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.
This is a clip from the Holy Fathers Holy Thursday sermon: “We too, all of us, need to learn again to accept God and Jesus Christ as he is, and not the way we want him to be,” the Pope added. “We too find it hard to accept that he bound himself to the limitations of his Church and her ministers. We too do not … More →
Pope Benedict XVI Saturday Address: Getting married in church is a right only if you believe in “true marriage” that is, an act for the realization of the “integral good, human and Christian, of the spouses and of their future children, ultimately projected towards the holiness of their lives”. From here, follows the importance of preparation for Christian marriage, also to avoid annulments, which were … More →
[Taken from The Catechist, by the Very Rev. Canon Howe. Imprimatur: Edm. Canonicus Surmount, Jan 26, 1922.] There once lived a man who had given himself up to every passion, and had become by his life a scandal to all who knew him. Being at length upon his death-bed, his family, who were good Catholics, sent for the priest, who heard the sick man’s confession, … More →
Il reviendra avec son coeur immense, avec son coeur de flamme, son âme de pauvre et son sourire. Il reviendra ! Et le Coeur Immaculé de Marie triomphera! I love this motto from the late Abbé de Nantes’ periodical for La Contre-Réforme catholique au XXIe siècle. In the English translation it reads: “He will come again with his immense heart, with His heart of fire, … More →
[The following is from Questions Asked by Protestants Briefly Answered by Father M. Philipps, Rector of St. Joseph’s Church, Buffalo, NY.; Cabinet of Catholic Information, 1903; Imprimatur: Archbishop Farley.] What difference is there between the Communion of Catholics and that of non-Catholics? Non-Catholics believe that in communion they eat ordinary bread and drink ordinary wine; Catholics believe that in Communion they eat the real Body … More →
CatholicOnline reports: While priests from 110 different countries listened attentively, Cardinal Meisner insisted that the priest must experience both sides of the confessional screen as a dedicated confessor and as humble penitent. He must patiently dedicate many hours to the confessional although many people may no longer go to confession as they should and he must also regularly use the sacrament because we are all … More →
Here is a clip from the Holy Father’s address today to the Brazilian bishops in Rome for their ad limina visit: Addressing how people should participate in the liturgy, Pope Benedict said that a Christian’s “primary attitude” during the liturgical celebration “is not doing, but listening, opening up, receiving … If the figure of Christ does not emerge from the liturgy … it is not … More →
Zenit reports: “For the faithful Catholic,” the spokesman clarified, “[confession] has a sacramental meaning which requires the effective presence of a priest.” Full article here.
CNA reports: A young adults group in the Archdiocese of New York has recently announced a 24-hour confession event which will take place in March during the 2010 Lenten season. The Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Adults (CSPYA) group is holding their second annual “24 Hours of Confession” project March 5 -6 at 51 parishes throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Duchess, Staten Island, as well as … More →
Zenit News: Benedict XVI today encouraged the faithful — and particularly priests — to trust in God’s goodness and approach the sacrament of confession. Read more here.
Father McBrien just keeps marching on, treading new paths, looking for new frontiers so to expand his evolving theology. Of course I don’t read his column, but occasionally some traditional Catholic writer whom I do read takes him to task for one or more of his heretical statements. The following quote, however, is particularly offensive in both content and tone. What hubris we have on … More →
St. Francis de Sales, the Bishop of Geneva, was responsible for the conversion of Lady Stafford, a Protestant noble woman, who had formerly been intransigent in her opposition to the Catholic Faith. After going to one of his Masses, she was moved to consider the Faith in more friendly terms, but she still harbored great feelings of hostility, especially regarding the doctrine of Purgatory.
Listen, my brothers: If the Blessed Virgin is so honored, as it is right, since she carried Him in her most holy womb; if the blessed Baptist trembled and did not dare to touch the holy head of God; if the tomb in which He lay for some time is so venerated, how holy, just, and worthy must be the person who touches Him with … More →
It is well known that J.R.R. Tolkien, the celebrated fantasy writer who gave us The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a Catholic. He was not a writer who just happened to be also a Catholic; he was a writer whose Catholicism permeated his work.