Friday, September 19, 2008

Baptism's Indelible Mark

We profess that baptism permanently configures one to Christ and to His priesthood. CCC 1272:
Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.
The indelible seal is also spoken of with respect to confirmation, which is intrinsically linked to baptism, and Holy Orders, which configures one to the priesthood of Christ in a particular way. CCC 1121:
The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental character or "seal" by which the Christian shares in Christ's priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions. This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is indelible, it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated.
Does this indelible mark overrule the will or necessarily eliminate one's proclivity toward sin? No.

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