The Shepherd, January 2009
FROM THE FATHERS
“THE SON AND WORD OF GOD, having become incarnate, offered Himself in the flesh as a sacrifice to the Divinity of the Father, and of the Son Himself, and of the Holy Spirit, in order that the first transgression of Adam might be benevolently forgiven for the sake of this great and fearful work, that is, for the sake of this sacrifice of Christ, and in order that by its power there might be performed another new birth and re-creation of man in Holy Baptism, in which we also are cleansed by water mingled with the Holy Spirit. From that time people are baptized in water, are immersed in it and taken out from it three times, in the image of the three-day burial of the Lord, and after they die in it to this whole world, in the third bringing out from it they are already alive, as if resurrected from the dead, that is, their souls are brought to life and again receive the grace of the Holy Spirit as Adam had it before the transgression. Then they are anointed with Holy Myron, and by means of it are anointed with Jesus Christ, and are fragrant in a way above nature. Having become in this way worthy of being associates of God, they taste His Flesh and drink His Blood, and by means of the sanctified bread and wine become one Body and Blood with God Who was incarnate and offered Himself as a sacrifice.”
St Simeon the New Theologian, + 1022 A.D.
“THE CHURCH is one and only She alone has the entire fulness of the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. Whoever has in whatever way fallen away from the Church - in heresy, in schism, in unlawful assembly - this man loses the communion of the grace of God. Therefore, Mysteries performed outside the Church have no charismatic action. Only for the sake of the good of the Church, for the sake of facilitation of being united to the Church, can the rite of Baptism not be repeated over those being converted, if it has been correctly performed outside the Church. Not because this rite was already a Mystery with Grace, but in the hope that the grace-filled gift will be received in the very act of union with the body of the Church.”
New Hieromartyr Hilarion of Solovki, the Archbishop, + 1928 A.D.