Thinking Sacramentally

January 24, 2019

Catholics celebrate seven sacraments. They are Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. A sacrament is an “outward sign, instituted by Christ to give grace”. Along with sacraments, most Christians also have “sacramentals”.

Sacramentals are objects that point us in the direction of God. They range from statues, to pictures to rosaries, prayer books, candles, holy water and other objects that invite us to enter more fully into life with Jesus. Broadening the definition of sacraments, sacramental items are also outward signs given to us by Christ to give us grace or the ability to live a more Christian life.

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at fachtingcounseling1@gmail.com or by calling (989) 386-8166.

Daniel Fachting, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist, Lay Minister at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Clare, and Chancellor for Knights of Columbus Council #3029. He can be reached at fachtingcounseling1@gmail.com or by calling (989) 386-8166.

Thinking sacramentally, the crucifix is not just a body hanging on a cross, but the sacrifice of Jesus for our salvation. Dipping a hand in water and making the sign of the cross is not just putting water on our bodies, but is a reminder of the Trinity and our baptism. Consecrated bread and wine are not just bread and wine, but the very body and blood of Christ.

Taking sacramental thinking a step further, it seems that where ever you look you see the presence and majesty of God. A beautiful sunset is no longer just an atmospheric condition, but a revelation of the beauty of God. A new born baby is not just the product of conception, but a gift of God as two people participate in the creative work of God. Love is no longer the attraction of two people for the preservation of the species, but a sign of the love God has for us.

By seeing sacramentally I see God’s presence everywhere and am grateful. When I look up and see Orion or the Big Dipper, I am in awe and thank God. When I’m on the water fishing and see the islands around me I am in awe and thank God. When I hear children in church or anywhere, I am in awe and thank God. When I witness the sacrifice and hard work that families put into raising their children, I am in awe and thank God. Sometimes I am overcome by the love my wife has for me, I am in awe and thank her and my creator. When I see the elderly couples helping each other, I see God.

Could you and I be sacramentals? Could we be outward signs, created by God to give grace to those around us? Could that be our true vocation as we know, love, and serve God?

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”



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