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.
Tree of Life In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations (Apoc. 22:2). In Paradise, Adam was given a command by God not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good … More →
Sandro Magister, www.chiesa: One thing that made the news at the end of the year was the data furnished by the prefecture of the pontifical household on attendance in 2015 at the public audiences with Pope Francis, with numbers down almost by half compared to the previous year: At the Wednesday general audiences there was a drop from 1,199,000 visitors in 2014 to 704,100 in 2015. … More →
Our beloved chaplain of fond memory, Father Michael Jarecki, used to insist on this all the time, even going so far as to refuse to celebrate birthdays. In his own humorous way, Father used to saw that our birthday should not be an honor for us, born in sin, but for our mothers. They deserve to be honored, we don’t. The Church only celebrates three … More →
One of the first things we learn about the one Catholic baptism from the catechism is that this sacrament “makes us children of God and heirs to the kingdom of heaven.” Therefore to say that non-Christians are children of God is wrong. CNA: The Pope’s first-ever video message on his monthly prayer intentions was released Tuesday, highlighting the importance of interreligious dialogue and the beliefs different faith … More →
From Father Paul Nicholson comes this interesting reflection on “spiritual communion,” “baptism of desire,” and the bizarre ramifications of a non-incarnational, pseudo-sacramental Catholicism that parallels the sacramental economy that was instituted by Jesus Christ. Some points Father Nicholson makes in the YouTube video below remind me of this passage in Father Feeney’s Bread of Life, taken from the chapter, The Purpose of Christ’s Coming: What the Baptism-of-Desire teachers make … More →
Catholic Online: One of the central aims of the Jubilee of Mercy will be to reorient the Sacrament of Confession back to the center of the Church’s pastoral life, explained one official involved in organizing the yearlong event. Read more here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
This is the ultimate in false ecumenism. The Eucharist is the Flesh and Blood of the God/Man; it is the sign of true charity, of union with the Savior. How can one deny the Church of Christ and dare to approach Him in Holy Communion? That Faith is integral. One cannot have divine and Catholic Faith if one denies any article of the Faith. God … More →
We live in a day when a false mercy threatens both the welfare of children and the sacraments instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. One way that false mercy manifests itself is in the way annulments are conceived and carried out. From a doctrinal point of view, there is no problem with a declaration of sacramental nullity if sufficient reason for it is discovered. Any … More →
To My Venerable Brother Archbishop Rino Fisichella President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization [Source] [Skip to penultimate paragraph, here emboldened, regarding our headline —Catholicism.org] With the approach of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy I would like to focus on several points which I believe require attention to enable the celebration of the Holy Year to be for all believers … More →
I don’t think so. Catholic News Service: Twice before, Aaron Tam has come close to being baptized. Once was in Jacksonville, North Carolina, but in preparing for his deployment to Iraq, he missed too many classes. His instructor in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program, himself a retired Marine Corps sergeant, gave him the bad news: “You can’t get baptized this Easter.” He recalled: … More →
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.