Category Archives: Sacraments
There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction. All are outward signs instituted by Jesus Christ for the bestowal of sanctifying grace. Five of these sacraments must never be approached unless the recipient’s soul is free of mortal sin and in the state of grace. They are called sacraments of the living. Although technically the two remaining, Baptism and Penance, are called sacraments of the dead, Penance can be received by a penitent who is in the state of grace. It was instituted primarily for those who have fallen into serious sin after Baptism, but it can also be effective in lessening the penitent’s attachment to venial sin and in reducing the punishment due to sin in purgatory.
Each of the sacraments has its own special spiritual effect. With three of them, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, an indelible mark, called a character, is imprinted forever on our soul. And, as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches, each of the seven correspond to the natural life of a man. Baptism, our rebirth in the Spirit as children of God, corresponds to our physical birth. Confirmation, which makes us soldiers of Christ and strengthens us in the Holy Ghost as mature members of the Church, corresponds to our physical maturation as leaving behind childhood and becoming young adult men and women. We are anointed with oil as are wrestlers who must do battle against the devil in the ring of life. Penance, in which sacrament the sickness caused by sin is forgiven, corresponds to the medicinal aid we receive when our bodies are ill. The priest is our doctor. Holy Eucharist, our spiritual Food so necessary for the soul, corresponds to the physical food necessary for the body. Holy Orders, the sacrament deputing one to the ministry of the three major orders of the priesthood, corresponds to our deputation in society, first as parents, then as leaders in government. Matrimony, which existed as an institution from the beginning with Adam and Eve, for the procreation of the race, was elevated as a grace-conferring sacrament by Christ Himself. Extreme Unction, also called the sacrament of the sick or annointing, is our spiritual final anointing to strengthen us for the final passage from this life to the next.
Tyler Branski, Crisis: Those who have read Kristin Lavransdatter, the epic trilogy by Catholic convert and Norwegian Nobel Prize winner Sigrid Undset, have read it at least twice. This formidable tale of farming and holy pilgrimages and family in the shadow of white-peaked mountains hurtles the reader into all the pain and love and last rites of death—death, and the hope of glory. Kristin Lavransdatter shoves … More →
Marie Meaney, Crisis: St John the Baptist gave his life in the defense of marriage. The German bishops, by coming out in favor of Cardinal Kasper’s proposals on divorced and remarried Catholics, took the side of Herod. In effect, they concluded that St. John’s position was too antagonistic and decided to issue a letter of congratulations to Herod upon marrying his brother’s wife. While some might … More →
This is a very good article addressing the error of the popular and widespread euphemism that all men are children of God by creation. Rachel Lu, Crisis Magazine: This last Sunday, we were treated to the Gospel reading in which Christ is baptized by St. John the Baptist. It’s a compelling passage, especially because it focuses our attention on the purpose and meaning of baptism. The … More →
Aletaia: I was once riding in a shuttle-bus with a number of older folks on the way from an airport. They noticed that I was a priest and started asking questions about it. “Do you do all of the priest stuff?” “Yep.” “Even the Confession thing?” “Yeah. All the time.” Read the whole lesson here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
“As the Rascals always say: ‘If you can’t pass the test, change the test!’ But it’s hard to pass the test when the test itself keeps changing (or evolving!).” (The Famous Words of a Living Virginian) On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13, the Synod of Bishops released a mid-term report of the Synod meeting in Rome which has incited the resistance … More →
Reading Vatican Insider today, the thought struck me that they may have contracted with the editorial staff of The Onion for their coverage of the Synod on the Family. But this is no joke. The quotes below are attributed to Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi: During yesterday afternoon’s session, “it was underlined that even imperfect situations must be considered with respect: for instance, de facto unions in … More →
In the recent months, Pope Francis has stated repeatedly that one should have more mercy with those Catholics who are divorced and remarried civilly. In the context of the current discussion within the Church about Divorce, and how to deal with those Catholics who are remarried outside of the Catholic Church, what strikes me is how little explicit attention is given to the Little Ones, … More →
There is a close parallel between the battle over the indissolubility of marriage now taking place in the Church and the contraception debacle of the late 1960s. Pope John XXIII started, and Pope Paul VI greatly expanded, the Papal Commission on Birth Control to examine the question of the probity of contraception in the wake of the invention of oral contraceptives. A false expectation was created, … More →
Rorate Caeli: Sandro Magister, the respected Vatican correspondent for the Italian paper ‘L’Espresso’, recently published an article with the shock title; ‘When the Church of Rome Forgave Second Marriages’. Magister describes the current push to abandon the discipline of the Church and permit those who have been divorced and civilly remarried to receive communion in Catholic churches. The justification of his title is his claim that new … More →
Thankfully, the Anglicans are keeping the actual formula for baptism intact and valid. The children are still baptized Catholic and remain so until they make a choice to reject Catholic truth. If they are taken by God before they attain the use of reason they go straight to heaven. Nevertheless, the darkness grows darker still in this heretical community, and the parents and godparents are … More →
UCANews: Church officials in Germany have defended plans by the country’s bishops’ conference to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, insisting they have the Pope’s endorsement. Robert Eberle, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Freiburg: “We already have our own guidelines, and the Pope has now clearly signaled that certain things can be decided locally. “We’re not the only archdiocese seeking helpful solutions to … More →
Zenit: The Holy Father reflected on the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the forgiveness of God during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning. Pope Francis commented on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, a reading where Paul professes that “I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.” Paul’s acknowledgement of his condition as a “slave” to … More →
Catholic Culture: Pope Francis joined a prominent Vatican official and seven priests for lunch on Holy Thursday and emphasized the importance of hearing confessions, according to a priest who was present at the meeting. More here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Great Idea. Father Zuhlsdorf : I think the world of Bp. Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa. He initiated a liturgical renewal in the diocese, he has been supportive of the Clear Creek Monastery, he sponsored workshops for exorcists. A few more bishops like this and… who knows what we could do? Read more here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.