Catholics believe that sacraments "effect what they signify." Imagine if everthing you draw comes to life. If you drew a million bucks, the drawing would become exactly that. Banana split, dulce de leche, Ferrari, girl or guy of your draw it, you got it.

In a way, sacraments are like that. They make something that's "out there", something invisible, unattainable, and untouchable as real as anything you can imagine. Water, oil, a priest, all of these come to stand for AND make real what they signify.

So why all the trouble? Why rituals and representations instead of good old-fahsioned grace straight from God to me? Again, it's not that God needs nature to communicate his love. It's that people need nature in order to understand God. Why would the author of nature NOT work through nature? Why would he not use water, wine, spit, dirt, bread, fish, flesh, blood and his very body to enact miracles of grace?

This is exactly how salvation itself came to be. Jesus became flesh and made real the promise of life. Through a PHYSICAL act of death and resurrection, he "effected" or made real what had, up to that point, been a mere concept. (If you have any doubt about how sensory this was, watch "Passion of the Christ")

Jesus is the ultimate reality of what sacrament means--"The Word made flesh" representing and fulfilling the Word of scripture. But it doesn't stop there. He continues to become flesh in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. Experience it and you will see, smell, taste and touch what a sacrament is all about.


Leave a Reply

What Does It Mean To Be Human?