained with self-plea­sure; now all are self­less­ly ded­i­cat­ed to God, in Christ Jesus, by the grace of the Holy Spir­it. [If you were bap­tized as an infant] you will say, “I didn’t under­ stand that when I was bap­tized.” Now you under­stand; set it in your con­science to car­ry out the mean­ing of bap­tism, for your bap­tism is in­ deli­ble. Even at the judge­ment its seal will be vis­i­ble either for you, or against you.

Saint Theo­phan the Recluse