Saturday, August 6, 2016
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 177 - Part I.
(Youcat answer) Sacraments are not magic. A sacrament can be effective only if one understands and accepts it in faith. Sacraments not only presuppose faith, they also strengthen it and give expression to it.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1122) Christ sent his apostles so that "repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations" (Lk 24:47). "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19). The mission to baptize, and so the sacramental mission, is implied in the mission to evangelize, because the sacrament is prepared for by the word of God and by the faith which is assent to this word: The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God.... The preaching of the Word is required for the sacramental ministry itself, since the sacraments are sacraments of faith, drawing their origin and nourishment from the Word (PO 4 §§ 1, 2).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) Jesus commissioned the Apostles first to make people disciples through their preaching, in other words, to awaken their faith and only then to baptize them. There are two things, therefore, that we receive from the church: faith and the sacraments. Even today someone becomes a Christian, not through a mere ritual or by being listed in a register, but rather through acceptance of the true faith. We receive the true faith from the Church. She vouches for it. Because the Church’s faith is expressed in the liturgy, no sacramental ritual can be changed or manipulated at the discretion of an individual minister or a congregation.
(CCC 1123) "The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it. That is why they are called 'sacraments of faith"' (SC 59).
(This question: Why is faith a prerequisite for the sacraments? is continued)