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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Inside Holy Spirit Interactive

The Complete Catholic Handbook

The Complete Catholic Handbook

Chapter VI - The Sacraments

  1. What is a Sacrament?
  2. Do the Sacraments always give grace?
  3. Whence have the Sacraments the power of giving grace?
  4. Ought we to have a great desire to receive the Sacraments?
  5. Is a character given to the soul by any of the Sacraments?
  6. What is a character?
  7. How many Sacraments are there?

  1. What is a Sacrament?
    A Sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace, ordained by Jesus Christ, by which grace is given to our souls.

    Sacrament.
    Something that is sacred or holy. Three things are required in order to make a Sacrament:
    1. Outward sign, which consists of two parts, viz., the matter, or the outward sensible things used in giving the Sacrament; and the form, or the words said when applying the matter.
    2. Inward grace, or the invisible effect of the Sacrament on the soul.
    3. Instituted by Christ; that is, it must have been ordained or appointed by our Lord as a means of giving grace to our souls.

  2. Do the Sacraments always give grace?
    The Sacraments always give grace to those who receive them worthily.

    Worthily.
    With the proper dispositions.

  3. Whence have the Sacraments the power of giving grace?
    The Sacraments have the power of giving grace from the merits of Christís Precious Blood, which they apply to our souls.

  4. Ought we to have a great desire to receive the Sacraments?
    We ought to have a great desire to receive the Sacraments, because they are the chief means of our salvation.

  5. Is a character given to the soul by any of the Sacraments?
    A character is given to the soul by the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Order.

  6. What is a character?
    A character is a mark or seal on the soul which cannot be effaced, and therefore the Sacrament conferring it may not be repeated.

  7. How many Sacraments are there?
    There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Order, and Matrimony.

    There are seven. The Sacraments may be divided into two classes:
    1. Sacraments of the dead, viz., Baptism and Penance. They are so called because they alone have the power of raising the soul from the death of sin to the life of grace.
    2. Sacraments of the living, viz. Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Order, and Matrimony.
    In order to receive these five Sacraments worthily, the soul must be spiritually alive, that is, in a state of grace. There are some Sacraments which leave a special mark or character on the soul, viz., Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Order. These can only be received once; the others may be received more than once. All the Sacraments when received worthily, either give or increase sanctifying grace. A Sacrament is said to be received validly when the matter and form ordained by Christ are properly applied by the minister to one who is capable and willing to receive it. A Sacrament is received lawfully or fruitfully, when besides what is wanted for its valid reception, there are in the person receiving it the dispositions required to obtain the grace of the Sacrament.

    Next: Baptism