God is the infinite mystery.He is not a thing or even anembodied person that can belimited to a particular space ortime or even religion.God is everywhere.certain peoples, places, andevents reveal the presence ofGod more fully and deeply.
JESUS INSIDEThis is the idea behind the understanding of the sacraments, where the loving presence and power of God are truly, fully, and deeply experienced by us.They are real happenings that make present the spiritual reality they express or signify (CFC # 1521). It is Christ who baptizes, he who acts in hissacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies (CCC # 1127)
THE REALITY OF THE SACRAMENTSThree basic realities of the sacraments1.1.Sacraments are performative wordevents (like the words and deeds of Jesus)1.2.Sacraments are efficacious because inthem Christ himself is at work1.3.Sacraments act ex opere operato(literally: “by the very fact of the actions beingperformed”) – meaning, by virtue of thesaving work of Christ, accomplished onceand for all.
Distinction by definitionJesus Christ is the primordial sacramentof the Father.The Church is the fundamental sacramentof Jesus Christ.Within the Church, there are sevensacraments. These sacraments were instituted byChrist, founded and rooted in Christ’s life, words and deeds,and they have Christ as the ultimate end and purpose.
THE SACRAMENTS ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE CATEGORIES:1. The Sacraments of Initiation1.1. BaptismInitiation into the life of grace in the Christiancommunity.1.2. ConfirmationCelebration of the presence of the Spirit in thelife of faith. All who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God (Romans 8:14).
1. The Sacraments of Initiation1.3. EucharistThe source, sustenance, and summit ofChristian faith. Taking bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body to be given for you. Do this in memory of me” (Luke 22:19).
2. The Sacraments of Healing2.1. PenanceA celebration of God’s unconditional,forgiving love.2.2. Anointing of the sickA celebration of Christ’s healing poweramidst sickness.
3. The Sacraments of Vocation orCommitment3.1. MarriageA celebration of the human love of twopeople as a sign of God’s love for all.3.2. Holy OrdersA celebration of the call to serve Christ andthe community in a unique way –ordination, to maintain “holy order in theChurch.”
The Sacraments “To sanctify To build up the Body of Christ To give worship to GodTo nourish, strengthen, and express our faith” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 59).