The following is Part 5 in a continuing series on the Church, salvation and the Sacraments. We’re beginning our exploration of the Sacraments themselves and where better to begin than with Baptism, the Sacrament by which we become members of the Body of Christ. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4)

In the series to follow this one we’ll be looking more closely at the Old Testament background of the Church and the Sacraments, but I want to spend some time reflecting on the Church as the Barque of Peter, carrying the faithful safely across the crashing waves of the world, guiding them on their journey home to the Father. I’ll base these reflections mostly on the sources listed below in the acknowledgements. I offer the drawing below in the hopes that it will help you to visualize what I’m saying and will help me too.

Let’s look first at the entry into the Church, the Sacrament of Initiation par excellence: Baptism.

Journeying Toward God in the Barque of Peter

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Update: Oct 19 2012: A long while back I started a series of posts on the Mass (Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, so far) and made these graphics to go with that series. I hope to get back to it and delve into the other sacraments, too, at some point. I thought I’d point these out again for anyone who hadn’t seen them before, thinking that someone might perhaps find them somewhat useful in the Year of Faith. I have found them helpful for my own contemplation. Maybe you will, too. One word: that is not a typo in the graphic below where the word is spelled creatio in Latin. So there. For once, it’s not a typo. ;)
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I took the day off and didn’t get online all day yesterday. I was thinking about Part 2 of the Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments series and I got an idea of a revision of the diagrams I made for that and for Fr. Nolan’s workshop audio (available from Una Voce’s site in a zip file, updated link Oct 19 2012, link broken again May 22 2019).  I’ll post them as soon as they’re finished. I’ll include zip files for them this time. Oops, can’t upload a zip file here on the free site. Argh! Oh, well.

Related posts: Diagrams for the audio, Workshop Audio, The Mass, Salvation and the Sacraments: first in a series.

(Update May 22 2019: Links to the Una Voce audio of the workshop are currently broken, again.) Fr. Nolan drew some diagrams on the whiteboard during his presentation last week. I’ve made some graphics of my own based on his drawings. If you’re reading the series that began in the last post, or if you’re planning on downloading and listening to his talks, you might find these useful. I still have a couple more to go, but I’m posting what I’ve got so far. Just trying to be helpful, don’t you know. We’ll explore this more fully in the other posts, but here are some things to think on the next time you’re preparing for Mass:

At Baptism we enter the Church (both figuratively and literally) and then we are on the way to becoming eligible to receive the other sacraments, as far as we are able. We enter the long boat of the Church, the Barque of Peter, and start out on our journey toward God.

As members of the Body of Christ we participate in His Death and Sacrifice on the Cross and receive the grace (and graces) we need for salvation. As Fr. Nolan said, this is how it works. This is how we are saved. By the action of Christ on the Cross. And by His grace allowing us to participate in His action by allowing us to unite with Him in His sufferings and death. We die to ourselves and offer ourselves along with Him as He offers His sacrifice throughout all time and beyond all time as our Eternal High Priest.

Diagrams, revised set.