Baptism is being born again with Christ. This is a new Exodus. We celebrate the birth of the new member. We pray for the Spirit to come upon all of us.

AN ADULT Catholic today is encouraged, after a period of form action which we have described in this book, to make his or her commitmen to the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, the most important liturgical celebration in the Church’s calendar.

In military terms, this would be called a “passing out parade”, when the soldier has finished basic training, and passed the exams. The celebration must be the best possible, to indicate how important is this step into the full ranks of the army.

St Paul describes the commitment of the Christian using military terms. He says that we wrestle, not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness (Eph 6:12). For this reason, we must put on the “whole armour of God”, the virtues, and stand fast in the day of b attle (Eph. 6:13). He tells Timothy, his pastoral assistant, to fight like a good soldier of Jesus Christ (1 Tim 1:18) “with faith and a good conscience for your w eapons”.