Sacraments

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Baptism
Confirmation
Holy Eucharist
Reconciliation
Last Rites
Holy Orders
Matrimony
It is important that you know whether you have Sanctifying Grace in your soul or not.   It is something you cannot afford to be uncertain about.  Grace, however, is absolutely spiritual.  You cannot feel it or experience it with any of the five senses.  A religious feeling does not indicate the presence of Sanctifying Grace in the soul.  Therefore Jesus Christ had to give us some signs which would indicate that Grace is going into the soul.  He had to give us signs that we could see, feel,   hear or experience with some of the five senses.  As a matter of fact, He gave us seven such signs by which we could know that we are receiving Grace.  These signs are the seven Sacraments.

The Sacraments are another indication of how much God loves you and how interested He is in you.  Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Sacraments.

What is absolutely necessary to get to Heaven?  You have to have Sanctifying Grace in your soul when you die.  Sanctifying Grace is God's life in the soul.

How do you obtain Sanctifying Grace?  One of the chief ways of obtaining Sanctifying Grace is by receiving the Sacraments.

What is a Sacrament?  An outward sign made by Jesus Christ to give you grace.

What is an outward sign?  Anything which you can see or hear or feel which tells you about something you cannot see.

How are the Sacraments outward signs?  The outward sign of the Sacrament of Baptism, for example, is the pouring of the water on your head and saying the words, "I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

How are the Sacraments different from other outward signs?  The Sacraments not only tell you that you have Grace in your soul, but they actually put the Grace into it.

Name the Seven Sacraments.  Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders and Matrimony.  Holy Eucharist is also known as Holy Communion, Penance is also known as Confession, Extreme Unction is also known as Last Rites and Holy Orders is also known as Priesthood.

Describe the Seven Sacraments.  Baptism takes away Original Sin and gives you Sanctifying Grace for the first time.  Confirmation gives you the Holy Spirit and makes you a strong Catholic.  Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Penance takes away sins committed after Baptism.  Extreme Unction prepares you for death.  Holy Orders gives a man the powers of the priesthood.   Matrimony unites a couple in Christian marriage and gives them the graces they need to obey God's law on marriage.

Do the Sacraments always give grace?  Yes, if you receive them worthily.

Give some examples of receiving Sacraments unworthily.  Receiving Holy Communion, Marriage with a mortal sin on your soul.  Not telling all your mortal sins in Confession.

What kind of sin is it to receive a Sacrament unworthily?  A mortal sin and a sacrilege.

Where do the Sacraments get the power to give grace?  From God because only God can make an outward sign (like the pouring of water) able to put grace into the soul.

What else do the Sacraments give besides Sanctifying Grace?   Special help called sacramental grace.  For example, Confirmation gives you the strength to be a loyal Catholic, Matrimony gives you the special help to live your married life according to God's law.

How many times can you receive Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders?   You can receive these Sacraments only once.  Moreover, only qualified Catholic men can receive Holy Orders.

Why can you receive these Sacraments only once?  Because they imprint on the soul a spiritual mark called a character.  This mark stays on the soul after death for the glory of those who are saved and for the shame of those who are lost.

How many times may you receive Holy Communion and Penance?  Every day, if you want.  Many Catholics receive these Sacraments once a week.

How often can you receive the Sacrament of Matrimony?  Only once unless your marriage partner dies.

How often can you receive Extreme Unction (last rites)?  Any time you are in danger of death from sickness, old age or accident.

Who gives you the Sacrament?  The priest gives you Baptism, Holy Communion, Penance and Extreme Unction.  Ordinarily, the bishop gives Confirmation.   Only a bishop can give Holy Orders.  The bride and groom give the Sacrament of Matrimony to each other although a priest and two witnesses have to be present.  In an emergency, anyone, even a non-Catholic can baptise.

 
Baptism    Confirmation    Holy Eucharist    Reconciliation    Last Rites    Holy Orders    Matrimony
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