"When God gives us his strength, we call this "grace". Especially in the sacred signs that we call the sacraments, God gives us the ability actually to do the good that we want to do." (YOUCAT question 279)
The Sacraments are visible, tangible signs of God’s grace in our lives. God created us as physical beings and he desires to share his love and mercy with us in a way that is experiential, not just spiritual. So God comes to us through these holy Sacraments not just to engage our hearts, our minds, and our souls, but also our physical senses... We
the beauty of a Marriage ceremony; We
the cleansing waters of Baptism; We
the aroma of the chrism oil at Confirmation; We
the bread which conceals Christ in the Eucharist; We
the words of absolution during Reconciliation.
The Sacraments have both a visible and invisible reality – a reality open to all the human senses but only fully understood with the eyes of faith. When parents hug their children, for example, the visible reality we see is the hug. The invisible reality the hug conveys is love. We cannot "see" the love the hug expresses, though sometimes we can see its nurturing effect in the child. It is the same with God's grace in us.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by Jesus. They are:
The Sacraments of Initiation
(Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist)
The Sacraments of Healing
(Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick)
The Sacraments at the Service of Communion
(Marriage and Holy Orders)
Through the Sacraments, God shares his grace and holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier. To learn more about the Sacraments or how to prepare for them, see the links in the side nav or contact our Director of Faith Formation, Beth Oley
or at 248.693.0440 ext. 217.