Christ used the flesh and blood of Mary for his life on earth, the Word of love was uttered in her heartbeat. Christ used his own body to utter his love on earth; his perfectly real body, with bone and sinew and blood and tears; Christ uses our bodies to express his love on earth, our humanity. A Christian life is a sacramental life, it is not a life lived only in the mind, only by the soul... Our humanity is the substance of the sacramental life of Christ in us, like the wheat for the host, like the grape for the chalice.
How kind is our Sacramental Jesus! He welcomes you at any hour of the day or night. His Love never knows rest. He is always most gentle towards you. When you visit Him, He forgets your sins and speaks only of His joy, His tenderness, and His Love. By the reception He gives to you, one would think He has need of you to make Him happy.
Peter Julian Eymard
Centuries of secularism have failed to transform eating into something strictly utilitarian. Food is still treated with reverence...To eat is still something more than to maintain bodily functions. People may not understand what that 'something more' is, but they nonetheless desire to celebrate it. They are still hungry and thirsty for sacramental life.
Centuries of secularism have failed to transform eating into something strictly utilitarian. Food is still treated with reverence... To eat is still something more than to maintain bodily functions. People may not understand what that 'something more' is, but they nonetheless desire to celebrate it. They are still hungry and thirsty for sacramental life.
Peace comes from living a measured life. Peace comes from attending to every part of my world in a sacramental way. My relationships are not what I do when I have time left over from my work. . . . Reading is not something I do when life calms down. Prayer is not something I do when I feel like it. They are all channels of hope and growth for me. They must all be given their due.
Joan D. Chittister
Heavenly Father has given a simple pattern for us to receive the Holy Ghost not once but continually in the tumult of our daily lives. The pattern is repeated in the sacramental prayer: We promise that we will always remember the Savior. We promise to take His name upon us. We promise to keep His commandments.
Henry B. Eyring
St. Pope John XXIII called for the Second Vatican Council because he understood, as no Holy Father had in a long time, religion spoke to and found its language and symbols - its entire sense of the sacramental nature of existence - in the imagination that reveals not just the penalties of living, but the wonder and awe of our existence.
However grand our sacramental downsittings and updressings may be, they remain only and precisely sacraments: real presences, under particular signs, of the happier order that faith can discover under any and all signs. They're a bit like the church. As long as we see them as an earnest of the kingdom, they're all right; when we put on airs and act as if they were the kingdom itself, they look just silly.
Robert Farrar Capon
Sacramental listening reminds us that current suffering isn't the end of the story. God loves us deeply, and the vision for the future is vaster and more magnificent than we could ever imagine. In these moments of profound human presence, we are awakened to the divine presence and see that the kingdom of God is coming and yet is already here.
In most societies birth has been an experience in whichwomen draw together to help each other and reinforce bonds in the community. Now that eradication of pain with effective anesthesia is often the only issue in any discussion of birththe sacramental and social elements which used to be central to women's experience of birthseem, for an increasing proportion of women, to be completely irrelevant.
The Eucharist is the full realization of the worship which humanity owes to God, and it cannot be compared to any other religious experience.... The risen Lord ... calls the faithful together to give them the light of His Word and the nourishment of His Body as the perennial sacramental wellspring of redemption. The grace flowing from this wellspring renews mankind, life, and history.
Pope John Paul II
Here in the U.S., culture is not that delicious panacea which we Europeans consume in a sacramental mental space and which has its own special columns in the newspapers - and in people's minds. Culture is space, speed, cinema, technology. This culture is authentic, if anything can be said to be authentic.
If within the last century art conceived as an autonomous activity has come to be invested with an unprecedented stature the nearest thing to a sacramental human activity acknowledged by secular society it is because one of the tasks art has assumed is making forays into and taking up positions on the frontiers of consciousness (often very dangerous to the artist as a person) and reporting back what's there.
Francis seems familiar because Catholics have already known him in the Vatican II priests who have been their pastors and sacramental ministers over the years since that council brought new life to an old church. Catholics have known him in the bishops and priests who brought the spirit of the council to their dioceses and parishes.
O Jesus, if I but considered attentively your immense solicitude for me, how greatly should I not excel in every virtue? Pardon me, O Jesus, so much carelessness, pardon such great ignorance. My God, Jesus my Love, Increated Goodness, what would have become of me if you had not drawn me to yourself? Open your heart to me, open to me your sacramental breast; I open mine to you.
Certainly amongst all devotions, after that of receiving the sacraments, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament holds first place, is most pleasing to God, and most useful to ourselves. Do not then, O devout soul, refuse to begin this devotion; and forsaking the conversation of men, dwell each day, from this time forward, for at least half or quarter of an hour, in some church, in the presence of Jesus Christ under the sacramental species. Taste and see how sweet is the Lord.
Evangelization through the Eucharist, in the Eucharist, and from the Eucharist - these are three inseparable aspects of how the Church lives the mystery of Christ and fulfills her mission of communicating it to all people.... In addition to the preaching of the message, the consummation of evangelization consists in the building up of the Church, which has no real existence without the sacramental life culminating in the Blessed Eucharist
Pope John Paul II
In the Code of Canon Law, it states clearly: 'A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession.' I haven't attended confession in well over a decade, and that's less because of dogmatic conflict than it is because of moral cowardice. Deeper than that, maybe I don't want to be forgiven. I want to be punished. Which may be just about the most selfish, egotistical thought I've ever had. I'm sick with self-love. Or self-loathing. After all, they're both essentially the same thing.
Phillip Andrew Bennett Low
The world is God's workshop; the raw materials are His; the ideals and patterns are His; our hands are "the members of Christ," our reward His recognition. Blacksmith or banker, draughtsman or doctor, painter or preacher, servant or statesman, must work as unto the Lord, not merely making a living, but devoting a life. This makes life sacramental, turning its water into wine. This is twice blessed, blessing both the worker and the work.
Maltbie Davenport Babcock
If the churches ever did reunite, it would have to be into something that was as sacramental and liturgical and authoritative as the Roman Catholic Church and as protesting against abuses and as much focused on the individual in his direct relationship with Christ as the Evangelicals, as charismatic as the Pentecostals, as missionary-minded as the old mainline denominations, as focused on holiness as the Methodists or the Quakers, as committed to the social aspects of the Gospel as the social activists, as Biblical as fundamentalists, and as mystical as the Eastern Orthodox.
Sometimes I have a notion that what might improve the situation is to have women take over the occupations of government and trade and to give men their freedom. Let them do what they are best at. While we scrawl interoffice memos and direct national or extranational affairs, men could spend all their time inventing wheels, peering at stars, composing poems, carving statues, exploring continents -- discovering, reforming, or crying out in a sacramental wilderness. Efficiency would probably increase, and no one would have to worry so much about the Gaza Strip or an election.
Mary lived in the divine Eucharist, the center of her love. All her thoughts, words, and actions sprang from It like the rays from the sun. The Eucharist was the oracle which she consulted, the grace which she followed. But Jesus Christ in His Sacrament lives the same life of love which consumed Him in His mortal days. In His sacramental state He continues to adore His Father by His depthless self-abasement. He is still the Mediator and Interceder with divine goodness for the salvation of men
Peter Julian Eymard
What makes our marriage holy, what makes it "set apart" and sacramental, isn't the marriage certificate filed away in the basement or the degree to which we follow a list of rules and roles, it's the way God shows up in those everyday moments - loading the dishwasher, sharing a joke, hosting a meal, enduring an illness, working through a disagreement - and gives us the chance to notice, to pay attention to the divine. It's the way the God of resurrection makes all things new.
Rachel Held Evans
Despite the differences in detail and in emphasis in Wesley's exposition of the two sacraments, there is an underlying unity in his sacramental theology. He regarded both sacraments as means whereby God could confer grace according to His promise, but yet insisted, that in order to prevent the means from being mistaken as ends, it was necessary for there to be an appropriation of the grace held out by the faith of the believer. Grace was not conferred IN SPITE OF MAN, but only with his co-operation. So human response was necessary for the efficacy of the sacraments, although man's actions were never thought of as meritorious works.
John R. Parris
Surely we can only come to understand each other's beliefs by means of direct encounter and open, honest discussion. In the meantime, many free churches invite all believers in Jesus Christ to the Table for the sake of true spiritual unity that transcends intellectual differences of interpretation. Withholding sacramental sharing on the basis of disagreement about the nature of the Lord's Supper seems odd to us. What two people think exactly alike about the act? We are not offended by Catholics' closed Communion, but we find it odd and exclusive. It places intellectual understanding above fellowship among disciples of Jesus Christ.
Roger E. Olson
The liturgy of the Eucharist is best understood as a journey or procession. It is the journey of the Church into the dimension of the Kingdom. We use the word 'dimension' because it seems the best way to indicate the manner of our sacramental entrance into the risen life of Christ. Color transparencies 'come alive' when viewed in three dimensions instead of two. The presence of the added dimension allows us to see much better the actual reality of what has been photographed. In very much the same way, though of course any analogy is condemned to fail, our entrance into the presence of Christ is an entrance into a fourth dimension which allows us to see the ultimate reality of life. It is not an escape from the world, rather it is the arrival at a vantage point from which we can see more deeply into the reality of the world.
The 'layman' need never think of his humbler task as being inferior to that of his minister. Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. All he does is good and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For such a man, living itself will be sacramental and the whole world a sanctuary. His entire life will be a priestly ministration. As he performs his never so simple task he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory' (p. 127).
Words written fifty years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, can have as much of this power today as ever they had it then to come alive for us and in us and to make us more alive within ourselves. That, I suppose, is the final mystery as well as the final power of words: That not even across great distances of time and space do they ever lose their capacity for becoming incarnate. And when these words tell of virtue and nobility, when they move closer to that truth and gentleness of spirit by which we become fully human, the reading of them is sacramental; and a library is as holy a place as any temple is holy because through the words which are treasured in it the Word itself becomes flesh again and again and dwells among us and within us, full of grace and truth. Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember, in an essay called The Speaking and Writing of Words.
Do not forgive. Forgiveness accuses before it forgives. By accusing, by stating the injury, it makes the wrong irredeemable. It carries the blow all the way to culpability. Thus, all becomes irrepairable; giving and forgiving cease to be possible. For nothing saves innocence. Forgive me for forgiving you. The sole fault would be one of position: the one and only fault is to be "I, ", for it is not identity that the Self in myself brings me. This self is merely a formal necessity: it simply serves to allow the infinite relation of Self to Other. Whence the temptation (the sole temptation) to become a subject again, instead of being exposed to subjectivity without any subject, the nudity of dying space. I cannot forgive - forgiveness comes from others - but I cannot be forgiven either, if forgiveness is what calls the "I" into question and demands that I give myself, that I subject myself to the lack of subjectivity. And if forgiveness comes from others, it only comes; there is never any certitude that it can arrive, because in it there is nothing of the (sacramental) power to determine. It can only delay in the element of indecision. In The Trail, one might think that the death scene constitutes the pardon, the end of the interminable; but there is no end, since Kafka specifies that shame survives, which is to say, the infinite itself, a mockery of life as life's beyond.
A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not 'die to itself' that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage. The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of 'adjustment' or 'mental cruelty.' It is the idolization of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. This is expressed in the sentiment that one would 'do anything' for his family, even steal. The family has here ceased to be for the glory of God; it has ceased to be a sacramental entrance into his presence. It is not the lack of respect for the family, it is the idolization of the family that breaks the modern family so easily, making divorce its almost natural shadow. It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it. In a Christian marriage, in fact, three are married; and the united loyalty of the two toward the third, who is God, keeps the two in an active unity with each other as well as with God. Yet it is the presence of God which is the death of the marriage as something only 'natural.' It is the cross of Christ that brings the self-sufficiency of nature to its end. But 'by the cross, joy entered the whole world.' Its presence is thus the real joy of marriage. It is the joyful certitude that the marriage vow, in the perspective of the eternal Kingdom, is not taken 'until death parts, ' but until death unites us completely.