It is increasingly popular to forget that it was not man who chose to speak of God as Father. God created and defined the ordering of human relations and used them to reveal something of Himself to us. This is why we mustn’t refer to God in the feminine, though the First Person of the Trinity has no gender. God not only gives revelation, but He has defined the context and signs by which He reveals Himself. It seems to me that the specific Trinitarian formula for Baptism is a recognition then of our role as recipients of divine revelation; it is a humble recognition of our relation to God.
Here’s an analogy I use to help explain the concept of Penance in the Catholic Church.
Billy is a 14 year old who likes to ride his bike a lot. So much, in fact, that he even rides in the rain. However, Billy is often absent-minded when he’s riding and forgets the rules set forth by his mother. One of those rules is that Billy must only ride on the side walk and street.
One day, Billy was riding his Bike after a good rain, and he rode his bike off the side walk, onto the grass, and wiped out in his neighbor’s flower bed. Billy was unscathed, but half the flower bed was destroyed, and his tires had made numerous, deep treads in the wet lawn. Billy knew immediately that he had failed to obey, and he could see why his mother had set forth her rules. Continue reading