The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

The Seven Sacraments:God’s gifts to help us find our way to him

Published: November 15, 2008   

Sacraments are “actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are ‘the masterworks of God’ in the new and everlasting covenant.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1116)

Click on a headline below to read selected stories from the special 2008 Sacraments section which appeared in the Nov. 15, 2008, issue of Arkansas Catholic.

  • Sacraments are a gift from God to us, not from us to God
    Through the sacraments we receive the strength necessary for life in this world. By God’s power we can more easily face the challenges of Christian witness and respond with heroic charity.

  • Questions and Answers about the sacraments
    Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the seven sacraments. Questions were compiled with the help of parish catechists across Arkansas.

  • Sacraments of Initiation
    Baptism, confirmation and Eucharist: Together these introduce us to Christ and build relationship throughout life
    Christian initiation is accomplished through the three sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. Together, these “lay the foundations of every Christian life.”

  • In baptism, Jesus brands our souls as belonging only to him
    Victor Lee, a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Fayetteville, had attended Mass with his wife, Sharon, for many years before making the decision to become Catholic.

  • In confirmation, Spirit pours out strength, gifts
    Alex Norman, 17, an 11th grader at Northside High School in Fort Smith, experienced how the support of his parish, friends and other faith mentors nurtured his Catholicism as he prepared to receive confirmation at Christ the King Church in Fort Smith last April.

  • Eucharist unites us with Jesus in intimate way
    When Catholics receive the Eucharist, they receive, under the consecrated species of bread and wine, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus.

  • Sacraments of healing
    Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick: These sacraments bring relief and peace to those who suffer in body and spirit
    But one carries this new life in “earthen vessels” and is still subject to suffering, illnesses and death. This new life as a child of God can be weakened during the course of one’s life and even lost by sin. It is the sacraments of healing —- reconciliation and anointing of the sick —- that allow Catholics to return to that new life of Christ.

  • Anointing of the sick helps us deal with illness
    Alice Manning, a new member of St. Stephen Church in Bentonville, had joined a Scripture study group and was a recent widow after she moved to northwest Arkansas to be close to her son.

  • Confession restores our relationship with God
    On a trip to Lourdes, France, 15 years ago, Deacon John Pate discovered the true meaning of reconciliation. He and his wife, Sandra, who were both new to the Catholic Church, signed up for a tour led by Bishop Andrew J. McDonald to Paris, Lourdes and Rome.

  • Sacraments at the service of communion
    Holy Orders and Matrimony: These sacraments of vocation exist to bring about the salvation of others
    While the sacraments of initiation and healing focus on an individual’s continued conversion and renewal, empowering one to spread the Good News to others, the sacraments of holy orders and matrimony are specifically “directed towards the salvation of others.”

  • Holy orders calls ordained clergy to be servants
    Msgr. Scott Friend said before he was ordained he feared he didn’t have what it takes to be a good priest. “‘How am I going to preach? How am I going to counsel people? How am I going to be able to govern as a pastor?’” he wondered.

  • Marriage unites man, woman in sacred bond
    After 32 years of marriage, Laurel and Jane Becnel still remember how they felt at their wedding. Jane Becnel, 53, said she remembers kneeling on the altar and praying to the Blessed Mother “because I was scared to death.” She was happy because she knew Laurel was right for her, but “I was scared because knew it opened a whole new door for me.”

  • By the numbers
    2007 sacramental statistics in the Diocese of Little Rock

    Please read our Comments Policy before posting.

    Article comments powered by Disqus