VISIBLE SIGNS OF GOD'S GRACE
“The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1113
What exactly are Sacraments? According to the USCCB website:
The visible reality we see in the Sacraments is their outward expression, the form they take, and the way in which they are administered and received. The invisible reality we cannot “see” is God’s grace, his gracious initiative in redeeming us through the death and Resurrection of his Son. His initiative is called grace because it is the free and loving gift by which he offers people a share in his life, and shows us his favor and will for our salvation.
There are 7 sacraments:
Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Confession (Penance),
Holy Orders, Marriage, and Anointing of the Sick.
Learn more about the administration of the Sacraments at Saint Thomas Aquinas parish below.
Baptism is a sacrament of initiation that washes away original sin and marks the beginning of a new life in Christ. It requires faith and repentance, and is celebrated in the community of faith. It is a gift of God’s grace.
In the the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. The whole Christ is truly present under the appearances of bread and wine.
Confirmation is a Catholic Sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. It is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation for Catholics. It is most often associated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation brings about a change of heart through God’s mercy and forgiveness. Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance) is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in His love and mercy.
ANOINTING OF THE SICK
In the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin and sometimes even physical ailment. This Sacrament tells us of Jesus’ plan to conquer sin and death.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles, continues to be
exercised in the Church until the end of time. It includes three degrees: episcopate (bishop), presbyterate (priest), and diaconate (deacon).
The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. The permanent and exclusive union between husband and wife mirrors the union of Christ and the Church. It is a sacrament that benefits the couple as well as the whole Church.