Faith [is] a habitual confidence given us by Another in whose hands we can relax…. It means that what causes us to belong is a pattern of desire produced in us by someone we cannot see who is giving us the strength to live in the midst of this world as though death were not. And the access to this faith is desire: that we should want the gift of eternal life. It is the giving to us of this desire which we normally celebrate with that inverted religious rite called baptism. In this rite, we agree to undergo death in advance, so as to live thereafter with death behind us. It is an inverted religious rite, since it is not the crowd which gathers to drown the victim, but the candidate, not frightened of becoming a victim, who walks through the waters of being drowned so as to emerge on the other side into the welcome of those who are already living with death behind them. — James Alison