Thursday, October 4, 2018

Reason no. 3 why I remain Catholic: The Sacraments

"The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us." CCC 1131

Divine life! Isn't that what we are striving for as Christians? We need food for the journey. The sacraments are our nourishment. They provide the sustenance and the grace for this arduous journey called life. 

As a child I never understood the sacraments. They were just "rituals" that Catholics had; milestones or rites of passage. Heck, if we're going to be truthful, sometimes sacraments are just a good excuse for a celebration. 

My parents gave me the gift of baptizing me and then having me receive my first holy communion. Still I did not understand my faith. I left the Church for some time in my late teens.

It wasn't until my early twenties, when I received the sacrament of Confirmation, that I realized they were actually Christ's instrument to give us His grace. 

"The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament." CCC 1131

I was on fire for the Lord, having been newly converted. I asked to receive the sacrament of Confirmation and learned that "I would receive my mission from Christ and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit." CCC 1294

I was to become a soldier of Christ and give my yes to Him of my own accord. The faith had finally become my own and not just something I had inherited from my family. I was responsible to grow in my faith and not remain stagnant. I had a relationship with Christ and just like any relationship it was a two way street. I was responsible to grow in my love for Him and therefore to know Him better.

The sacraments can only "bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions." CCC 1131 

I began to frequent daily Mass and seek reconciliation often. However, in order to receive God's grace in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist I must be properly disposed to receive Him. I must be in the state of grace in order to receive the God of the universe into my heart. This compelled me to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation where, through the ministry of the priest, I am able receive the grace of Christ's forgiveness by asking His forgiveness with a contrite heart.

I later administered the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony together with my husband David before a witness of priests and friends and family. Here we received the graces to live our marriage and to bring up children. 

With each sacrament and with those I can receive daily I am striving for the Divine Life.  

The Sacraments are God's concrete way of working through our senses to make himself known to us. And knowing God helps us to love Him more and the more we love God, the more we can convey the divine life so that some day, we can reach heaven. 

Disclaimer: photo courtesy of Didgeman @ pixabay

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