Sacraments


The Sacramental Life of Mother of Divine Providence Parish

God reveals Himself in Seven Sacramental ways to Christ, His Church. Each of us who are in communion with Christ humbly accepts these sacraments as a means to follow Him in the building up of the Kingdom in this world and in the next.

‘A Sacrament is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace.’ (Baltimore, ) These signs in the form of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Orders, Marriage and Anointing of the Sick touch every one of us in unique ways. They invigorate the encounter we have with Christ every day.

The Sacramental Life in a parish is rooted in the very life of the Bishop. Our unity with him is one of faithful service rooted in the love we have for Christ, Whom he represents. The Bishop’s sacramental life, the way he receives, the way he confects, the way he desires these manifestations of God’s love is reflected here in our local Church whose Mother is his Church, the Cathedral, the place where the Bishops sits. The parish priest personifies the Bishop in these ways so as to guide sheep to communion with Christ in his person. The parish priest helps the Bishop by giving his life faithfully to him as if to Christ, the Shepherd and King.

The reality of ‘communion’ is very important to a Catholic. In his homily at the Mass before his conclave, Benedict XVI said, “How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves ­ thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Eph 4, 14). Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and “swept along by every wind of teaching”, looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today’s standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.

However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an “Adult” means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today’s fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth. We must become mature in this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith ­ only faith ­ which creates unity and takes form in love. On this theme, Saint Paul offers us some beautiful words – in contrast to the continual ups and downs of those were are like infants, tossed about by the waves: (he says) make truth in love, as the basic formula of Christian existence. In Christ, truth and love coincide. To the extent that we draw near to Christ, in our own life, truth and love merge. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like “a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Cor 13,1).”  http://www.adoremus.org/Ratzinger_ConclaveMass.html

Our communion is a communion of love; faithfulness is an act from love. Communion is the completed act of God and Man in the core of their meeting place, the Church. If a person leaves communion they choose not to love. This is an heart rending sadness for the Church who embraces everyone in Christ Who is the perfection of charity and Who is known to have let the man go when he could not remain faithful in the Gospel.

Within this context then, please find some thoughts on the various sacraments as celebrated here in Mother of Divine Providence, their expectations and requirements. I hope you find these helpful as you approach God in His inapproachable Light and discover the Glory that is yours through them.

Father Cioppi

Baptism
Penance/Reconciliation
Holy Communion
Confirmation
Marriage
Holy Orders/Religious Life
Sacrament of the Sick
Funerals