Sacraments, Grace, Nourishment

The sacraments were given to us by Christ. They are the means by which we receive the sanctifying grace that Jesus earned for us through his passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus, being God, knew that the sacraments would be the perfect and most fitting way for us to receive the grace he earned for us, since as creatures with bodies, we experience the sacraments with all of our bodily senses, sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. We hear the words used in the administration of the sacraments (“I baptize you in the name of the Father . . .” “The Body of Christ . . .” “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”), we feel, taste, and smell the bread, wine, water, oil and other matter used in the sacraments. God knows that we are best led to things spiritual through things that we can experience with our bodies. This makes perfect sense since it is also through our bodily senses that we are tempted and led to sin.

We must always remember that we consist of a body AND a soul. Just as the physical body is born, strengthened, nourished, healed in affliction, helped at the hour of death, guided by authority, and given a place in which to dwell, the soul is brought into spiritual life by Baptism; it is strengthened by Confirmation; nourished by the Holy Eucharist; healed by Penance; helped at the hour of our death by Anointing of the Sick; guided by God's ministers through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and it is given a body in which to dwell by the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Every sacrament is important! As Catholics we are extremely fortunate to have the sacraments at our disposal. Our faith is centered on the sacraments, especially the Eucharist in which Jesus is present and makes himself available to us daily at Mass. Jesus Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist is our greatest source of nourishment and strength for our journey through life, the goal of which is to return to our Father in Heaven and experience the Beatific Vision (to behold God face to face)

As parents we love our children, we want only the very best for them, and so we provide everything humanly possible for them out of love and concern for their welfare. We desire for them to have the best life possible!

Well think about this! God is the PERFECT PARENT and we are all His children. If we, as imperfect parents, want the best for our children, how much more do you think God, the PERFECT PARENT, wants for all of us? He knows what is best for us and He wants the best for us which is exactly why He wants us to do His will (to live and behave in certain ways)!

It is similar to us wanting our children to do certain things and behave in certain ways because we know that it is in their best interest. Just as our children’s lives will be made better by following our direction and listening to our advice, our lives will improve beyond measure by following the direction of our Heavenly Father. God directs us and makes His will known to us through Jesus Christ! The teachings and truths of our faith have been passed on to us beginning with the Apostles and remain with us today in the one teaching authority of the Church referred to as the Magisterium.

In Matthew 7:24-27, at the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says these words, 24 "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."

Let us build foundations on the Rock and sustain and support those foundations with the grace Jesus provides through the sacraments!

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