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Chapter 11: The Sacraments INTRODUCTION TO CATHOLICISM.

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1 Chapter 11: The Sacraments INTRODUCTION TO CATHOLICISM

2 ANTICIPATORY SET Incorporate Christ’s institution of the Sacrament of Penance (cf. Jn 20:19-23) into the class’s Opening Prayer. Then free write about what Christ’s words imply about the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

3 BASIC QUESTIONS  How do the Sacraments make sense in terms of human nature?  How are Sacraments efficacious signs?  What is the origin and number of the Sacraments?  What does ex opere operato mean in relation to the Sacraments? KEY IDEAS  In accord with human nature, the Sacraments use physical, sensible signs to indicate spiritual, invisible realities.  As the instruments of God’s grace, the Sacraments actually accomplish in the soul what their signs symbolize.  Christ instituted Seven Sacraments: Baptism, the Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.  Regardless of the moral state of the minister, the Sacraments work ex opere operato―by the very fact of the action’s being performed―as long as the minister has the right intention and the recipient has the proper disposition. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

4 GUIDED EXERCISE Perform a focused reading on the introduction to this chapter based on the following question:  How do the Sacraments correspond to a need of human nature? 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

5 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the significance of the Greek word originally used for the Sacraments? The Greek mysterion means mystery, “a sign of something, sacred or hidden, and inexhaustible.” A Sacrament is a sign of God’s grace, which is indeed “sacred or hidden, and inexhaustible.” What is the etymology of the word “Sacrament”? The word “Sacrament” comes from the Latin sacramentum, meaning oath. What was the original secular meaning of sacramentum? The word sacramentum was used in the Roman Empire to refer to the initiation ceremony for new soldiers in which they would both take an oath of office and be branded behind the ear as a sign of that office. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

6 FOCUS QUESTIONS How is a Sacrament a sign of grace? A Sacrament is a physical act that indicates an internal, spiritual reality or transformation. The act of immersing a person in water in Baptism is a sign of interior cleansing from sin and a sign of death to sin. Why is a Sacrament an efficacious sign? A Sacrament is the means by which God communicates his grace. Baptism is a sign of physical cleansing, by which God cleanses the soul and “washes away” sin, and it is a sign of death, whose union with Christ’s Death allows the Christian to rise with him. What makes the Sacraments efficacious? Christ is the one who works in the Sacraments. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

7 GUIDED EXERCISE Think/Pair/Write/Share using the following question:  How are mysterion and sacramentum both appropriate terms for the Church’s Sacraments? 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

8 FOCUS QUESTIONS Who instituted the Sacraments? Christ instituted the Sacraments during his earthly ministry. To whom did Christ entrust the administration of the Sacraments? Christ entrusted the administration to his Church, led by St. Peter, the head, and the other Apostles. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

9 FOCUS QUESTIONS Does the Bible record the institution of each Sacrament explicitly? No. How do we know Christ established the Sacraments? We know Christ established the Sacraments from his words and deeds and because the Apostles continued to celebrate the Sacraments after his Ascension into Heaven. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

10 GUIDED EXERCISE Divide the class into seven groups, assigning each group one of the Sacraments. Have each group look up the passage relevant to its Sacrament listed in the sidebar “The Sacraments in Sacred Scripture” (p. 248) and then explain how this passage supports the idea that Christ established that Sacrament. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

11 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is sacramental grace specifically? It is a sharing in the divine life of God. What are the Seven Sacraments? The Seven Sacraments are Baptism, the Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

12 FOCUS QUESTIONS What does the phrase ex opere operato mean literally? This Latin phrase means “from the work performed.” How does the phrase ex opere operato apply to the Sacraments? The Sacraments act ex opere operato, “by the very fact of the action’s being performed.” 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

13 FOCUS QUESTIONS Is the validity of a Sacrament dependent on the holiness of the minister? No, the validity of a Sacrament is not dependent on the holiness of the minister. What is the only requirement on the part of the minister for the Sacrament to be valid? He must have the intention to celebrate the Sacrament validly. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

14 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the only requirement on the part of the recipient of a Sacrament to receive the sacramental graces offered? He or she must not place an obstacle to the reception of sacramental grace. What is an example of an obstacle to a person receiving the grace of a Sacrament? Receiving Confirmation or the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin prevents one from receiving sacramental grace and, in fact, is in itself the sin of sacrilege. Receiving one of these out of habit or for the sake of appearances, furthermore, would result in receiving less sacramental grace than if it had been received out of a desire to enter into an intimate encounter with our Lord. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

15 FOCUS QUESTIONS Which Sacraments are received only once? Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders (per degree, e.g., diaconate) can each be received only once. Why can these Sacraments be received only once? These Sacraments can be received only once because each imprints an indelible character, or mark, on the soul. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

16 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 1-6 (p. 257)  Practical Exercises 1-2 (p. 258)  Workbook Questions 1-13  Read “Matter, Form, and Minister” through “Conclusion” (pp ) 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

17 CLOSURE Write a paragraph explaining how the Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, dependent on the intention of the minister and the disposition of the recipient. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

18 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Free write for a few minutes about something you found hard to understand in this lesson in order to gain greater clarity. 1. Sacraments as Efficacious Signs of Grace (pp )

19 ANTICIPATORY SET Mini-lecture on the Sacraments and the natural and supernatural orders. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

20 BASIC QUESTIONS  What are the matter, form, and minister of the Sacraments?  What is the distinction between sanctifying and actual grace?  What are the proper dispositions to receive the Sacraments?  Why are the Sacraments necessary? KEY IDEAS  In order to be efficacious, a Sacrament must be celebrated with the proper matter, form, and minister.  Sanctifying grace is a permanent possession of divine life given in the Sacraments. Actual grace is temporary assistance from God to help us perform specific good actions or to avoid sin.  Proper disposition means having the right intention and being in the proper spiritual state.  Through the Sacraments, God gives us the graces necessary to be saved and live as his children. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

21 FOCUS QUESTIONS What are the three required elements in the celebration of each Sacrament? The three required elements in the celebration of each Sacrament are matter, form, and minister(s). What is the matter of a Sacrament? The matter of a Sacrament is the material or physical sign through which God communicates his divine life. What is the matter of Baptism? The matter of Baptism is water. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

22 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the form of a Sacrament? The form of a Sacrament is the prescribed words necessary for its celebration. What is the form of Baptism? The form of Baptism is the words, “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” which is pronounced while the minister immerses the recipient or pours water over his or her head three times. Extension: Another equally valid form, used in the Eastern Catholic Churches, is the words, “The Servant of God N. is baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

23 FOCUS QUESTIONS Without the form, can a Sacrament be conveyed? No; the form is necessary for the Sacrament to be celebrated. What is the minister of the Sacrament? The minister of a Sacrament is the person who performs the sacramental act. Who is the minister of Holy Orders? Only a bishop can serve as the minister of Holy Orders. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

24 F OCUS QUESTIONS Who is the minister of Matrimony? The bride and groom themselves are the ministers of Matrimony. Extension: Another equally valid understanding, seen in the practice of the Eastern Catholic Churches, is the priest or bishop himself is the minister of this Sacrament. Who is the ultimate minister of every Sacrament? Christ himself is the true and ultimate minister of every Sacrament. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

25 GUIDED EXERCISE Work with a partner to identify the matter, form, and minister of one of the Seven Sacraments. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

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27 FOCUS QUESTIONS What two forms of grace does God give? God gives sanctifying grace and actual grace. Where is sanctifying grace received? People receive sanctifying grace in the Sacraments. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

28 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is sanctifying grace? Sanctifying grace is a “stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love” (CCC 2000). What are some of the effects of sanctifying grace? Two effects of sanctifying grace are (1) the capacity to accomplish deeds that go beyond the natural powers of human beings, as is seen in the lives of the saints; and (2) the ability to become temples of the indwelling Trinity, adopted sons and daughters of God, and heirs to Heaven. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

29 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why is sanctifying grace gratuitous? It is gratuitous because God gives it freely to his people, who in no way deserve it. Why is sanctifying grace also called habitual grace? It is called habitual grace because it is a permanent disposition that helps people choose good over and evil and persist in virtue. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

30 FOCUS QUESTIONS Does sanctifying grace take away concupiscence? No; people are still vulnerable to temptation and prone to sin and doubt. What weakens and even removes sanctifying grace in the soul? Venial sins weaken sanctifying grace in the soul; mortal sin destroys sanctifying grace in the soul. Extension: Sin cannot do anything to grace per se because grace is the life of God. Sin does, however, change a person’s dispositions so that he or she cannot benefit from grace. Sin closes the soul to God’s grace. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

31 FOCUS QUESTIONS What restores sanctifying grace lost by mortal sin? Worthy reception of the Sacrament of Penance restores sanctifying grace to the soul. What is actual grace? Actual grace is temporary assistance given by God to overcome a particular sin and to act virtuously. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

32 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the relationship between actual grace and freedom? Actual grace does not violate human freedom or force a person to choose good. Instead, it enables a person to make right decisions and thus achieve true freedom. What is the relationship between grace and responsibility? A person is responsible for whether or not he or she responds to grace. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

33 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the double meaning of proper disposition to receive sacramental grace? (1) A person must have the intention to receive the promised graces, and (2) he or she must be in the proper spiritual condition to receive them. Is a person completely on his or her own when it comes to possessing the proper disposition to receive grace? No; God also gives grace to be properly disposed to receive further grace. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

34 FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the consequence of receiving a Sacrament unworthily? It is sacrilege, a serious sin. Extension: God instituted Baptism and Penance to be received in a state of mortal sin. However, even these Sacraments can be received unworthily: for example, Baptism should not be received to gain acceptance by others, nor should one go to Confession without feeling contrition for sin. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

35 GUIDED EXERCISE Mini-lecture explaining the three categories of Sacraments. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

36 FOCUS QUESTIONS Why are Sacraments necessary for salvation? People need grace in order to be holy, and the Sacraments are the ordinary means by which God makes his grace available. What three calls do the Sacraments make? Through the Sacraments, God calls his people (1) to a life of personal holiness and a sense of vocation; (2) to worship him as his Church indicates in order to obtain the graces needed to grow in holiness and fulfill one’s vocation; and (3) to live according to the moral teachings of the Church. What is the relationship between the Sacraments and community? Through the Sacraments God gives the graces needed to become and live as members of the Church, the Christian community. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

37 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Study Questions 7-15 (p. 257)  Practical Exercises 3-5 (p. 258)  Workbook Questions Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

38 CLOSURE Write a paragraph summarizing either (1) the meaning of the matter, form, and minister of the Sacraments or (2) the distinction between sanctifying and actual grace. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

39 ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Free write on Practical Exercise 1, which asks about the three divine calls of the Sacraments. 2. Matter, Form, and Minister of the Sacraments (pp )

40 THE END


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