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Transcript of Sacramental Paper
Brainstorming tryin'na make sense'a this shit Tuh-day The Programs. All the Programs. Da History Augustine on Sacraments
Augustine lived in the 3rd century
He had an incredibly broad understanding of sacrament. Augustine defines sacrament as "a visible sign of an invisible grace" and "a sign of a sacred reality", an incredibly broad definition of sacrament. For Augustine, anything in creation could be sacrament because all of creation reveals something of God and makes God present in some way. With this understanding, the cognitive, reasonable acknowledgment of the "sacred reality" signified is necessary for the thing to be considered 'sacrament', since the mediation of spiritual awareness is inherent to the definition. Martos states that the early church fathers held that, since the changes that took place during and following a sacrament were invisible, faith was necessary in order to believe them. However, they also believe that a metaphysical change - the "spiritual effects" - occurs automatically. (Martos 43) Catechism of the Catholic Church Awakening Spiritual Dimensions 12th century - Augustine developed his notion of sacrament in the fourth century and it was widely accepted as the popular understanding. The sixth through eleventh centuries were perilous times for the Church and there was not much time or energy for development of theological questions such as those of sacrament. With the peace in the 12th century, theologians began to ask the same questions over again and advocated looking back at the writings of the Church Fathers as a way of answering them, believing in the authority of the earliest traditions as most accurate and faithful witnesses. It was at this time that the sacramental notion of Augustine was reexamined and developed. Over the centuries since Augustine, it was plainly accepted that baptism in particular, and participation in the sacramental life of the church in general, was necessary for salvation; this is a very utilitarian view of sacrament supported by the notion of automatic grace.
Peter Lombard, a 12th century theologian, compiled a list of "sentences" on various topics from the writings of the scriptures and the patristics In his book of Sentences (italicize) on the sacraments, he listed the 7 ecclesiastical sacraments that the Catholic Church recognizes today. Lombard's list of the Sacraments was accepted by regional and universal church councils and became the normative list of official sacraments. For Lombard, the seven sacraments are both the cause and sign of grace. That Lombard was able to author such a list and that it was accepted by ecumenical councils points to the reality that many in the church were already recognizing something unique about those specific rituals; clearly, the church believed something important and unique occurred in the performance of these seven over and against any others.
The same scholastic movement that led theologians to return to the works of the patristics led philosophers to return to the works of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. Three-fold distinction:
The rediscovery of Augustine's sacramental theology during the scholastic return to the patristics provided the terminology to explain what the church believed about their sacraments. Theologians developed the three-fold distinction: sacramentum tantum, sacramentum et res and res tantum. The sacramentum tantum is the sign itself, the words, gestures and objects used in the rite. The sacramentum et res is the element of the ritual which is both "sign and reality"; this is the change which occurs in the soul of the participant. The res tantum is the element that is reality only; this is the spiritual "fruit" or benefit of the sacrament, the free grace of God imparted in the ritual, signified and caused by the sacramentum et res. Reason and the three-fold distinction:
Under the three-fold distinction, the church can claim that sacraments can be efficacious to the level of sacramentum et res without being efficacious on the level of res tantum. The final level, the res tantum, is that which allows and facilitates the transformation and continued growth of participatory grace in the life of the recipient. However, the flourishing of these spiritual fruits are not requisites for a valid sacrament - grace is still imparted freely by God with or without the acknowledgment of the individual.
It's not about what you do, but what God does Aquinas on reason:
Thomas Aquinas takes up the question of the role and necessity of reason (by this, he means the participant's awareness of the meaning of the sacrament, or at the least, the awareness that something of significance is occurring) in the receipt of sacraments. In particular, he examines reason in receiving of the Eucharist.
The first objection he presents states, "It seems that those who have not the use of reason ought not to receive this sacrament. For it is required that man should approach this sacrament with devotion and previous self-examination." Aquinas details two situations in which a person may be said to be "without reason": those who are old and "feeble-minded" and those who are "insane" and do not have the use of reason. He then contradicts the previously stated objections by saying that anyone who has, at any point in their lives, demonstrated "the use of reason" in "devotion to the sacrament" should be able to receive the Eucharist. However, if a person has "never had the use of reason, and have remained so from birth; and in that case this sacrament is not to be given to them, because in no way has there been any preceding devotion towards the sacrament" (ST III, Q 80, art. 9).
Later on, bring up the ambiguity in what "demonstrating devotion to the sacrament" means The Catechism of the Catholic Church's opening statement about Baptism gives a comprehensive overview of what the church believes about this sacrament: "Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 1213). Here, it is clear that the purpose of any sacrament, but specifically baptism, is inclusion into the Church. Clearly, the church believes that participation in the sacramental life of the community is a great gift to an individual. Now that we have affirmed the value of baptism, we must ask the question of the role of reason in the ability to receive the sacrament. This question is answered most easily in regards to the sacrament of baptism, as the church not only allows but encourages the baptism of infants, who are yet without reason or awareness of the sacrament being received. The Catechism restates and reaffirms the value of being baptized: " Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom." (1287). This entry explicitly states that 'human merit' - that is, reason - is not required for receiving the sacrament of baptism. though not required, understanding and awareness of the graces and fruits received in baptism is beneficial to the recipient: "The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community." (1248) Purpose of Sacrament:
salvation The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be "a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites." 1248 "It [baptism] is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit" 1282 Why have sacraments? BAPTISM Role of catechesis? Eucharist Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. (1391) What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh "given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit," preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion (1392) Confirmation Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Since Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity, it follows that "the faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time," for without Confirmation and Eucharist, Baptism is certainly valid and efficacious, but Christian initiation remains incomplete. (1306) Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands. CHURCH'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PREPARATION OF CATECHUMENATES THE QUESTION:
What is the church's responsibility to those members with special needs to facilitate their fullest participation in the sacramental life of the church? Written/developed by Fr. Bill Gillum, in 2007
He began his work with people with special needs in 1974, during his time in seminary. He was assigned to teach catechism to 8 adult men with severe disabilities. Realizing that he had no tools at his disposal or any idea of how to proceed, he began to research and learn more about disabilities and how to best teach individuals who are cognitively disabled.
In a panel discussion for the National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities in 2001, Fr. Bill expounds on his program and the methods he uses for "symbolic catechesis" - the type of sacramental preparation used for those with cognitive disabilities which makes use of images, symbols and story-telling methods to prepare children and adults for Eucharist and Confirmation. Awakening Spiritual Dimensions is composed of two parts - the first focusing on scripture study and the second focused on the liturgy and other prayers used in worship.
Fr. Bill first explains the setting of the room for class: reduction of distractions is key, therefore, the group should be no more than 10 students, all clutter in the room should be removed and soft, instrumental music should be played as students enter the room. Fr. Bill recognizes the role of this type of music of not only calming the students but also its power to evoke a feeling of the presence of God. This type of sensory experience is key in symbolic catechesis.
Once students have settled in, the first ten minutes should be kept silent, with only music playing, for personal prayer. Next, the leader should pass around a Bible - the experience of touching and weighing the Bible in their hands engages the sensory experience of the students as they begin their study of the Word of God. The teacher should use an adapted version of Biblical stories and read them slowly, with many pauses, allowing time for listening and processing. Students who are able should be asked to express, either verbally or in writing, what they learned from the scripture story.
Use of picture Bibles, miniature figures of Biblical characters and other such visual props are necessary to engage all the senses of the students and allow them to saturate the meaning of the stories as much as possible. When preparing for the Eucharist, acting out the ritual with bread and water (not wine!) can be very helpful. Catechesis of the Good Sheperd Written by Mary Mirrione
"It is an approach to the religious formation of children where the symbols, signs, colors, gestures, prayers, sacramental elements of liturgy and the scriptures are lifted up for children" -Mirrione (p 5 - Natl Partnership)
This program is focused on eliciting a response from the child rather than pouring information out to them. As in Fr. Bill's program, and using instructional methods developed by Maria Montessori, the symbolic catechesis program pays close attention to the environment, which is of vital importance to those with cognitive disabilities. As much as possible, all distractions and disruptions should be eliminated from the environment to allow the students to engage in the lesson as much as possible. Similar to Fr. Bill's methods, once children are gathered and settled into the environment, the lesson can begin. Mary employs a story-telling method of teaching that uses simple language and questions to elicit a connection between the personal experiences of the child in their daily life and the themes or lessons found in the story. For example, when talking about Eucharist and reading the story of the Last Supper, the teacher can ask questions about the way students eat meals at home with their family, how it makes them feel, how it builds their relationships, etc. This makes a connection between the natural knowledge and experience of the child and the ideas taught in the scripture story and in the liturgy of the Eucharist. Similarly, every topic should be fitted with symbols, pictures, displays, personal questions and other tools to draw out the knowledge of the child instead of "giving" information to them. The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. (1322) The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men. In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. (1368)