Dipping into the Catechism 228-235
What is the relationship between the sacraments and faith?
The sacraments not only presuppose faith but with words and ritual elements they nourish,
strengthen and express it. By celebrating the sacraments, the Church professes the faith that
comes from the apostles. This explains the origin of the ancient saying, “lex orandi, lex
credendi,” that is, the Church believes as she prays.
Why are the sacraments efficacious?
The sacraments are efficacious by the very fact that the sacramental action is performed (“ex opera operato”) because it is Christ who acts in the sacraments and communicates their grace. The sacraments are NOT wrought by the righteousness of either the minister or the recipient but by God. However, the disposition of the one who receives the sacraments affects the fruits of the sacraments in that person.
For what reason are the sacraments necessary for salvation?
For believers in Christ, the sacraments, even if they are not all given to each of the faithful, are necessary for salvation because they confer sacramental grace, forgiveness of sins, adoption as children of God, conformation to Christ the Lord and membership in the Church. The Holy Spirit heals and transforms those who receive the sacraments.
What is sacramental grace?
Sacramental grace is the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given by Christ and is proper to each sacrament. This grace helps the faithful in their journey toward holiness and so assists the Church to grow in charity and in her witness to the world.
What is the relationship between the sacraments and everlasting life?
In the sacraments the Church already receives a foretaste of eternal life, while “awaiting in blessed hope, the appearing in glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13).
SACRAMENTAL CELEBRATION OF THE PASCHAL MYSTERY
Who acts in the liturgy?
In the liturgy it is the whole Christ (Christus Totus) who acts, Head and Body. As our High
Priest he celebrates with His Body which is the Church in heaven and on earth.
Who celebrates the heavenly liturgy?
The heavenly liturgy is celebrated by the angels, by the saints of the Old and New Testaments, particularly the Mother of God, by the Apostles, by the martyrs, and by the great “multitude which no one could number from every nation, race, people and tongue” (Revelation 7:9). When we celebrate the mystery of our salvation in the sacraments we participate in this eternal liturgy.
How does the Church on earth celebrate the liturgy?
The Church on earth celebrates the liturgy as a priestly people in which each one acts according to his proper function in the unity of the Holy Spirit. The baptised offer themselves in a spiritual sacrifice; the ordained ministers celebrate according to the Order they received for the service of all the members of the Church; the bishops and priests act in the Person of Christ the Head