Baptism of Desire and Theological Principles by Fr. Cekada
#67
and the last two articles of Question 66, you should really read the whole thing:

St. Thomas Wrote:Article 11. Whether three kinds of Baptism are fittingly described--viz. Baptism of Water, of Blood, and of the Spirit?

Objection 1. It seems that the three kinds of Baptism are not fittingly described as Baptism of Water, of Blood, and of the Spirit, i.e. of the Holy Ghost. Because the Apostle says (Ephesians 4:5): "One Faith, one Baptism." Now there is but one Faith. Therefore there should not be three Baptisms.

Objection 2. Further, Baptism is a sacrament, as we have made clear above (Question 65, Article 1). Now none but Baptism of Water is a sacrament. Therefore we should not reckon two other Baptisms.

Objection 3. Further, Damascene (De Fide Orth. iv) distinguishes several other kinds of Baptism. Therefore we should admit more than three Baptisms.

On the contrary, on Hebrews 6:2, "Of the doctrine of Baptisms," the gloss says: "He uses the plural, because there is Baptism of Water, of Repentance, and of Blood."

I answer that, As stated above (Question 62, Article 5), Baptism of Water has its efficacy from Christ's Passion, to which a man is conformed by Baptism, and also from the Holy Ghost, as first cause. Now although the effect depends on the first cause, the cause far surpasses the effect, nor does it depend on it. Consequently, a man may, without Baptism of Water, receive the sacramental effect from Christ's Passion, in so far as he is conformed to Christ by suffering for Him. Hence it is written (Apocalypse 7:14): "These are they who are come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb." In like manner a man receives the effect of Baptism by the power of the Holy Ghost, not only without Baptism of Water, but also without Baptism of Blood: forasmuch as his heart is moved by the Holy Ghost to believe in and love God and to repent of his sins: wherefore this is also called Baptism of Repentance. Of this it is written (Isaiah 4:4): "If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." Thus, therefore, each of these other Baptisms is called Baptism, forasmuch as it takes the place of Baptism. Wherefore Augustine says (De Unico Baptismo Parvulorum iv): "The Blessed Cyprian argues with considerable reason from the thief to whom, though not baptized, it was said: 'Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise' that suffering can take the place of Baptism. Having weighed this in my mind again and again, I perceive that not only can suffering for the name of Christ supply for what was lacking in Baptism, but even faith and conversion of heart, if perchance on account of the stress of the times the celebration of the mystery of Baptism is not practicable."

Reply to Objection 1. The other two Baptisms are included in the Baptism of Water, which derives its efficacy, both from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost. Consequently for this reason the unity of Baptism is not destroyed.

Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (Question 60, Article 1), a sacrament is a kind of sign. The other two, however, are like the Baptism of Water, not, indeed, in the nature of sign, but in the baptismal effect. Consequently they are not sacraments.

Reply to Objection 3. Damascene enumerates certain figurative Baptisms. For instance, "the Deluge" was a figure of our Baptism, in respect of the salvation of the faithful in the Church; since then "a few . . . souls were saved in the ark [Vulgate: 'by water'," according to 1 Peter 3:20. He also mentions "the crossing of the Red Sea": which was a figure of our Baptism, in respect of our delivery from the bondage of sin; hence the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 10:2) that "all . . . were baptized in the cloud and in the sea." And again he mentions "the various washings which were customary under the Old Law," which were figures of our Baptism, as to the cleansing from sins: also "the Baptism of John," which prepared the way for our Baptism.
Article 12. Whether the Baptism of Blood is the most excellent of these?

Objection 1. It seems that the Baptism of Blood is not the most excellent of these three. For the Baptism of Water impresses a character; which the Baptism of Blood cannot do. Therefore the Baptism of Blood is not more excellent than the Baptism of Water.

Objection 2. Further, the Baptism of Blood is of no avail without the Baptism of the Spirit, which is by charity; for it is written (1 Corinthians 13:3): "If I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." But the Baptism of the Spirit avails without the Baptism of Blood; for not only the martyrs are saved. Therefore the Baptism of Blood is not the most excellent.

Objection 3. Further, just as the Baptism of Water derives its efficacy from Christ's Passion, to which, as stated above (Article 11), the Baptism of Blood corresponds, so Christ's Passion derives its efficacy from the Holy Ghost, according to Hebrews 9:14: "The Blood of Christ, Who by the Holy Ghost offered Himself unspotted unto God, shall cleanse our conscience from dead works," etc. Therefore the Baptism of the Spirit is more excellent than the Baptism of Blood. Therefore the Baptism of Blood is not the most excellent.

On the contrary, Augustine (Ad Fortunatum) speaking of the comparison between Baptisms says: "The newly baptized confesses his faith in the presence of the priest: the martyr in the presence of the persecutor. The former is sprinkled with water, after he has confessed; the latter with his blood. The former receives the Holy Ghost by the imposition of the bishop's hands; the latter is made the temple of the Holy Ghost."

I answer that, As stated above (Article 11), the shedding of blood for Christ's sake, and the inward operation of the Holy Ghost, are called baptisms, in so far as they produce the effect of the Baptism of Water. Now the Baptism of Water derives its efficacy from Christ's Passion and from the Holy Ghost, as already stated (11). These two causes act in each of these three Baptisms; most excellently, however, in the Baptism of Blood. For Christ's Passion acts in the Baptism of Water by way of a figurative representation; in the Baptism of the Spirit or of Repentance, by way of desire. but in the Baptism of Blood, by way of imitating the (Divine) act. In like manner, too, the power of the Holy Ghost acts in the Baptism of Water through a certain hidden power. in the Baptism of Repentance by moving the heart; but in the Baptism of Blood by the highest degree of fervor of dilection and love, according to John 15:13: "Greater love than this no man hath that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Reply to Objection 1. A character is both reality and a sacrament. And we do not say that the Baptism of Blood is more excellent, considering the nature of a sacrament; but considering the sacramental effect.

Reply to Objection 2. The shedding of blood is not in the nature of a Baptism if it be without charity. Hence it is clear that the Baptism of Blood includes the Baptism of the Spirit, but not conversely. And from this it is proved to be more perfect.

Reply to Objection 3. The Baptism owes its pre-eminence not only to Christ's Passion, but also to the Holy Ghost, as stated above.
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Re: Baptism of Desire and Theological Principles by Fr. Cekada - by Parmandur - 12-29-2011, 07:16 PM



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