I am a child of the 1980s and 1990s. One particular cartoon I grew up with was He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. For those of you unfamiliar this animated series deals with events surrounding the life of Prince Adam, the son of King Randor and Queen Marlena of the planet of Eternia. Prince Adam has been given a weapon called the Sword of Power that when he holds in his hand and says the phrase “By the Power of Greyskull” he will be transformed into He-Man: The most powerful man in the Universe. See below:
(Sidenote: His large, cowardly tiger Cringer will be transformed into Battle-cat by the Sword of Power).
However, in the all the episodes I ever saw not once did we see He-Man transform back into Prince Adam; Every episode Adam would have to take out the Sword of Power to become He-Man. Maybe this is always done off screen or maybe it goes slowly a few days later but we never see He-Man become Adam. We see it as a one way process. There is also the striking fact that in the Church we have processes that are one way.
Baptism takes someone and makes them a Christian, bringing them into the Body of Christ. We never re-baptize as Baptism leaves a Sacramental Character on them. We hold the same true for Confirmation and Ordination. (Possibly Marriage in some circles)
In a way we also hold this to be true for the Eucharist as we consider the Bread and Wine to have become the Body and Blood of Christ. The Church does not teach that the consecrated elements lose this over time or if something is done to them.
Unlike Prince Adam we don’t need to change ourselves every episode because we know that God has, through Christ, made permanent changes to ourselves in the material world.
Thanks be to God. Amen