SACRAMENTS


THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

“Catholics believe that the Sacraments are like ladders that God gave to Himself by which He climbs down to us. The Catholic view of the Sacraments is that they are the means of salvation; that God really forgives your sins when the priest pronounces absolution in Christ’s name and in His authority; that God really regenerates your soul and removes Original Sin when you are baptized; that Christ really unites Himself to your soul in a spiritual marriage when you receive Holy Communion. Catholics believe that the Sacraments are how we cross over 2,000 years and become ‘contemporary with Christ,’ or rather how Christ crosses over and becomes contemporary with us. The answer is that we meet not just spiritually and subjectively, in our minds; we meet materially and objectively in and through the matter the Sacraments… The Sacraments are not ‘magical’ because they are not automatic. We can block the grace, and we usually do, more or less, like stopping down a faucet, or pulling down the window blinds. But the water, or the light, comes from God, not from us. Christ really comes to meet us and sanctify us in the Sacraments, however little we may appreciate Him” (Peter Kreeft, Jesus Shock, pp. 115-116).

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Baptism

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

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Confirmation

“And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, a sound came from heaven, like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all of the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2).

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Holy Eucharist

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me'” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

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Confession

“‘As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to the them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'” (John 20:22-23).

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Holy Orders

“And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they believed” (Acts 14:23).

“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the church of God which He obtained with the blood of His own son” (Acts 20:28).

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Holy Matrimony

“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6).

“‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church” (Ephesians 5:31-32).

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Anointing of the Sick

“Is anyone sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).

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