Washed. Oiled. Filled.

emmanuela-baptismAt first glance this title suggests ‘something to do with cars’.  Specifically, car maintenance, the costly rituals that almost every human deals with, to just ‘keep it running’.  And, in one sense I am writing about ‘maintenance’ but not of pistons and rings, but rather a tending to the needs of our bodies and souls through a sacramental life in the Church.

My hope is for unity.  That that world may know we are one in love, first Catholic and Orthodox, but ultimately among all ‘branches’ of the faith.   An area where unity does not exist is Baptism (washing), Chrismation (oiling), and the Eucharist (filling/feeding).  The Orthodox church continues these sacramental actions as handed down through Holy Tradition from apostolic times: infants and adults baptized by full immersion, immediately anointed with Holy Chrism, receiving the Holy Spirit, and then, the newly illumined is led to the altar, the holy doors, where they are fed with the ‘medicine of immortality’, the Holy Eucharist: the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus.  Adults, infants and children then continually come for ongoing ‘maintenance’ eucharistic food, forgiveness through confession, and holy oil for healing of bodily and spiritual infirmities.

As a result of the 10th century schism there are many differences among the tribes of Christendom on these matters.  But here is my question: “Why would anyone stop washing, oiling or filling their cars?”  “Why would we deny ourselves the very things that we need to work well?”  And finally why would we not desire to baptize, anoint, and fed our infants, children and adults for their entire lives with the very gifts that lead us to theosis and holiness?

+anaphora – laetare


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