Section 1131 of the Catechism says that the sacraments are –
“. . . 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."
There are seven sacraments:
- Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist;
- Sacraments of Healing – Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation
- Sacraments of Service – Holy Orders and Marriage
Sacraments are not magic. They are events and actions by which God's grace is given to us, but we are called to respond to that grace with faith that bears fruit in the way we live our lives. Thus, while many of us are baptized as infants, as we grow and mature God calls us into a personal relationship with his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. What we do with that grace given us by God is up to us. God won't force anything on us. Christ isn't a slave master. We are free to block the effectiveness of these sacraments in our lives by not allowing that personal relationship with Christ, that is established at our baptism, to grow and develop and mature as disciples who do the works of love, justice, peace, and mercy that Christ calls all Christians to provide.
The basic message of the Gospel is simple – it is a message found within each of the sacraments. Pope Francis says it best –
“Jesus Christ loves you! He gave his life to save you, and now he is living at your side, every day, to enlighten, strengthen, and free you.”
As you learn more about the sacraments by reading this website, open your heart to the miracles of sacramental grace by trusting in Jesus and opening your heart to a full relationship with Him.