My name is Rosario and I think that no rite or Sacrament can regenerate. You receive salvation only by believing in Jesus Christ, accepting him as personal Savior and repenting from your sins; only with this journey of faith and reading his word. Regeneration occurs with the new birth, and you are born by the Holy Spirit. If you read John’s prologue you will see that it is written not by flesh and blood (by natural generation) but those born by God. Being born by God means a spiritual birth that Christ gives when we have repented with our heart and we have believed only in him. As for “whoever does not eat my flesh…” etc., it has a spiritual meaning: we should eat him spiritually, that is to accept Jesus as personal Savior and he will enter our heart, he must be assimilated into our own heart. Salvation happens in a spiritual way and it has nothing to do with materialism. True regeneration happens the moment you have been forgiven of sins: you receive the Holy Spirit who regenerates you inside, that is you are transformed and there is a total renewal of the mind too, in fact the mind is regenerated and you have the mind of Christ. Open your hearts to the holy scriptures, read from John onwards and all the letters to the Hebrews. God bless you. I hope my words will be useful, that you can open your heart to love and truth, as Jesus says “the truth will make you free”. God bless you so that you can receive the privilege I had 6 years ago, that the Lord wants to give to everyone.
Response from the priest
1. You didn’t receive much of a privilege six years ago.
Reading the Scriptures only with the light of our own mind exposes us to not understand their meaning or to mislead it.
What can we understand by ourselves?
2. I advise you to read the writings of the Church Fathers.
By Church Fathers we mean the Christians of the first centuries, distinguished by their holiness of life and their doctrine.
They are the witnesses of the faith. They are those who have been closest to the Divine Revelation.
They are the ones who tell you how the Gospel should be understood and how it should be lived.
3. You start your email by saying: “No rite or Sacrament can regenerate”.
And then you say: “Regeneration occurs with the new birth, and you are born by the Holy Spirit. If you read John’s prologue you will see that it is written not by flesh and blood (by natural generation) but those born by God”.
Yet the Gospel of John says quite the opposite of what you say: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” (Jn 3,5).
4. Water refers to Baptism, to the Sacrament.
And precisely referring to this Sacrament Jesus spoke before ascending to heaven: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).
Faith is certainly necessary: the Sacrament received only materially does not save.
But even faith is not sufficient if the Sacrament is despised.
5. St. Peter – and this too is sacred Scripture – on the day of Pentecost, after giving his vibrant speech full of Holy Spirit and fire to the people who were cut to the heart and asked what they were to do (Acts 2:37), replied them: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38).
As you can see, he did not say: “At my preaching of the Word of God you were born again in the spirit, that’s enough”.
Instead, he said: “Be baptized, every one of you“. He therefore asked for a concrete and personal gesture.
6. Likewise, when in Samaria Philip “preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, men and women alike were baptized.” (Acts 8:12).
St. Peter, after announcing Jesus in the house of Cornelius, “ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Acts 10:48).
So also Lydia after hearing Paul’s preaching was baptized: “After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation…” (Acts 16:15).
This also happened to the jailer who kept Paul and Silas in prison, who “said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house. He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized at once.” (Acts 16.30-33).
Thus “Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized.” (Acts 18.8).
7. Therefore do not say that no sacrament is necessary, because Christ asked to baptize.
Furthermore, the Apostles baptized and this has always been done.
Protestants, who think quite like you on many things you wrote in this email, kept Baptism.
8. Finally, I wish you to conform your life more and more to the beautiful name that you bear and that your parents gave you.
In the recitation of the Rosary, let Our Lady tell you about the events of the life of Jesus. If you do it, you will immediately understand that it is one of the most beautiful experiences of your Christian life.
As you know, Jesus gave you Our Lady as your mother.
She teaches you everything if you ask her.
If you don’t believe it, try to experience it.
I bless you, I remember you to the Lord and I bless you.
Translated by Chiara P.