Sacramental Theology

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From the April 21-22 Ministerial retreat for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas. The Presenter/Professor is Fr. Guillermo (Bill) Garcia

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Sacramental Theology

  1. 1. SACRAMENTAL THEOLOGY PART I
  2. 2. method• Experiential and Hands on.• Discussion.• How to handle Special Questions: – Please take a moment: Write down what you would really like to ask a question about now. – As the day continues, if there is a question you need an answer to write it down. – Tomorrow we will try to respond to or discuss these special questions.
  3. 3. THEOLOGY IS FAITH SEEKING UNDERSTANDING• True theology is done, it is not ―taught‖• We will be doing theology:• SCRIPTURES –TRADITION -- PRAXIS
  4. 4. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE• Describe one time and place in which you experience the Divine Presence.• a. Do this in as vividly as you can.• b. What reminds you of that experience and how do you experience it when you recall it?
  5. 5. Where did we get the word Sacrament?• Sacramentum: INVOLVES A CEREMONY – pledge money deposited in temple by parties to a law suit or contract. – Soldiers oath of allegiance to commander and gods of Rome
  6. 6. SACRAMENTUM• Christian usage: – Sacred Symbol or Ceremony – Sign of a Sacred Reality – Sign of a hidden Sacred Reality (Augustine) – Sacred or Mysterious (Mysterion) – Points to something transcendent:
  7. 7. Sacraments• A complex reality: Something human pointing to something transcendent. They can be Rites in human life – Rites of Passage – Rites of celebration – Rites of Intensification by commemoration – Rites of Reception – Rites of Departure, et.
  8. 8. SACRAMENT• BROADLY DEFINED ―A sign or symbol of something which is sacred and mysterious.‖
  9. 9. A Door to the Sacred.• Sacraments are invitations to religious experiences. An ―inviting door‖
  10. 10. ―Hieraphony‖ (Mircea Eliade)• An experience, a time and a space can point to an experience of the Sacred.• An experienced revelation of the Holy.
  11. 11. Entering another dimension• OF SPACE = SACRED SPACE• OF TIME= SACRED TIME• OF MEANING SACRED MEANING
  12. 12. THE SACRED• Joseph Martos: ― Whether or not it is objectively an experience of another dimension of reality—a transcendent dimension—is an open question.‖• Hierophany is a manifestation of the sacred beyond space and time with a deeper meaning:
  13. 13. Sacraments• Allow entrance into religious dimension of existence.• Occasions a transformation of consciousness.• Alteration of experience of space and time• Things are imbued with new meaning and value.
  14. 14. REMEMBERING• During the hierophany the person is transported from ordinary, unimportant, homogeneous space into• Sacred space which is special and meaningful.
  15. 15. Once again….that time is now
  16. 16. Significant meaning• Meaning is significant because it is significant to us personally and is associated with a person, place or event in our life.• SYMBOLS draw us out of everyday and into another world.
  17. 17. Sacramental experiences• Meaning is Sacred Meaning, Meaningful Meaning, – Personal experience: makes MY life meaningful – Social life: makes OUR lives meaningful. Something experienced but NOT fully understood.
  18. 18. Where does the meaning come from?• In a sacred experience, meaning comes – From – Through ….. The Sacrament.
  19. 19. Belief• People must believe in the effectiveness of sacraments (in general) in order for them to be effective.• Without faith and belief , sacraments signify but they do not effect.• Faith is the key to opening the Door of the Sacred.
  20. 20. World rituals• Water rituals • Healing Ritual• Rituals of Initiation • Funeral Rituals• Ritual Meals • Marriage Rituals• Ritual Sacrifices • Ordination Rituals• Atonement RitualsThese Correspond toCatholic Rituals
  21. 21. RITUALS• RITUALS EXPRESS VALUES AND ATTITUDES IN SYMBOLIC ACTION
  22. 22. PRINCIPLE OF SACRAMENTALITY• Principle of sacramentality: everything can embody and communicate the divine. – All has a mysterious dimension – All is imbued with God’s hidden presence
  23. 23. Brief Summary• Jesus Christ, is the Sacrament of the Encounter with God
  24. 24. Brief Summary• The gathering of God’s People, Christ’s Body, is the place where Catholics encounter God.
  25. 25. PAUL• Paul (AD 50 to 60) writes to Churches – mentioning various ―sacramental‖ actions of Christians… – but does not use a single word like ―sacraments‖ : • baptism, laying on of hands, • sharing of the Lord’s supper, tongues, prophecy, • stylized rituals.
  26. 26. PAUL• PAUL – MYSTERIES = Something hidden or secret. • 1 Cor 2: 7-113 God’s wisdom • Colossians 1:26-27: message he preaches • Ephesianss 1:9-10: God’s plan of Salvation • Ephesians 3:3-6 Christ
  27. 27. PENTECOST
  28. 28. Brief Summary• N.T does not use mysterion as it is used for sacraments.• N.T. does refer to Rites: – 1 Cor 11: 23-27 bread and wine in memory – 1 Cor 10:16-17 it was considered what we call sacramental sharing. • Acts 3:42-47, 4:32-35: they lived it together.
  29. 29. Brief Summary• Experience of Pentecost: Acts 2 – Difficult to see what experience was – Those Gathered had a hieraphony, felt transformed, filled with Spirit Jesus was filled with. – Transmitted that ―Spirit‖ to others, converts – By imposition of hands after baptism (Acts 19:4-16) or later (Acts 8 14-17)
  30. 30. What is a Sacramental Seal?• ??????
  31. 31. ―SACRAMENTAL SEAL‖• Seal – O.T. literally a stamp or its impression (Genesis 41:42 authority; 1 Kings 21:8 authenticity, Jeremiah 32:10 validity; – N.T. indicates owner (e.g. God owns the scroll sealed Revelations 5:1; 7:2-4; God set seal on Messiah John 6:27, 10:36
  32. 32. Sacramental Seal• Early Christian Writers: What is meaning of ―Seal of the Spirit‖? Search texts for meaning. – Texts not just metaphors • II Corinthians 1:21-22 sealed with the Spirit • Colossians 1: 15, II Cor 4:4: Jesus = image • 1 Cor11:7 & Gen 1:26-27 image of God

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