We are a sacramental Church   Leave a comment

By “sacramental” we mean that all that God has created – particularly the world and all it contains – is a display of His glory, and a conduit of His grace and goodness to all men. St. Augustine said that a sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible grace. In general, something is sacramental if it makes available to our bodily senses what would otherwise remain hidden.

It pleased God to designate specific actions and entities within the material creation to be special conduits of His certain blessings. For example, the sacrifices of the Old Covenant were a sacramental way in which a person’s sin was dealt with prior to the coming of Jesus. The anointing of the Prophets was a sacramental way of confering divine grace upon Israel’s kings and other Prophets. And, in the same way, Holy Baptism and the Eucharist (also known as “The Lord’s Supper”) are sacramental means for entering the Church and for growing up to the full stature of Christ. These sacraments are ordained and needful for all Christians. Lesser sacraments such as confirmation, ordination, matrimony, anointing of the sick, and the restoration of a penitent are available to all Christians as their individual needs require for their various individual ministries and vocations in Christ’s service.

But, the sacramental life is not confined to the rites of the Church. Sacramental spirituality insists on bringing into the light of daily living the spiritual graces and maturity of the growing Christian. As Christ has saved both the soul and the body, a sacramentally-minded Christian strives for a harmonious union of soul and body in practical holiness and righteousness.

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Posted September 23, 2010 by Fr. Bill

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