SACRAMENTS

THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

"Catholics believe that the Sacraments are like ladders that God gave to Himself by which He climbs down to us. The Catholic view of the Sacraments is that they are the means of salvation; that God really forgives your sins when the priest pronounces absolution in Christ’s name and in His authority; that God really regenerates your soul and removes Original Sin when you are baptized; that Christ really unites Himself to your soul in a spiritual marriage when you receive Holy Communion. Catholics believe that the Sacraments are how we cross over 2,000 years and become ‘contemporary with Christ,’ or rather how Christ crosses over and becomes contemporary with us. The answer is that we meet not just spiritually and subjectively, in our minds; we meet materially and objectively in and through the matter the Sacraments… The Sacraments are not ‘magical’ because they are not automatic. We can block the grace, and we usually do, more or less, like stopping down a faucet, or pulling down the window blinds. But the water, or the light, comes from God, not from us. Christ really comes to meet us and sanctify us in the Sacraments, however little we may appreciate Him” (Peter Kreeft, Jesus Shock, pp. 115-116).