Sacraments

BlessingTheGifts-cropped

Through his words and deeds, Jesus personally established seven sacraments by which we enter into and renew our covenantal relationship with God the Father. Sacraments are not just experiences, symbols, or signs. Rather, they are powerful instruments of grace, whereby God grants and infuses his divine life within the human soul, transforming us into his sons and daughters. Surely, they signify the grace given, but they are signs that actually give what they signify.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

“The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.” (CCC 1131)

Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

“The purpose of the sacraments is to make people holy, to build up the Body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God; but being signs they also have a teaching function. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called ‘sacraments of faith.’ They do indeed impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them disposes the faithful most effectively to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God rightly, and to practice charity.”(Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 59)