Introduction to the Sacraments:
The sacraments are encounters with God; they are sacred events and actions that allow us to see and experience the Spirit at work in our everyday life. They nourish and strengthen us and call us to nourish one another. Our experience of God is not limited to the sacraments for God reaches out to us in many ways. But the sacraments are real, personal and dynamic encounters with our loving, personal and Triune God.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
– Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist
The sacraments that initiate one into the life of Christ are called the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. These three introduce us into the mystery of Christ Jesus who has come to lead us into the joy and wholeness of the Kingdom of God. Through these sacraments, we become conscious and committed members of the Church. It is helpful to see the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist as a unity even if, in the course of two thousand years, they were separated for various reasons. Each of these three sacraments is a deeper immersion into the life, death and resurrection of Christ within the Spirit-filled community of the Church.
SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
– Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick
There are two sacraments of healing in Catholic sacramental life, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. The goal of each sacramental rite is to bring God’s healing to the sick through Jesus the Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an encounter with the mercy of God. It is the process whereby a person whose actions or lack of actions has wounded one’s relationship with himself/herself, with others and or with God. Jesus has given the community of His disciples a way to be reconciled with the whole People of God who has been affected by the reality of human sin and evil. Through the ministry of the priest confessor, a person who seeks healing from sin can be assured that (s)he has been forgiven both by God and the community through the confession of sins, the absolution of God through the church and the doing of one’s penance to begin making up for the harm caused by one’s words, actions or lack of action.
Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, in the course of our human life, we experience physical, psychological or spiritual illness. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was given by Jesus to be a sign of his healing presence in the life of the sick person so they might be healed of the cause of one’s illnes. The Sacrament of the Sick is administered by the priest by anointing the sick person on the forehead and the palms of the hands, invoking God to bring healing to the ill person through the power of the Holy Spirit. This sacrament heals the cause of sin in one’s life so they can be healed and set free. This sacrament may be received as often as necessary to help restore the sick to full health once again.
THE SACRAMENTS OF VOCATION
-Marriage and Ordination
There are two sacraments of vocation in Catholic life, marriage and the ordained ministry. Both vocations, though lived differently, have the same goal of leading people to union with God which is the Kingdom of God.
Sacrament of Marriage is the bond of love lived out daily between a husband and wife as they journey together through life as friends, partners, lovers and companions. In addition to supporting one another in loving care, a married couple joins in the creative power of God by bringing forth children into the world. As parents, the husband and wife are called to love, nurture and educate their children in the life of the Catholic faith so that one day these children will be intelligent, responsible and loving adults.
Sacrament of Holy Orders, the mission of ordained ministry in the Catholic Church is to serve the Christian community by helping to order its communal life in such a way that the community can be living witness of Jesus Christ in the world. Deacons, priests and bishops, called by God for service to the People of God, dedicate themselves to the building up of the community of Christ who is Himself the head of the Church which is his Mystical Body.