June 13th

The Sacraments are outward signs, instituted by Christ, which convey supernatural grace to our souls.  The Sacraments give us grace, and yet we need to receive them again and again.  This is true for two reasons.

The first reason is that while the Sacraments give us grace if they are performed properly, they give us grace insofar as we are open to receive it.

In order for a Sacrament to be valid, there needs to be a proper minister of the Sacrament, there needs to be proper matter and proper form.  Let us take the Eucharist as an example.  In order for the Eucharist to be validly consecrated at Mass, there needs to be a validly ordained priest (the proper minister, in this case), there has to be unleavened bread and wine, and the proper words must be pronounced over the matter: “This is my body; This is my blood.”  If any one of those things is missing, the Eucharist is not made present upon the altar.

The reverse is also true.  As long as there is the proper minister, the proper matter and form used, the Eucharist is truly made present regardless of the priest’s personal holiness.  This is the objective side of how the Sacraments work.

There is also a subjective side to the Sacraments.  While a valid Sacrament really imparts grace to the soul, the disposition of the soul has much to do with how much grace is received.  Someone who receives the Eucharist with great attention and love will receive more grace than someone who receives the Eucharist without any preparation or thought as to Who it is that they are receiving.              The more we put into preparing ourselves to receive the Sacraments, the more that we will receive.  God works through the Sacraments, but we must be open to all that He wants to do in our souls.  We should do all that we can to prepare ourselves well to receive the Sacraments and make frequent use of them.  The Sacraments are a most powerful means to grow in holiness, if we receive them worthily and devoutly.

God bless,

Father White