7/30/2005

Catholicism -- The Sacraments

The Catholic religion is one of the oldest of the Christian Faith. In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church ran most of the countries and they bowed to the Church. My favorite Queen of England was Queen Jane. She did not adhere to the Catholic faith and it's running of England. As such, she was only queen for 9 days.

But this blog isn't about her, it is about the Catholic Religion. As a young girl, I was always fascinated about all of the ritualistic routines the Catholic's had. The rosary, crossing them selves and saying "Hail Marys". And the young girls in their frilly white dresses and their communion veils. And then there are the nuns with all of their mystery. I could go on forever, but I will attempt to keep with the theme--What is Catholicism?

I am pulling my information from.... www.catholic.org

First off, most of the Christian religions believe in 2 Sarcraments that is Baptism and the Lord's Supper. But Catholics have 7 and they are.....



Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the sacrament that frees man from original sin and from personal guilt, that makes him a member of Christ and His Church. It is thus the door to a new and supernatural life.

Pretty basic standard stuff, just worded differently.

Sacrament of Penance

As to Penance. If the Church is to fulfill in its entirely her task of saving mankind she needs the power to forgive sins. Okay...first off, is it the "Church's" duty to save mankind?

It is a power essentially different from her mission to preach the Gospel and baptize. In baptism, indeed all sins and the punishment due to them are remitted. Baptism is the first justification. But the first justification is also the first entry into the realm of the supernatural which works entirely by God's grace and which asks of the person baptized no more than that he turn away from sin and turn in faith to Christ. If this is all baptism asks, then why is it the Church's duty to save man kind????

Penance is something different. A baptized person who sins again, sins against God to whom, since his baptism in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, he belongs. He also betrays the Church of which he is now a member.
So after being baptized, you have to become perfect????

Thus, the new atonement assumes the character of a legal trial, with accusation, sentence and satisfaction.
Dang-- it seems to only be talking about the church's side. Is there no defense??? Or is the "Church" the only right one. So they are judge and jury???

The practice of penance has varied considerably down the centuries. In very early days satisfaction, usually in the form of public penance, was very much to the fore. Re-acceptance into the Church community normally took place only after completion of the penance imposed. More and more, however, penance has withdrawn from the public domain and today only the private administration of the sacrament is still in use.
Meaning???? In the past they would beat you??? embarass you?? WHAT!!!!! Private administration....the thoughts that are going thru my mind with all the priest stories that are out and about.

The development of the system of confession shows that misunderstanding easily arises above the nature of penance. In the face of all attacks - by Wycliffe, the Reformers, liberal dogmatic historians and modernists - the Church has always maintained the judicial character of the sacrament of penance and drawn the necessary conclusion.

I don't get it....does anyone??


Sacrament of the Eucharist

The doctrine of the Holy Eucharist consist of that of the Eucharist sacrifice, the sacrificial meal, and the sacrificial food, or to express it otherwise, it consists of the doctrine of the Mass, of Communion, and of the Real Presence.
I am guessing it's the wafer and wine thing that we always see on TV...??

There is no presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that is not meant first and foremost as food for the faithful people, and there is no sacramental union with Christ in Holy Communion that is not to be thought of as a sacrificial meal

HUH??? I always thought that the bread and wine were symbols of the last supper.


: 'For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come' (1 Cor. 11:26). The Eucharistic meal can only be prepared in the sacrifice of the Mass.


Thus the mystery of the Eucharist summarizes the whole mystery of our redemption. There are two fundamental relationships in which Christ stands to us. First, he is our priestly mediator with God, and offers him atonement for our sins.

Never really saw J.C. as a mediator......


But Christ is not a stranger to us, who merely represents us as a propitiator before God. He comes to us in the second relationship by being the mediator of the grace which God gives us on account of his sacrifice.

To me, this is demoting Jesus. I see him as my savior not my mediator. I realize we pray to God in Jesus's name, but I have always seen this as a way of letting God know we still remember who died for us.


That is the mystery of our union with Christ who is the source of all grace for us. 'And of his fullness we have all received, grace for grace' (John 1:16). This second community is realized only in the sacrifice of the Cross, by his giving his life for his Church which he had to ransom from himself.

Whoa!!! He gave his life for his Church????

Only in death did Christ seal the deep covenant with the Church

This what he did??? he sealed the dep covenant with the Church!!! Not in my Bible.

whereby she is purified and sanctified and which according to the teaching of St. Paul is the image of the most intimate union of human being in marriage: 'Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church and delivered himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life' (Eph. 5:25).

Kinda creepy......the Church was purified, what of his followers?

From the opened side of our crucified Savior the Church was first born, as Eve was taken from Adam's side. That is the most ancient way of expressing this truth.

Now that is a play on scripture to me...

This twofold relationship, then, in which Christ stands to us men, as our mediator before God and the bringer of all graces from God, lives on in the mystery of the Eucharist. The Holy Mass is the renewing of the sacrifice which Christ offered for us, of the sacrifice of atonement for our sins; but the sacrifice is also at the same time the preparation of the Eucharistic meal, the sacrament of our union with Christ in grace.

So there are two of them??? One is for Christ's sacrifice and the other is the for the union with Christ in grace???

We should not be surprised if the doctrine of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament occurs more than most doctrines in the documents of the Church. There are few mysteries of the faith where the mystery is so evident and therefore so exposed to the attacks of heresy and unbelief. However, the militant position of the Church should not prevent us from seeing the Real Presence in the context of the whole Eucharistic mystery.

What that just said is still a mystery. Why can't they just say it!!! Plain and simple. I mean, lay it on the line. Don't give peope an excuse to say that they didn't understand it......


Sacrament of Confirmation

The sacrament of confirmation completes the sacrament of baptism. If baptism is the sacrament of re-birth to a new and supernatural life, confir- mation is the sacrament of maturity and coming of age.

Right, the cool dresses. I kind of understand this, but why get baptized if you aren't mature enough to understand what you are doing?

The real confession of Christ consist in this 'that the whole man submits himself to Truth, in the judgment of his understanding, in the submission of his will and in the consecration of his whole power of love . . . To do this, poor-spirited man is only able when he has been confirmed by God's grace' This confirmation in the power of the Holy Spirit leading to a firm profession of faith has always been the particular effect which Catholic tradition has ascribed to the sacrament. It is effect which complements and completes that of baptism.

Personally, I think (yes I am getting ready for another lightening bolt) it's just another reason to have a celebration. Let's stretch it out. I truly believe that you need to be mature enough to make the decision of baptism on your own. Not go to classes and have them convince you that it's time because you are 5 or whatever. You need to know what you are doing before you do it. Not do it and then learn more for a few years and then confirm it. Just doesn't make sense.


Sacrament of Matrimony (now this should be fun)

Matrimony is the marriage contract between Christians raised by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament.

And all this time I thought it was a promise made before God by two people.

The theological and dogmatic treatment of this sacrament does not look very much to its main features of unity and indissolubility which are basic characteristics of all marriage in natural ethics; they are rather premisses, though of course they attain greater significance and depth and stability in marriage as a sacrament.

okay, the theory and "dogmatic" ,Church belief, does not look very much to the main feature or unity and indossolubility which are the basics....WHY THE HECK NOT???? and how do they attain a greater significance and depth and stability in marriage as a sacrament???? I mean really, Henry VII disolved how many marriages????? Where is the stability if you don't look at the main meaning????

The fact, then, that these features take up a considerable amount of space in Church documents must not be allowed to hid the theological content of this sacrament which comes to us from revelation and belongs to the supernatural order. As a sacrament matrimony is entirely oriented on man's supernatural goal.

I am hoping that the word "man's" is referring to the whole race not just the male part of it.

Matrimony and order are the two sacraments which not only serve the individual in reaching this goal but are there for the benefit of the community. Matrimony is there for the mutual help of the spouses and the increase of the people of God.

Well now isn't that putting it bluntly. You get married to have kids!!!! I see the purpose, but shouldn't you get married to someone you went to spend eternity with??? I mean you can have kids with anyone, I guess this would explain the "arranged marriage" thing.


Devotion to his twofold end is the way of salvation for married couples, a way sanctified by the sacrament. 'Yet she shall be saved through childbearing; if she continue in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety' (1 Tim:2:15).

Okay...you are saved thru having kids.....that would explain alot of our problems.

The mutual sacrifice and devotion of husband and wife is a true picture of Christ's sanctifying sacrifice and devotion to His Church. 'Matrimony has its significance in the first place from Christ who took the Church as his bride at the price of his own blood.

I just don't get this...but it does explain the whole Priest and Nun thing of marrying the Church and why they wear wedding rings.

And also because when he offered his life as the price of her ransom, he stretched our his arms in an embrace of supreme love.

I don't like the wording of this. Once again, I thought Christ died to save us, not the Church.

And thirdly: as Eve was formed from the side of Adam while he slept, so the Church was formed from the side of the dying and dead Christ, as the two chief sacraments poured from his side - the blood of redemption and the water of absolution' (Albertus Magnus).

CREEPY MENTAL PICTURE!!!! Okay, so how could Christ of married "The Church" if it was made from his death???

It is only from this point of view that one can understand the Church's unceasing struggle against any attempt to see marriage as something unholy or something merely profane, of no concern to religion. The campaign began with those countless rigorist or dualist sects in early times and in the Middle Ages; if defended the religious nature of marriage against the Reformers for whom it was just a civil affair; it represented the demands of the Church in matter of matrimonial legislation in various countries and defended the indissolubility of the marriage contract and the sacrament in the encyclicals of Leo XIII and Pius XI. Since marriage is also of the greatest civic significance, jurisdiction in matrimonial matters was one of the commonest causes of differences between Church and state. Since this is solely a question of dogmatic view- points, the relevant documents are omitted. For the same reason Church documents dealing mainly with matrimonial morality are omitted. The Church Thus Teaches: Marriage is willed by God and was raised to a sacrament by Christ. It is therefore good but may not be put before the state of virginity.

What??? Marriage is good but cannot be put before the stat of virginity???? Meaning, I am guessing, that as long as they don't scrog they can get it disolved??? And how do they know if they did or not??? And what if they did before they got married???? How is it determined???

The sacrament of matrimony consist of the marriage contract, so that for Christians the contract and the sacrament are inseparable. Therefore marriage comes into the legal competence of the Church. The Church may establish impediments, including diriment impediments which invalidate a marriage and forbidding impediments which make marriage illegal. She may determine the form and rite to be observed. Matrimonial Causes fall to ecclesiastical courts. The purpose of marriage is the increase of the people of God and mutual help for the partners in loyalty and love.

I understand what they are saying, but I see marriage as much more then just reproduction. Have been thru two horrible ones, reproduction doesn't make it all good....

The sacrament gives married people a claim on the graces necessary to their state. Only monogamy is valid. A new marriage is allowed after the death of one party. Marriage is indissoluble, even in cases of adultery.

So you have to live with the creep that cheated on you and brought cooties back to your bed?

An unconsummated marriage can in certain circumstances be dissolved by the Church. Once it is consummated, a separation only is possible; the marriage bond cannot be dissolved.

This is where "hit men" make all their money.


Sacrament of Holy Orders

As to Orders. The supreme task which Christ had to fulfill was his priestly work of atonement which he completed as mediator between God and man. By the union in himself of humanity and divinity Christ is by nature the mediator. As a man from among men, Christ is our mediator with the Father; yet he is also capable of offering a worthy sacrifice to God because, by virtue of the union of his human nature with the Second Person of the Godhead, his human actions have in infinite value.

HUH????? Can anyone explain this one to me????

In this fullest sense, the priesthood belongs to Christ alone. But if Christ wished to live on and continue his work in the Church, the first thing he had to do was to provide for the continuance of his sacerdotal and mediatory function.

I am so confused...but I will read on...

Above all, if Christ wished to renew the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages and all over the world as the sacrifice of the New Law in the Holy Mass, he had to allow other men to share in his priesthood.



For if there is to be a true sacrifice, there must be a priesthood ordained and authorized by God from whose hands God will accept the sacrifice.

What kind of sacrifice are we talking about God accpeting???

All attacks on the priesthood of the Catholic Church thus go back to denial that the Holy Mass is a true sacrifice, entrusted by Christ to his Church, and ultimately to denial of any visible Church to which Christ entrusted his work as mediator and redeemer.

Who is attacking them????? I thought the preists were attacking people....

So the attacks of Wycliffe, the Reformers and the "liberal" historians regarded the setting up of an official priesthood as the result of the evolution of Christian life in the early Christian communities. The priesthood is ordained in the first place for the offering of sacrifice and therefore for the solemnization of the Church's formal worship. The arrangements for these celebrations demand also a corresponding ministry and thus graded ministers to the alter. This grading of the ministry goes in part back to direct institution by Christ, but in part was introduced by the Church.

The one thing I don't understand about priests and nuns is, why if it is one of our main purposes to replenish God's flock are they not allowed???? Is that their sacrifice to God????

The degrees of order - the four minor and three major orders with the highest of all, that of Bishop - signify an order of rank in the mediation of grace.

And all this time I thought the highest was Pope!!!

It must be distinguished from the other order of rank which concerns jurisdiction, magisterium and pastorate. The latter are not essentially linked with the powers of mediation of grace, but in the concrete order established by God there are close relationships between the two kinds of power.


For example, the fact that the power of forgiving sins exists in the Church does not, in itself, say anything about who has this power.

Once again, I thought God was the only one to do this...

But in the divine order, only a priest can have it.

Oh...dare I say it?????

Besides the conflict about the fact of the sacrament of order, its institution by Christ and its hierarchical structure, it has always been a principal concern of the Church to raise the priesthood to the high moral level suitable to its sublime duties. In the West, a most important stem in this direction was the insistence on celibacy.

Why just in the West???? There are perverts all over. Remember "Thorn Birds"

But as we are concerned here solely with doctrinal matters, documents on this are not given.


Sacrament of Extremeunction or Anointing of the Sick

As to Anointing by conferring the Holy Spirit completes the sacrament of baptism, so extreme unction is the complement and completion of penance.

I thought we did that with Confirmation???

Penance restores the justification lost by sin, extreme unction takes away the infirmity left by sin; it 'removes that state which might be an obstacle to the clothing with glory of the resurrection'; and, as every sacrament makes us men in some respect like Christ, 'so we become by extreme unction like the risen Christ because it will be given to the dying as a sign of the glory to come in which everything mortal will be stripped from the elect' (Albertus Magnus). According to the teaching of great theologians, the holy anointing makes the man who stands at the threshold of eternity and loyally cooperates with the grace of the sacrament ready to enter directly upon the Beatific Vision. That this sacrament was provided for the sick to strengthen them and prepare them for a happy passage to the hereafter was for centuries an undisputed part of tradition.

Agghhh, it makes the sick strong enough to get to heaven???? I am having some spirit vs. mortal body issues here....HELP ANYONE?

The ancient prayers accompanying the anointing of the sick are evidence of this. The Church only had to concern herself officially with the doctrinal side of it when particular questions cropped up or errors appeared. For this reason the earliest documents deal more with the question of the minister and the external rites. It was not until the Reformation denied the sacramentality of extreme unction and its institution by Christ that a more exact exposition was demanded of the Council of Trent.

Okay...so they don't have any history on this except the prayers, so they made the rest up????



I truly wonder if most Catholics understand all of this????

I will do some more in a few days....need to let all of this soak in.

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