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. (1) (1114 pg.
289) Sacraments are powers that comes forth from the Body of Christ, (2)
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. (1116 pg. 289) The purpose of the
sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to
give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not
only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish,
strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called sacraments of
faith."(3) (1123 pg. 291)
The Churchs faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to
adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the
faith received from the apostles - Whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex
credendi (or. legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper
of Aquitaine [5th cent.]).(4) The law of prayer is the law of faith: the
Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy
and living Tradition. (5)(1124 pg. 291) For this reason no sacramental rite
may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the
community. Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the
liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious
respect for the mystery of the liturgy.(1125 pg. 291)
Celebrated worthily in faith the sacraments confer the grace that they
signify.(6) 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 Sons Church which, is the epiclesis of each sacrament, expresses her
faith in the power of the Spirit. As fire transform into itself everything it
touches, so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is
subjected to his power."(1127 pg. 292)
**Do you need more faith, strength, healing, forgiveness, peace, joy, love,
patience, perseverance or vitality? Go to the Eucharist!**
The Eucharist occupies a unique place as the Sacrament of sacraments:
all the other sacraments are ordered to it as to their end... (7)(1211 pg.
311) The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life(8)...For
in the Blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the
Church, namely Christ himself, our Pash."(9)(1324 pg. 334) From the
beginning the Church has been faithful to the Lords command. Of the
Church of Jerusalem it is written: They devoted themselves to the apostles
teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers....Day by
day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they
partook of food with glad and generous hearts.(10)(1342 pg. 338) Take
this and eat it, all of you, communion. The Lord addresses an invitation to
us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: Truly, I say
to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you
have no life in you.(11)(1384 pg. 349)
The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an
intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: He who eats my
flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.(12)(1391 pg. 351)
What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion
wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life.(1392 pg. 351)
Holy Communion separates us from sin... For this reason the Eucharist
cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past
sins and preserving us from future sins...(1393 pg. 351)
As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens
our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life;...By giving himself to
us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered
attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him.(1394 pg. 352)
By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from
future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his
friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin.
(1395 pg. 352)
Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through
it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. (1396 pg.
The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and
Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest,
his brethren... (1397 pg. 353)
The Eucharist and the unity of Christians... The more painful the experience
of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the
table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time
of complete unity among all who believe in him may return. (1398 pg. 353)
**Are you having problems with anger, resentment, bitterness, lying,
cheating, disobeying, stealing, pornography, chastity, respecting others,
using the Lords name in vain, missing mass on Sundays and Holy days, or
unforgiveness and etc.: Go to the Sacrament of Penance!**
**The sacrament is called sacrament of conversion, Penance, confession,
sacrament of forgiveness and reconciliation.**
Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from Gods
mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time,
reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and
which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.
(13) (1422 pg. 357) You were washed, you were sanctified, you were
justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Spirit of our
God.(14)... But the apostle John also says: If we say we have no sin, we
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.(15)(1425 pg.358) Christ
instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church:
above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have
thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. (1446
For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and
religious disposition, reconciliation is usually followed by peace and
serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation.(16) Indeed the
sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about true spiritual
resurrection, restoration of the dignity and blessing of the life of the
children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.(17)
(1468 pg.369) This sacrament reconciles us with the Church....has also a
revitalizing effect on the life of the Church...the sinner is made
stronger...(1469 pg. 369)
The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
reconciliation with the church;
remission of eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.(1496 pg. 374)
**Why do we not see this as essential for survival and avail ourselves to
these graces?****Are you physically, mentally and spiritually sick? Go to
the Sacrament of The Anointing of the Sick!**
Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems
confronted in human life. In illness, man experience his powerlessness, his
limitation, and his finitude, Every illness can make us glimpse death. (1500
pg. 375) Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even
despair and revolt against God. It can make a person more mature, helping
him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that
which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to
him.(1501 pg. 375) The Church believes and confesses that among the
seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who
are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick:... (1511 pg. 378)... It is
fitting to receive the Anointing of the sick just prior to a serious operation.
The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more
pronounced.(1515 pg. 379)
A particular gift of the Holy Spirit. The first grace of this sacrament is one
of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go
with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. This grace is a
gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens
against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement
and anguish in the face of death. This assistance from the Lord by the
power of his spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul,
but also of the body if such is Gods will. Furthermore, if he has
committed sins, he will be forgiven.(18) (1520 pg. 380)
**Christ has not abandon us He gave us His Church and the Sacraments to
turn to for Christ Himself to touch us and continue the work of salvation
**Find out for yourself what the Church teaches and has to offer, you can
read our new Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church**
**Find out the times for the sacrament of the Eucharist, Penance and
Sacrament of Anointing and avail yourself to these graces!**
** Notes added by editor **
Excerpts from the English Translation of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church for the United States of America Copyright � 1994 United States
Catholic Conference -Libreria Editrice Vaticana are used with permission.
All rights reserved. A copy of the Catechism may be ordered from
Publishing Services, USCC, (800)235-8722.
(1) Council of Trent (1547):DS 1600-1601.
(2) CF. Lk 5:17; 6:19; 8:46.
(3) SC 59.
(4) Ep. 8.
(5) CF.DV 8.
(6) Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1605; DS 1606.
(7) St. Thomas Aquinas, Sth III, 65,3.
(8) LG 11.
(9) PO 5.
(10) Acts 2:42, 46.
(11) Jn 6:53.
(12) Jn 6:56.
(13) LG 11 S 2.
(14) 1 Cor 6:11.
(15) 1 Jn 1:8.
(16) Council of Trent (1551): DS 1674.
(17) Cf. Lk 15:32.
(18) Jas 5:15; cf. Council of Trent (1551):DS 1717
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