Monthly Archives: September 2012
YOUCAT Series 20 – How We Celebrate the Christian Mysteries: God Acts in Our Regard by Means of Sacred Signs
Questions 166 to 169
Part 2 of the Youcat focuses on the Sacraments. This first section dwells on the prominence of the liturgy; as this is where we are the closest to Christ on earth.
See Sacrosanctum concilium (The Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy from Vatican II):
47. At the Last Supper, on the night when He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity , a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.
Read Sacrosanctum concilium No. 2;
2. For the liturgy, “through which the work of our redemption is accomplished,”  most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. It is of the essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek . While the liturgy daily builds up those who are within into a holy temple of the Lord, into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit , to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ , at the same time it marvelously strengthens their power to preach Christ, and thus shows forth the Church to those who are outside as a sign lifted up among the nations  under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together , until there is one sheepfold and one shepherd .
The full text of Sacrosanctum concilium No. 10:
10. Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper.
The liturgy in its turn moves the faithful, filled with “the paschal sacraments,” to be “one in holiness” ; it prays that “they may hold fast in their lives to what they have grasped by their faith” ; the renewal in the Eucharist of the covenant between the Lord and man draws the faithful into the compelling love of Christ and sets them on fire. From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way.
The effect of the sacraments is worth reflecting on generally, though here especially in the context of the liturgy;
59. The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God; because they are signs they also instruct. 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 most effectively disposes the faithful to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God duly, and to practice charity.
It is therefore of the highest importance that the faithful should easily understand the sacramental signs, and should frequent with great eagerness those sacraments which were instituted to nourish the Christian life. (Sacrosanctum concilium No. 59)
• What is the Culture of Death?
See Why do we call it a “Culture of Death”?
• What is NaPro Technology?
See NaPro Technology
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