So there we have it!!
Let’s drill down what we need to know about SACRAMENTALS
Sacraments are sacred signs, instituted by Christ, that give grace
Sacramentals are instituted by the Church
It is an important distinction to make
What are sacramentals?
Paragraph 1667 says, “‘Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”
Remember how we talked about the effects of each of the seven sacraments?
Sacramentals are meant to dispose us to receive those chief effects of the sacraments
They also sanctify moments in our lives
Paragraph 1668 says, “They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).”
Think about every time you walk into Church and you dip your hands into the holy water and make the Sign of the Cross
What does that do?
That is a sacramental that recalls Baptism
It is a sacramental that is meant to dispose you to what you re about to do
When you walk into the Church it is meant to dispose you to participating in your Baptismal priesthood
In Church, you are here to worship the Lord
And on the way out of Church, you dip your hands in the holy water and make the Sign of the Cross you are now being sent out as a prophet into the world
It is meant to sanctify these seasons and moments in our lives
Paragraph 1669 says, “Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a ‘blessing,’ and to bless. Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).”
Blessings come first among the sacramentals
Blessings of persons
Blessings of meals
Blessings of objects and places
We Catholics bless EVERYTHING 😉
Toto blessed the rains down in Africa!! Toto - Africa (Official HD Video)
Do you know the backstory of this song?
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike tell the story because man he is really bouncing off the walls telling it haha 😉…
For every spiritual blessing, we are called to participate in it
Every blessing praises God and prays for His gifts
Paragraph 1671 says, “This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ.”
What are we doing when we are blessing something?
When we bless something, we are setting it apart for a purpose
Why do we bless something?
To make it HOLY
To be HOLY is to be SET APART FOR A PURPOSE
So when something gets BLESSED it gets CONSECRATED or MADE HOLY
If you have a cross on a chain, that is jewelry
The moment it gets blessed, it is now set apart for a purpose and it is no longer jewelry
Whenever you put on that blessed cross, it is no longer just for your outfit
It is now set apart for a purpose
We also bless Bibles
We bless our Rosaries
We have all these things that we get blessed
On the Feast Day of St. Blaise, we get our THROATS blessed
Now your throat is set apart for a purpose
Blessings always invoke the name of Jesus
Blessings are always meant to praise God and pray for His gifts
Paragraph 1672 says, “Certain blessings have a lasting importance because they consecrate persons to God, or reserve objects and places for liturgical use. Among those blessings which are intended for persons-not to be confused with sacramental ordination-are the blessing of the abbot or abbess of a monastery, the consecration of virgins and widows, the rite of religious profession and the blessing of certain ministries of the Church (readers, acolytes, catechists, etc.). The dedication or blessing of a church or an altar, the blessing of holy oils, vessels, and vestments, bells, etc., can be mentioned as examples of blessings that concern objects.”
Not only do we have consecration in the sacraments, but we also have non-sacramental consecrations
Paragraph 1673 is about EXORCISM
It is very very fascinating
Our opponent, the Devil, prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, just like St. Peter says
Paragraph 1673 says, “When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism.”
Jesus performed exorcisms
Most baptisms should have a minor exorcism as part of it
It is part of the rite
If it gets omitted, that is not good
Major exorcism is when someone experiences demonic oppression, demonic obsession, demonic possession, etc.
This can only be performed by a priest with the permission of his bishop
Paragraph 1673 continues, “Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science, Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.”
If the person is not willing to participate in a psychological assessment, the exorcist will not perform an exorcism
Mental illness is very different from dealing with an exorcism
What is popular piety?
Paragraph 1674 says, “The religious sense of the Christian people has always found expression in various forms of piety surrounding the Church’s sacramental life, such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals, etc.”
They extend the liturgical life of the Church
They are very important
They do not replace the liturgical life of the Church
There are some Catholics who faithfully go to Mass
But when the Mass was being offered, they would be praying the Rosary
Maybe they were not really hearing what was going on at the altar or maybe they were not paying attention
They might have wanted to unite their prayer of the Rosary in the pew with the prayer of the priest at the altar
The Church has invited us to not watch the priest pray, but participate by utilizing our baptismal priesthood by uniting our hearts with what is happening at the altar
Paragraph 1675 says, “These expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the Church, but do not replace it. They ‘should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them.’”
They can’t take us away from the liturgical season
They are actually meant to serve it
They are derived from it and they lead back to it
The Rosary is an incredible and powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Catholic Christian
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is amazing and important
Stations of the Cross are great
The Liturgy itself is FAR SUPERIOR TO ANY OF THEM
We are not downplaying the need to pray the Rosary or the chaplet
We are elevating the fact that the Divine Liturgy, the holy sacrifice of the Mass, is FAR SUPERIOR in every way to any of the devotions of popular piety
When Jesus says, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves their children or their home or their very life more than me is not worthy of me.”
Jesus is not telling them to not love their parents or kids or home
Jesus is saying, “Love me more.”
Jesus is not insulting parents, family, or children
Jesus is being elevated more
Fr. Mike is not insulting the Rosary, Stations of the Cross
Fr. Mike wants to exalt and elevate the role of the Liturgy more
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!