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Reality as Mystery: Introduction to Sacraments

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Jordan Haddad

on 3 September 2014

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Transcript of Reality as Mystery: Introduction to Sacraments

In what ways is the Church a sacrament? In what ways is she different from the traditional seven?
At the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), the Council Fathers put a renewed focus on the Church Herself as the Universal Sacrament.
4 Marks of the Church
We Are Church
Come, Holy Spirit!
Introduction to Sacraments
Reality as Mystery
1. Memorial - We remember God's action throughout human history and that He has become present to us.
4 Aspects to Every Sacrament
Jesus Christ as the Primordial Sacrament
Sacraments: Doors to the Sacred
+ What is a sacrament?
+ Where do they come from?
+ Why do we need the Sacraments?
Jesus Christ: Paschal Mystery
What are the sacraments?
The 7 Sacraments
+ Baptism
+ Confirmation
+ Eucharist
+ Reconciliation
+ Anointing of the Sick
+ Holy Matrimony
+ Holy Orders
What is a sacrament?
Better question: What is a sign?
What is a sacrament?
is a sign for...?
is a sign for...?
is a sign for...?
Not everyone knows that...
***A sacrament is an
sign of God's grace by which divine life is dispensed to us. They are instituted by Jesus Christ and entrusted to the Church.***
What else...?
- successful in producing a desired or intended effect
Sacraments give
+ Grace - free and undeserved gift from God by which our very being and self is transformed and brought into the life of God
What about Jesus?
A sacrament is like music in that it is efficacious in some way but a sacrament is much more than that...
Music makes us feel a certain way but sacraments transform who we are. The sacraments are God's way of bringing us into his own very life.
... a sacrament is an efficacious sign by which divine grace is everywhere and always dispensed unto us.
Why are they efficacious?
CCC - 1127
What is the Paschal Mystery?
2. Celebration - With thankful hearts we praise the God who "counts the hair upon our head" (Luke 12:7) and has "written our names in the palm of his hand" (Isaiah 49:16). With humility we acknowledge that God is
being itself
and in him we "move and live and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans
3. Communion - We are brought more deeply into the mystery of divine communion in which we are no longer merely "servants" of God but are truly sons and daughters of the Almighty.
4. Transformation - The sacraments should change us into the most authentic, loving, and best version of ourselves. By becoming more God-like, we become fully alive human beings.
St. Irenaeus - "The glory of God is..."
Gaudium et Spes #22
22. The truth is that only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light. For Adam, the first man, was a figure of Him Who was to come,(20) namely Christ the Lord.
Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear... He Who is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15),(21) is Himself the perfect man.
To the sons of Adam He restores the divine likeness which had been disfigured from the first sin onward. Since human nature as He assumed it was not annulled,(22) by that very fact it has been raised up to a divine dignity in our respect too. For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. He worked with human hands, He thought with a human mind, acted by human choice(23) and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, He has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.(24)
It is in and through the Paschal Mystery that the Sacraments find their beginning and end.
The sacraments bring us into the Christian Mystery - Jesus' life, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension
The graces we receive in the sacraments are the merits of the Paschal Mystery.
It is only through Christ that we are saved
Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans -
Is 6:1-8
In the year King Uzziah died,* I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,a with the train of his garment filling the temple. Seraphim* were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they hovered. One cried out to the other: “Holy, holy, holy* is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, I am doomed!* For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips,d and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it. “See,” he said, “now that this has touched your lips,* your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!”
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything* and followed him.
Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans -
Luke 5:1-11
1127 Celebrated worthily in faith, the sacraments confer the grace that they signify.
They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work: it is he who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies.
The Father always hears the prayer of his Son's Church which, in the
of each sacrament, expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transforms into itself everything it touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power.

1128 This is the meaning of the Church's affirmation that the sacraments act
ex opere operato
(literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all.
It follows that "the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God."
From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister.
Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.

1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation. "Sacramental grace" is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God.
The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.
The 8th Sacrament?
Lumen Gentium #48
"Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself. Rising from the dead, He sent His life-giving Spirit upon His disciples and through Him has established His Body which is
the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation
. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is continually active in the world that He might lead men to the Church and through it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood. Therefore the promised restoration which we are awaiting has already begun in Christ, is carried forward in the mission of the Holy Spirit and through Him continues in the Church in which we learn the meaning of our terrestrial life through our faith, while we perform with hope in the future the work committed to us in this world by the Father, and thus work out our salvation.
Other Names/Realities of the Church:
Body of Christ
Ephesians 1:18 - 2:13-22
Ephesians 1:15-23, 2:19-22
"Therefore, I, too, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love* for all the holy ones, do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him
as head over all things to the church, which is his body
, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.... So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are
fellow citizens with the holy ones
members of the household of God
, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into
a temple sacred in the Lord
; in him you also are being built together into
a dwelling place of God in the Spirit
Household (People) of God
Temple of God
So what?...
The Church isn't an accident.... Jesus intended the Church to be the instrument of salvation for all of mankind... a universal sacrament similar to Noah's Ark in which all are saved and brought to safe harbor...the kingdom in which heaven and earth are one.
Just like there is only one Christ, so there is only one Church, one people of God, one Temple.
"'There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all."' (Ephesians 4:4-6)
...This is obviously false right..?
"The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as 'alone holy,' loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God." The Church, then, is "the holy People of God,"and her members are called "saints" (CCC 823).
The Church as the people who are members is imperfectly holy but being perfectly sanctified. The Church as the work of the Spirit is perfectly holy... think: Sacraments, Nicene Creed, Apostolic Succession, Holy Scripture.
The Church is more than the people alive on earth.
Church Militant
Church Expectant
Church Triumphant
...What does that mean?
The Church is Catholic insofar as it is for all the peoples of the world without discrimination. The Holy Spirit inspires all people to live the fullness of their culture with all that is good, true, and beautiful. The Church is the Sacrament of Solidarity.
Apostle means "one who is sent".
"Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore,* and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20
The Liturgical Year: The Celebration of the Paschal Mystery
John 1:1-5, 14
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us
, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
Hypostatic Union
The Eternal Son of God is united forever and always to a human nature in the person of Jesus Christ. This mystery is called the hypostatic union in which Jesus' human and divine nature are present in one fully divine & fully human person.
So what...?
Well what is a sign?
What is a sacrament?
3 Types of Sacraments
Traditional words/prayers said during the celebration of each sacrament
Traditional physical elements and/or gestures used in the celebration of each sacrament
What do you think?
Dwelling Place of God
Phyllis, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit...
Through him, with him, and in him. In the unity of the Holy Spirit....
God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself ... I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.
Christ's lay faithful
"In virtue of their rebirth in Christ there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality with regard to dignity and the activity whereby all cooperate in the building up of the Body of Christ in accord with each one's own condition and function." CCC 872
What does that mean?...
"The very differences which the Lord has willed to put between the members of his body serve its unity and mission.
For "in the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission
. To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing in his name and by his power. But the laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole People of God." Finally, "from both groups [hierarchy and laity] there exist Christian faithful who are consecrated to God in their own special manner and serve the salvific mission of the Church through the profession of the evangelical counsels."" (CCC 873)
Bl. Chiara Luce Badano
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
Climax of theSacraments!

1114 "Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, to the apostolic traditions, and to the consensus . . . of the Fathers," we profess that "the sacraments of the new law were . . . all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord."

1115 Jesus' words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished. The mysteries of Christ's life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of his Church, for "what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries."

1116 Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are "the masterworks of God" in the new and everlasting covenant.
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