Posted by thefriendlyblogger
Questions 170 to 178
Here we look at the centrality of God and Jesus’ death and Resurrection to the liturgy; as well the roles faith, the sacraments and the liturgy play in our redemption.
Read Audience: Praying as the Body of Christ:
The liturgy is a “participation in Christ’s own prayer addressed to the Father in the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1073). The Church, as Christ’s Mystical Body and united with him, offers worship to the Father. By identifying ourselves with Christ in his prayer to the Father, we rediscover our deepest identity as Christians, as children of “Our Father who art in heaven”. The liturgy is also an encounter of the whole Christ, that is, with Christ and his body the Church. Thus, the liturgy is a sharing in the prayer of the living, universal community of believers in Christ. Prayer becomes the habitual realization of the presence of God, as we make the words of the Church our own, and learn to speak in her and through her. The Church is most truly itself in the liturgy, as it is the place where God comes to us and enters our lives. Let us remember that the liturgy is celebrated for God, not for us; it is his work; he is its subject. For our part, in the liturgy we must leave ourselves open to be guided by him and by his Body, the Church”.
“As the Second Vatican Council teaches, it is by means of the liturgy that Christ, our Redeemer and High Priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with and through his Church. This is the great marvel of the liturgy: God acts, while we are caught up in his action,” the Pope said…
The people in question are the “new people of God, brought into being by Christ” through his passion, death and resurrection. This means it is a people “which does not exist by itself and which is not bound by blood, territory or country, but is brought into being through the paschal mystery,” the Pope noted.
From What are the seven Sacraments?:
Jesus Christ instituted the sacraments…There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1210)The traditional definition of a sacrament is this: “A sacrament is a visible sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace”.
This question describes the effects of Sacramental Grace.
From A Tour of the SUMMA:
Man acquires intellectual knowledge from sense-knowledge. Therefore, sensible signs are aptly used to signify spiritual things. A sacrament is a sign that the senses can grasp; then the mind can read the intellectual and spiritual meaning which the sign is meant to convey. A sacrament is always an outer or sensible sign.
See Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
Again from A Tour of the SUMMA:
Not every sacrament of the New Law imprints an indelible character on the soul. Such a character is impressed by those sacraments which are ordained for divine worship and which give a person power to receive or confer other sacraments. Baptism empowers a person to receive other sacraments. Confirmation … has something of this same purpose. Holy order empowers the receiver to confer sacraments on others. Therefore, these three sacraments (baptism,confirmation, holy order), imprint, respectively, a character on the soul. A property of these sacraments is that they can be received only once by the same person. Their respective characters never fade or admit of renewal.
From Faith, Sacraments and the Unity of the Church:
15. The sacraments of the Church are “sacraments of faith” where God the Father hears the “epiclesis”. (invocation) in which the Church expresses its faith by this prayer for the coming of the Spirit. In them, the Father gives his Holy Spirit who leads us into the fullness of salvation in Christ. Christ himself constitutes the Church as his Body. The Holy Spirit edifies the Church. There is no gift in the Church which cannot be attributed to the Spirit. (Basil the Great, PG 30, 289). The sacraments are both gift and grace of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ in the Church. This is expressed very concisely in an Orthodox hymn of Pentecost: “The Holy Spirit is the author of every gift. He makes prophecies spring forth. He renders priests perfect. He teaches wisdom to the ignorant. He makes fishermen into theologians and consolidates the institution of the Church”.
See the New Catholic Dictionary: ex opere operato.
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