I firmly believe that if we developed a deeper baptismal spirituality and outlook in the Catholic Church, we (and our world) could be transformed more and more. When we are tempted to bully or call out some derogatory insult, we need the strength to pause and ask ourselves, "Is this something that the baptized would do?"
Several months ago, something that a friend of mine wrote for one of our books here at WLP, started to really make me think about my own baptism. Rev. Paul Turner, in his book Celebrating Initiation: A Guide for Priests was writing about the scrutinies (those penitential rituals celebrated during Lent for the unbaptized who are preparing for baptism—each scrutiny includes a prayer of exorcism). This is what Paul has to say:
"Underlying the exorcism is the assumption that baptism makes a difference in someone's moral culpability. After you are baptized, you are a member of the body of Christ. You have the gift of God's grace every day of your life. The Holy Spirit will help you make good decisions, based on the Christian life you share. If you sin, it's your own fault. You did not take advantage of the spiritual help that has been with you all along. Life is different for the unbaptized. They have not enjoyed the benefits of sanctifying grace as you have."
When I first read this, my eyes were opened. I am not saying that each of us who is baptized carries around some kind of magical bag of tricks with us. What we do carry within us is God's sanctifying grace every day of our lives. The development of a baptismal spirituality helps us remember the power and potential given to each of us in that first sacrament. This is good stuff, folks. I hope as the Easter Season continues to unfold that you'll say a prayer of thanksgiving for those who who loved you so much that they brought you to the font of baptism. On that day, your life changed forever. From that moment on, you would never be the same again. Here is a snippet from Paul Tate and Paul Berrell's piece Make Us One In Your Love. Enjoy.