This sacraments are necessary for salvation, as the modes of grace divinely instituted by Christ Himself
They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions
Through each of them Christ bestows that sacrament's particular grace, such as incorporation into Christ and the Church, forgiveness of sins, or consecration for a particular service.
The doctrine of the sacraments follows the Christology; for the sacraments “have efficacy from the incarnate Word himself.”
The sacraments are signs which not only signify sanctification, but also effect it. That they bring spiritual gifts in sensuous form, moreover, is inevitable because of the sensuous nature of man.
The res sensibles are the matter, the words of institution are the form of the sacranieits . Contrary to the Franciscan view that the sacraments are mere symbol, whose efficacy God accompanies with a directly following creative act in the soul,
Thomas holds it not unfit to say with Hugo of St. Victor that “a sacrament contains grace,” or to teach of the sacraments that they “cause grace.” Thomas attempts to remove the difficulty of a sensuous thing producing a creative effect by a distinction between the causa principalis et instrumentalism.
God as the principal cause work through the sensuous thing as the means ordained by him for his end. “Just as instrumental power is acquired by the instrument from this, that it is moved by the principal agent, so also the sacrament obtains spiritual power from the benediction of Christ and the application of the minister to the use of the sacrament. There is spiritual power in the sacraments in so far as they have been ordained by God for a spiritual effect.”
This spiritual power remains in the sensuous thing until it has attained its purpose. Thomas distinguished the gratia sacramentalis from the gratia virtutum et donorum in that the former in general perfects the essence and the powers of the soul, and the latter in particular brings to pass necessary spiritual effects for the Christian life. Although, later this distinction was ignored.
In a single statement the effect of the sacraments is to infuse justifying grace into men. Christ’s humanity was the instrument for the operation of his divinity; the sacraments are the instruments through which this operation of Christ’s humanity passes over to men. Christ’s humanity served his divinity as instrumentum conjuncture , like the hand; the sacraments are instruments separate, like a staff; the former can use the latter, as the hand can use a staff.
Of Thomas’ eschatology, according to the commentary on the “Sentences,” only a brief account can here be given. Everlasting blessedness consists for Thomas in the vision of God; and this vision consists not in an abstraction or in a mental image supernaturally produced, but the divine substance itself is beheld.
In such a manner, God himself becomes immediately the form of the beholding intellect; that is, God is the object of the vision and at the same time causes the vision. The perfection of the blessed also demands that the body be restored to the soul as something to be made perfect by it. Since blessedness consist in operation, it is made more perfect in that the soul has a definite opcralio with the body. Although, the peculiar act of blessedness (that is, the vision of God) has nothing to do with the body.
The Church teaches that the effect of a sacrament comes ex opere operato , by the very fact of being administered, regardless of the personal holiness of the minister administering it
A recipient's own lack of proper disposition to receive the grace conveyed can block the effectiveness of the sacrament in that person.
The sacraments presuppose faith and through their words and ritual elements, nourish, strengthen and give expression to faith
Sacraments of Christian Initiation
Baptism is the first and basic sacrament of Christian initiation
The ordinary minister of the sacrament is a bishop or priest
The sacrament frees from original sin and all personal sins, and from the punishment due to them.
Baptism makes the person share in the Trinitarian life of God through "sanctifying grace"
marks the baptized person with a spiritual seal or character that indicates permanent belonging to Christ
Baptism is the foundation of communion between all Christians
Symbols of Baptism
innocence and purity
- Light of Christ
Oil of Chrism
- used to anoint the baby or candidate (catechumen) being baptised
- cleansing and the washing away of sin
Chrismation is the second sacrament of Christian initiation
It is called Chrismation (in the Eastern Churches: anointing with holy myron or chrism) because the essential rite of the sacrament is anointing with chrism.
It is called Confirmation because it confirms and strengthens baptismal grace
It is conferred by "the anointing with Sacred Chrism which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite
Through this sacrament, the grace given in baptism is "strengthened and deepened”.
confirmation may be received only once, and the recipient must be in a state of grace (meaning free from any known unconfessed mortal sin) in order to receive its effects
The sacrament by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in his one sacrifice.
The first of these two aspects of the sacrament is also called Holy Communion
The bread and wine used in the Eucharistic rite are, in Catholic faith, transformed in all but appearance into the Body and Blood of Christ, a change that is called transubstantiation.
Only a bishop or priest is enabled to be a minister of the Eucharist, acting in the person of Christ himself
The Eucharist is seen as "the source and summit" of Christian living, the high point of God's sanctifying action on the faithful and of their worship of God, the point of contact between them and the liturgy of heaven.
“ So important is it that participation in the Eucharistic celebration is seen as obligatory on every Sunday and holy day of obligation and is recommended on other days.”
Sacraments of healing
Penance and Reconciliation
Is the first of two sacraments of healing
The Cathecism of Catholic Church also refer this as a sacrament of conversion, confession, & forgiveness.
It is the sacrament of spiritual healing for a baptized person from the distancing from God resulting from sins committed.
4 Elements of Reconcilation
Contrition - the Penitent's sincere remorse for wrongdoing or sin, repentance (without which the rite has no effect).
Confession to a Priest with the faculty to hear confessions – only a Priest has the power to administer the sacrament
Absolution by the Priest
Satisfaction or Penance
The priest is bound by the " seal of confession ", which is inviolable
it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion
A confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal incurs an automatic excommunication
Anointing of the Sick
Is the second sacrament of healing
In this sacrament a priest anoints the sick with oil blessed specifically for that purpose.
The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger by reason of illness or old age
In the Western Church, the sacrament was conferred only on those in immediate danger of death, it came to be known as "Extreme Unction", or "Final Anointing", administered as one of the "Last Rites“
The other "Last Rites" are Confession (if the dying person is physically unable to confess, at least absolution, conditional on the existence of contrition, is given), and the Eucharist, which when administered to the dying is known as "Viaticum", a word whose original meaning in Latin was "provision for a journey".
Sacraments at the service of communion
Holy Orders is the sacrament by which a man is made a bishop, a priest, or a deacon, and thus dedicated to be an image of Christ
A bishop is the minister of this sacrament
Ordination as a bishop confers the fullness of the sacrament, making the bishop a member of the body of successors of the Apostles, and giving him the mission to teach, sanctify, and govern, along with the care of all the Churches
Aspirants to the priesthood are required by canon law to go through a seminary program that includes, as well as graduate level philosophical and theological studies, a formation program that includes spiritual direction, retreats, apostolate experience, etc.
Marriage, like Holy Orders, is a sacrament that consecrates for a particular mission in building up the Church, and that provides grace for accomplishing that mission
This sacrament, seen as a sign of the love uniting Christ and the Church, establishes between the spouses a permanent and exclusive bond, sealed by God
a marriage between baptized people, validly entered into and consummated, cannot be dissolved
The sacrament confers on them the grace they need for attaining holiness in their married life and for responsible acceptance and upbringing of their children
As a condition for validity, the sacrament is celebrated in the presence of the local Ordinary or Parish Priest or of a cleric delegated by them and at least two other witnesses.
For a valid marriage, a man and a woman must express their conscious and free consent to a definitive self-giving to the other, excluding none of the essential properties and aims of marriage
If one of the two is a non-Catholic Christian, their marriage is licit only if the permission of the competent authority of the Catholic Church is obtained. If one of the two is not a Christian (has not been baptized), the competent authority's dispensation is necessary for validity.