All God’s creations have a natural capacity to be used by God to be an instrument of grace. However, not all are chosen by God. Some of these created things are chosen by God to be an instrument of grace. Water has a natural capacity to be an instrument for cleansing, to give life in a very natural way. It has no natural capacity to confer grace in a supernatural way. God has chosen water to be an instrument of grace in the sacrament of baptism.
Water, in the sacrament of baptism, is the matter which is very important in the celebration of the sacrament. Every valid sacrament has matter and form; which is the sacramentum tantum; that is the pure sign which signifies the invisible grace, the res tantum. At the very early days of the Church’s life, the Fathers did not fail to exploit certain pre-Christian and universal value of aquatic symbolism. For example Tertullian…show more content… Water was the first to produce that which had life, that it might be no wonder in baptism if water knew how to give life….All waters, therefore, in virtue of the pristine privilege of their origin, do, after invocation of God, attain the sacramental power of sanctification; for the Spirit immediately supervenes from the heavens, and rest over the waters, sanctifying them from Himself; and being thus sanctified, they imbibe at the same time the power of sanctifying….They [that] were wont to remedy bodily defects, now heal the spirit; they [that] used to work temporal salvation, now renew eternal.
Here we see that Tertullian has already noted that water is the element that has the natural capacity to produce life. It is a fitting instrument to be used in the sacrament of baptism and hence it has been chosen by God to be an instrument of grace in this