As a young girl, I always loved the Sundays when a Baptism took place in the context of the Mass. There were many reasons I found Baptisms captivating; for starters, they punctuated our usual Sunday routine with something out of the ordinary. But more than that, I was drawn up into the joy and the excitement of the sacrament. I loved seeing the little babies, water poured over them, oil lathered on their foreheads, their candles lit, the priest saying “________________, in the name of Christ, we welcome you into the Church,” and the choir singing, “Blessed be God, O blessed be God, who calls you by name, holy and chosen one.”
Baptism is our first source of sanctifying grace, enabling us to “persevere in the pursuit of the virtues” (CCC, §1811), to persist in forming within ourselves a habitual and firm disposition to do the good, thus becoming more like God. All of the sacraments are sources of grace, and grace is what allows us to grow in all of the virtues—both theological (faith, hope, love) and cardinal (prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance). Still, a particular virtue can still help us understand a particular sacrament, and conversely, a particular sacrament can help us cultivate a particular virtue. In a unique way, the virtue of faith is exemplified through Baptism.