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What Is a Sacrament? Grace for Life. Opening Prayer God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving.

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Presentation on theme: "What Is a Sacrament? Grace for Life. Opening Prayer God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Is a Sacrament? Grace for Life

2 Opening Prayer God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome. Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy, so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

3 A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians (2: 4-10) God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-- not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

4 VIDEO: The Seven Sacraments http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbGXnLzweAM (run time 4:44) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbGXnLzweAM

5 The Problem: Which Eskimo Are You? There are these two guys sitting together in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the guys is religious, the other is an atheist, and the two are arguing about the existence of God. And the atheist says: "Look, it's not like I don't have actual reasons for not believing in God. It's not like I haven't ever experimented with the whole God and prayer thing. Just last month I got caught away from the camp in that terrible blizzard, and I was totally lost and I couldn't see a thing, and it was fifty below, and so I tried it: I fell to my knees in the snow and cried out 'Oh, God, if there is a God, I'm lost in this blizzard, and I'm gonna die if you don't help me.'" And now, in the bar, the religious guy looks at the atheist all puzzled. "Well then you must believe now," he says, "After all, here you are, alive." The atheist just rolls his eyes. "No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp."

6 Why Do We Need the Sacraments? We need sacraments in order to outgrow our petty human life and to become like Jesus through Jesus: children of God in freedom and glory. [CCC 1129] The sacraments: Extend Christ’s humanity Give the Holy Spirit in different ways Give rise to the Church Give divine life Basically, the Sacraments give us what we need to grow in the light of Christ. What do we need? What is that Eskimo missing? -- Grace

7 The Doctrine Sacraments are: Outward signs Of inward grace Instituted by Christ for our sanctification

8 The Outward Sign A sign stands for and represents something else. Types of signs: Water (Baptism) Absolution (Reconciliation) Bread (Eucharist) The Holy Chrism Oil(Confirmation) Rings (Marriage) Oil of Catechumens (Holy Orders) Oil of the Sick (“Oleum Infirmorum”) (Anointing of the Sick)

9 Divine Institution Between the time He began His public life and the time He ascended into heaven, Jesus fashioned the seven sacraments. When He ascended into heaven, that put an end to the making of sacraments. Video The Sacraments Explained: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV-Cwo_L3Ok (run time 2 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV-Cwo_L3Ok

10 Inward Grace? Grace is best understood in terms of a relationship. We cannot “collect” or “measure” a relationship. We can, however, enter into a relationship and allow it to sustain and nourish us. Grace is a gift of God, given to us without our earning it. Sanctifying grace, which we receive in the sacraments, fills us with God’s life and makes it possible for us always to be his friends. When we say that we receive God’s grace in Baptism, we are saying that we receive his life and enter into relationship with him. To be in the state of grace is to be in a healthy relationship with God. To fall from grace is to harm or reject our relationship with God.

11 Sanctifying Grace and Habitual Grace "Well then you must believe now…. After all, here you are, alive." Sanctifying grace is that marvelous supernatural life, that sharing-in-God's-own-life, that is the result of God's Love, the Holy Spirit, indwelling in our souls. Sanctifying grace is a habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love. (CCC 2000) Habitual grace, the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God's call. (CCC 2000) We all are hard wired to know and to be guided in and through God’s love for us. ALL THE TIME!

12 Sacramental Grace " Well then you must believe now…. After all, here you are, alive." Each sacrament gives the grace of that particular sacrament. These are other special helps which God wills to give us, helps keyed to our particular spiritual needs and our particular state in life. Baptismal graces give a baby the ability to: To believe in God, hope in him, and love him To live according to the power of the Holy Spirit and To grow in goodness (moral virtues).

13 Sacramental Grace " Well then you must believe now…. After all, here you are, alive."

14 The Holy Eucharist, whose special sacramental grace is growth in supernatural charity (love for God and neighbor). Reconciliation—inoculation against sin—whose special sacramental grace is to cure us of the spiritual illness of sin and to help us resist temptation. Confirmation increases our basic vitality (sanctifying grace) but also establishes a permanent fund of actual graces (sacramental grace) upon which we may draw in order to be strong and active and productive exemplars of Christian living.

15 Sacramental Grace "Well then you must believe now…. After all, here you are, alive."

16 There are also the two great states in life which impose upon us grave responsibility for the souls of others: the priesthood and marriage. The two sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony give to their recipients each its own sacramental grace, which will enable priests and spouses to discharge, creditably before God, the sometimes heavy burdens of their state in life.

17 Sacramental Grace "Well then you must believe now…. After all, here you are, alive."

18 Finally, the Anointing of the Sick strengthens us in sickness or prepares us to meet death with confidence. Its sacramental grace comforts us in our sufferings and, by supporting us in any final temptations that may assail us, enables us to face eternity unafraid.

19 Sacramental Grace "Well then you must believe now…. After all, here you are, alive."

20 Attitude "No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp." Our own attitudes matter! Our interior dispositions affects the amount of grace we receive. The deeper our sorrow for our sins in the sacrament of Reconciliation, the more ardent our appreciation in receiving the Holy Eucharist, the more lively our faith in receiving Confirmation—then the greater will be the grace we receive. We can, by a positive act of our will, prevent the grace of a sacrament from entering our soul: For example, by positively not wanting to receive it or by not being truly repentant for mortal sin. Our dispositions do not cause the grace; they simply remove the obstacles to the freer flow of grace and, in a sense, make more room for grace. The more sand we empty out of the pail, the more water the pail will hold. Grace is always with us! We just need to find it.

21 Attitude "No, man, all that was was a couple Eskimos happened to come wandering by and showed me the way back to camp." Video; “Amazing Grace” Written in 1773, "Amazing Grace" is John Newton’s spiritual autobiography in verse. He’d been a sailor involved in the slave trade, nearly died at sea. It was said that, as a young man (and like that Eskimo), Newton “began a pattern of coming very close to death, examining his relationship with God, then relapsing into bad habits.” But he had a conversion and later became a Bishop in the Anglican Church. “Amazing Grace” is considered one of the most famous Christian songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di9HZMIcVCU

22 Small Group Discussion Think about and discuss the grace received from prior sacraments? Do you remember what it was like to learn about God as a little kid? What was it like receiving first communion? Going to confession? How do you think Christ present in each of the sacraments? Reading: Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 (on next slide). What does this reading tell us about the grace Confirmation offers you? What grace do we need going into high school? Where do we need strength? So, which Eskimo are you?

23 Small Group Discussion Reading Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 5:1-2, 5-8 Brothers and sisters, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

24 Closing Prayer Lord, there are many who need my help. Grant me the grace through the Sacrament of Confirmation to see more clearly your presence in everyone - even those people who are different from me. Grant me the knowledge to understand how I may better help others – even when it is hard to see past my own wants and needs. Grant me to courage to do what I must to help others – even when others around me are unwilling to do so. Never allow me to shy away from this responsibility.

25 Shine Like the Son http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsOGXxQUuhQ


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