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Author Topic: What does baptism do?  (Read 1368 times) Average Rating: 0
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LaoudenSwain
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« on: February 06, 2005, 07:15:01 PM »

Can someone describe what it was like for them at baptism? I just read in the Path to Salvation by St Theophan that "A man exits the font in no way the same state he entered it" (Not verbatim) and he goes on to use many analogies such as the difference between light and dark, day and night, etc., etc., to explain the change a person goes through at baptism.

Can anyone tell me about their experience??
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LaoudenSwain
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2005, 07:17:39 PM »

For the record, the reason I ask is that as a protestant I had the same passions and problems and wrecked state of existence for the entire 7 years of my journey with no relief, only a downward spiral.....if this Orthodox baptism is everythign this Saint and others are saying then I have something unbelieveable to look forward to and it would give me hope.

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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2005, 07:32:33 PM »

I was young when I was baptised, so I don't recall anything spectacular.  I hope those who were baptised as adults will chime in here. 

I think it is important to see such quotes as that of St. Theophan in the proper perspective.  Although there are some stories of miraculous changes occuring in the lives of believers after their baptisms, usually when one is baptised in the Orthodox Church, one may very well have the same passions and problems and other such things one had before the baptism.  In fact, the temptations may get worse.  This does not mean that nothing was changed.  On the contrary, a magnificent change has occurred, an unspeakable change.  God forgives all your sins, and infuses divine life into you.  He seals you with the Power from on high, and feeds you with the Body and Blood of Christ.  You die with Christ, and rise with Him, participating in the mystery of His death and resurrection in a unique way.  You become a child of God, incorporated into Christ's Body.  I can't even write it down, because it is beyond me.  It is literally like night and day, like death and life.  Just as the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, even if it looks like bread and wine, so a change has occurred in the man or woman who is baptised, even though they look the same as before, even though they still have the same sinful habits and tendencies.  This should not grieve us or scandalise us or make us think baptism is useless.  We are the better for it, for we are better equipped to fight.  You do have something to look forward to, you do have reason to hope, even if outwardly nothing seems to change.       
« Last Edit: February 06, 2005, 07:33:48 PM by Mor Ephrem » Logged

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icxn
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2005, 07:42:05 PM »

Hi LaoudenSwain,

You might want to check Pavlos' story here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,1157.msg14490.html

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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2005, 08:07:29 PM »

Pavlos experience is almost exactly as the experience I heard from someone who was baptized as an adult while in rural Ukraine. He was baptized in the local river and said he was in a daze the whole time.

Also I thought I'd relate an odd experience I had last Pascha when watching an adult baptism. I was a catechumen, had been made one on St.Gregory Palamas Sunday, and standing behind a few people in the overcrowded backroom of the mission. Right after the moment the three immersions and emersions took place it was like a light bulb flash everywhere at once. I really don't know how to descibe it any other way. I watched but couldn't see much over all the people crowded around the baptismal font in the small room but at that moment after the last emersion I had the sensation that a light bulb had gone out everywhere. I really can't explain why this happened to me. Some might argue I was just exhausted from the All Night Vigil, in which I actually had been up all night helping with the reading of the psalter at the church. But I disagree though I can't explain why I, a catechumen in the background experienced something.
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2005, 12:45:44 AM »

St Nikodemos the Hagiorite wrote in his A Handbook of Spiritual Counsels section "The Mind before and after Holy Baptism"
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Have you envisioned these matters witht your imagination? Notice now , as some have said, how this king, that is the mind, is simple, pure, integral, and rational light according to its nature, just as soon as it is poured into the body with its perfect organization. Before Holy Baptism, the mind, being covered by the darkness of original sin, does not seee clearly. Bur after Hoy Baptism, the mind becomes all light, reflecting the supernatural light of Divine Grace. As St.John Chrysostomos said, the mind shines brighter than the rays of the sun, as long as it remains baove the darkness of willful sinfulness. for this is how that good and eloquent tongue has interpreted that apostolic word: "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's Glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing Glory" (2 Cor. 3:18) Interpreting this passage, St.Chrysostom wrote:
Quote
What is the reflection of the Lord's Glory and the transformation into his likeness? This was more clearly indicated whenever He revealed the Grace of the miralcles. And yet this is no more difficult to seee now for one who has eyes of faith. For no sooner are we baptized than the soul shines brighter thatn the sun, being purified by the Holy Spirit. And not only do we seee the Glory of God but we also revieve from it a certain splendor just as a clear pieve of silver in the rays of the sunreflects those very rays it receives. But what a pity! It is only right ot sigh here bitterly! For this glory which is ineffable and awesome remains within us only one or two dyas. For we extinguish it, being led astray by the winter of worldly cares, the dense clouds of which block out its rays. For the cares pertaining to living are indeed a heavy winter and even more sullen than winter."
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www.hungersite.com  Ãƒâ€šÃ‚  www.freedonation.com you can donate up to 20 times at freedonation.  http://www.pomog.org/ has online 1851 Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton English translation of Septuagint.http://www.cnrs.ubc.ca/greekbible/ Original Koine Septuagint and New Testament.
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