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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Catholic & Sacramentals

Palm Sunday Palm Branches: Palms are sacramentals of the Church distributed to the faithful on Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Easter) the day that commemorates Christ's entry into Jerusalem. 

Sacraments = a visible sign of an invisible grace 
The seven Sacraments

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Eucharist (the Mass)
  • Marriage
  • Holy Orders (including the priesthood, episcopate and diaconate)
  • Reconciliation (Penance or Confession)
  • Anointing of the Sick
Through the sacraments, humanity touches and is touched by the presence of God. In addition to the seven sacraments, there are also a countless number of sacramental, that is devotional rituals and sacred objects that are similar to sacraments but that do not cause grace by the inherent power of Jesus Christ. Sacramentals cause grace in proportion to the faith and devotion of those who receive or use them.

Sacramentals include:
  • holy water
  • ashes distributed on Ash Wednesday
  • the crucifix
  • the palms distributed on Palm Sunday
  • a blessed medal worn around the neck
  • a pain of rosary beads
  • a statue of Jesus
  • the Blessed Mother or a saint
  • the blessing of an automobile, an animal, or a prayer book
  • Benediction of the Blessed Sacraments and
  • the stations of the cross
As expressed in its sacraments and sacramentals, therefore the catholic vision 'sees' God in all things : people, events, places, objects, nature, the whole cosmos, even in the passage of time itself. The visible, the tangible, the finite, the historical - all these are actual or potential bearens of the divine presence. For Catholic, it is only in and through these material realities that one can encounter the invisble God.

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