On Spirit, Water and Fire

St. Maximus the Confessor ca. 580-662

Question: Since it has been written in the Gospel, “Unless one is born of water and Spirit” and again, in another place, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” I beg to learn, what is the difference?

In each person in whom the Holy Spirit comes to be, it cleanses, like water, the defilement of the flesh, it washes away, like the wind, the stains of the soul, as Holy Spirit, it establishes the ways of the virtues, like fire, it makes [one] a god by grace, causing to show in him the fiery, divine marks of virtue. (Questions and Doubts, Question 4)