I think Baptism is a pretty underrated sacrament. Perhaps it is because many “cradle” Catholics don’t have a memory of it since they were infants when they were baptized. Though the Eucharist is rightly considered the “sacraments of sacraments”, the Catechism emphasizes that Baptism is the most necessary of all sacraments, since it is the entrance to all other sacramental grace. “Baptism not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte “a new creature,” an adopted son of God, who has become a ‘partaker of the divine nature,’ member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism 1265). Incredible!
I was grateful to talk about this with Dcn. Larry Oney, who was baptized as an adult. In our discussion, Dcn. Larry emphasized that Baptism wasn’t just something in our past but something we need to “activate” in our lives today. We don’t first receive the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, but in our Baptism, and we need to claim those graces in our lives everyday. A very empowering conversation!
Dcn. Larry is a permanent deacon for the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans serving at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner, Louisiana. He lives in the New Orleans area with his wife Andi. Deacon Oney’s dynamic preaching style and message of hope has led to hundreds of speaking engagements across the globe; from Europe to Africa to Brazil to Canada and throughout the United States. Deacon Oney is the founder and president of Hope and Purpose Ministries. Find out more at http://hopeandpurpose.org