Inspired by last week's post, I would like to dedicate these next few excerpts to a topic that is near and dear to my heart, Our Church Family. Growing up in the South, there is a strong tradition amongst Catholic and protestant churches to call their local church a family, but how can we claim. such a statement? After all, many of us may not know where the other lives nor even each other's names. However, being a church family is more than the occasional potluck or bible study group, for our family is rooted in the vitae spiritualis ianua (the gateway to the spiritual life), our baptism. Our sharing in the baptismal life not only intimately transforms us into sons and daughters of God, but also permanently bounds us as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Baptism both saves one's soul and gives one his or her life's purpose, to "love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind ... and to love your neighbor as yourself" - Matthew 22: 37-39. Our bother, St. Thomas Aquinas, writes, "Baptism [is] conferred on a man, that being regenerated thereby, he may be incorporated in Christ, by becoming His member" - ST III, 68, 1. Therefore, may our baptismal love continue to transform each other's lives in making us one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church Family!
-Br. James Martin Nobles, 0.P