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.
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.
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.
Rorate Caeli: Up to this Sunday, the decades-old movement for the imposition of a legal change of the definition of marriage to include unnatural unions of two people of the same sex (not “gender”, sex) seemed so overwhelming as to appear unstoppable. The great majority of people, who are naturally inclined to see these bizarre “unions” as anything but marriages, appeared impotent before the media-driven wave to … More →
Medieval romances generally fell into four categories: the Matter of Rome, which dealt with such classical heroes as Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar; the Matter of France, whose tales were inhabited by Charlemagne and such heroes as his nephew Roland; the Matter of Britain, which encompasses the Arthurian legends; and the Crusade Cycle, which dealt with the doings of Godefroi de Bouillon and his … More →
Catholic Culture: Ireland’s justice minister has confirmed that Catholic priests are required by law to break the seal of confession to report abuse of children. More on this here with links.
In his weekly column for the Washington DC Archdiocesan website, Monsignor Charles Pope raises the question of the meaning of the word used by Saints Matthew and Luke in the petition for “our daily bread” in the Our Father prayer.
Catholic Culture: Speaking at a conference in Rome, the dean of the Roman Rota suggested the need for a more rigorous interpretation of a provision in canon law that is cited in many annulment cases. Read more here.
Rorate Caeli: As reported last year on Rorate the Archbishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has restored in his archdiocese the practice of communion on the tongue only and while kneeling. Last month, on the Feast of St. Joseph, he reiterated in an address to his clergy that this manner of receiving communion is mandatory for all of the faithful in his … More →
Here’s a photograph to gladden the heart of any traditional Catholic and to give The Tablet’s Bobbie Mickens a fit of the vapours. The prelate wearing that magnificent mitre is a bishop of England and Wales, believe it or not, presiding at a solemn Latin Mass to mark the re-opening of a parish where the worship will be in the Extraordinary Form. More than a … More →