Sunday, August 7, 2016

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 177 - Part II.

YOUCAT Question n. 177 - Part II. Why is faith a prerequisite for the sacraments?   

(Youcat answer - repeated) 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 1124) The Church's faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles - whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi (or: legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper of Aquitaine [5th cent.]) (Ep. 8). The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition (Cf. DV 8).       

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 Comment)    

(CCC 1125) For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy. (CCC 1126) Likewise, since the sacraments express and develop the communion of faith in the Church, the lex orandi is one of the essential criteria of the dialogue that seeks to restore the unity of Christians (Cf. UR 2; 15).        

(The next question isIf a sacrament is administered by someone who is unworthy, does it fail to have its effect?)      

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