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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

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