The Latin word sacramentum means “a sign of the sacred.” The seven sacraments are sacred rituals that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. These special occasions are for experiencing God’s saving presence. They are the divine help which God gives us to enable us to:
- Believe the truths of his faith
- Live according to his moral code
- Grow in his gift of divine life
The Sacraments of the Catholic Church are “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions” ref Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Church affirms that, for believers as a whole, the sacraments are necessary for salvation. Through each of them Christ bestows that sacrament’s particular grace, such as incorporation into Christ and the Church, forgiveness of sins, or consecration for a particular service.
Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
St. Angela of Foligno
This Sacrament really contains You, O my God, You whom the angels adore, in whose presence the spirits and mighty powers tremble. Oh! if we could only see You clearly as they do, with what reverence would we approach this sacrament, with what humility would we receive You.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.