25. The Seven Sacraments of the Church

  Introduction

   Human knowledge begins with the senses and to get to know the things that surpass them, we need to use pictures, symbols or comparisons that reveal the unknown. God has introduced sensitive signs that we call sacraments in order to express the supernatural realities of grace. But the divine omnipotence does more than what we can do.

    To better understand the effect of the sacraments, we can compare them with the natural life:

    - we born to supernatural life through Baptism,

    - We strengthen by Confirmation,

    - We maintain life with the food of the Eucharist,

    - If we get lost because of the sin, the Penance is the solution,

    - And the Unction of the Sick, we prepare for the travel that will end in heaven.

    - To assist the needs of the Church as a society we have the sacrament of Holy Orders, which seeks the ministers of the Church,

    - And the Matrimony, which perpetuates human society and makes the Church grow with the children baptized.

  A. Choose one of the following words and answer: Eucharist, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Order, Unction of the sick or Marriage

 We are born to the life of grace by the

 We strengthen by the

 We maintain life with the food of the

 If we get lost because of the sin, the solution is

 We prepare to die with the

 New Church ministers are prepared

 Newborn and children of God






  Main Ideas

1. What are the sacraments?

   The sacraments are sensible and efficacious signs of grace instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church.

    A sensible sign is a known thing that manifests another less known; if I see smoke, I know that there is fire. But we can also say effective sign because the sacrament not only means, but produces grace (the smoke only means fire, but does not produce it).

2. Why the institution of the sacraments?

   We ask why Christ wanted to do those things. He can communicate the grace directly, without any sensitive medium, but he wanted to accommodate to us, giving the divine gifts through material things that we use. In baptism, for example, as the water purifies naturally, the sacrament also: it cleans the soul, removing the sins by the grace.

    This is the teaching of Christ during his public life; he used material things, external actions and words. He touched the leper's hand and said: "I am willing, be healed!" (Matthew 8.3); Jesus placed his hands on the blind man's eyes, and he recovered his sight immediately (John 9.6 to 7.); to communicate to the Apostles the power to forgive sins, he breathed on them and said a few words (John 20:22).

3. Christ established the seven sacraments

   The seven sacraments were introduced by Christ (the author of grace that can communicate it through signs): Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Unction of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The sacraments include all requirements of the supernatural life of the Christian.

  B. Choose one of the following words and answer: grace, liturgy, put out, produce, better, worse, thoughts, words, Christ, angels, six or seven.

 The sacraments are sensitive and effective signs of

 The smoke means fire but do not

 The sacrament means grace and

 Jesus has used sensitive ways for we understood

 Jesus made use of material things, external actions and

 All sacraments were established by

 The sacraments are


4. The sacraments of the Church

   Christ entrusted to his Church sacraments, and we can say that they belong to the "Church" in a double meaning: the Church manages or celebrates the sacraments, and they build the Church (baptism creates new children of the Church, etc.)

5. The sacraments of faith

   The sacraments search to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, ultimately, to worship God. They not only mean faith, they also nurture, strengthen, and express it in words and actions; that is why they are called sacraments of faith.

6. Effects of the sacraments

    The sacraments produce:

    A. The sanctifying grace: The sacraments give or increase the sanctifying grace. Baptism and Penance give it; the other five sacraments increase the sanctifying grace and it only should be received when we are in God's grace. The person who receives it in mortal sin commits a sin of sacrilege (Damage or desecration of thing, person or sacred place).

    B. The sacramental grace: Besides the sanctifying grace that all sacraments give, each one gives something special called sacramental grace. It is a right to receive from God the necessary assistance to fulfill obligations received when we get that sacrament. Thus, baptism gives special grace to live as good children of God; confirmation gives strength and courage to confess and defend the faith until death, if necessary; marriage, so that the spouses are a good couple and educate their children in Christianity; etc.

    C. Character: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders also granted the character that is a spiritual and indelible mark that gives a particular participation in the priesthood of Christ. Therefore, these three sacraments can only be received once.

  C. Choose one of these words and answer: Church. family, fun, sanctification, sanctifying, sacramental or character.

 Christ entrusted the sacraments to the

 The sacraments seek in man the

 Baptism and Penance give

 It is a spiritual and indelible mark

 It helps to achieve the obligations of the sacrament

 It is given in Baptism, Confirmation and holy Order

 Confirmation gives strength and courage what is the composition of a sacrament

 The sacraments give or increase grace


7. A sacrament is composed of matter, form and the minister who performed it with the intention of doing what the Church does.

    - The matter is the reality or sensitive action, such as natural water in Baptism, or the acts of the penitent in confession (contrition, confession and satisfaction).

    - The form is the words.

    - The Minister is the person that manages the sacrament.

8. Diversity of sacraments

   Following the analogy between natural life and the supernatural life stages, three groups can be distinguished in the sacraments:

    a) Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist that establish the foundations of Christian life and communicate to man the new life in Christ;

    b) Sacraments of Healing: Penance and unction of the Sick, which cure the sin and the wounds of our weakness;

    c) Sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony, established to assist the needs of the Christian community and human society.

    The sacraments form an organism in which each of them has its vital function. The Eucharist occupies a unique place, as "sacrament of sacraments". We can say with Saint Thomas Aquinas that "all the other sacraments are ordered to the Eucharist as to their end".

9. The sacraments are necessary for salvation

   The sacraments are not only important but necessary if we want to live the Christian life and increase it. They are like the channels that carry water, and in this case they bring to our souls the grace of redemption of Christ on the cross. Our provisions are also necessary for receive clean water of grace which is always given if it is received with the proper dispositions, and if more grace is not received is not the fault of the sacrament, but it is for lack of preparation. Therefore, we have to receive the sacraments with the best disposition, so we can receive grace in abundance.


Catechesis Course. Mister Jaime Pujol Balcells and Mister Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With the permission of the authors.


  D. Choose one of these words and answer: matter, form, minister, Eucharist, penance, deceased, sick people, marriage, baptism, joy or disposition.

 The water of baptism is

 The words spoken are

 The person who manages the sacrament is

 The Sacraments of Christian Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation and

 The sacraments of healing are Penance and unction of

 The sacraments of Service are the Holy Order and

 We must receive the sacraments with the best


  Catechisms Questions

1) What is a sacrament?  Sacrament is a sensitive and effective sign of grace, established by Christ and entrusted to the Church, which give us divine grace.

2) Do the Sacraments always give grace?  The Sacraments always give grace if they are received with the necessary disposition.

3) What sin commits the person who receives a sacrament without the necessary dispositions?  A mortal sin of sacrilege.

4. ¿Qué sacramentos se reciben una sola vez?  Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders because they marked the soul with the sacramental character.

  E. Select the button for the correct answer. the possible answers are Below :


 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

 What is a sacrament?

 Do the Sacraments always give grace?

 What sin commits the person who receives a sacrament without the necessary disposition?

 What sacraments are received once?


 QUESTIONS ANSWERS

 A

 They Always give grace if are received with the necessary disposition.

 B

 Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders, because they marked the soul with the sacramental character.

 C

 It is a sensitive and effective sign of grace, established by Christ and entrusted to the Church, which gives us divine grace.

 D

 A mortal sin of sacrilege.


  Purposes of Christian life

- Show gratitude to the Lord for the seven sacraments and demonstrate it by preparing well for them.

- Receive frequently the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist.



 
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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