Salvation


#1

Are the sacraments a Catholic’s “chief means of salvation?”


#2

Can you provide the context/author of the quote??? Thanks and God Bless.


#3

In short, God’s grace is our means of salvation.


#4

geezerbob is right on; Grace is our means of Salvation. We can obtain Grace through participation in the Sacraments and cooperation with God’s Will. The reaon I ask for the origin of the quote is that I cannot tell what you are asking as stated. Thanks and God Bless.


#5

[quote=TESSfromCALVARY]Are the sacraments a Catholic’s “chief means of salvation?”
[/quote]

In the Catholic Church, salvation is by the grace of God - and that grace is a free gift of God.

And since the gifts of the Sacraments, instituted and given to us by Christ, are the normative means by which grace is given to us, then sure…one could say the seven Sacraments are a chief means of salvation - especially Baptism, Confession (or Reconciliation), and the Holy Eucharist. But don’t take my word for it…take the Lord’s word:

Baptism: "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

Confession (or Reconciliation): And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)

Holy Eucharist: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (John 6:53-56)

We Catholics take the words of Christ very very seriously there.

And I would just hasten to say that a Sacrament is not something we do for God. It’s something God does for us :slight_smile:

-Peace in Christ-

DustinsDad


#6

[quote=slinky1882]The reaon I ask for the origin of the quote is that I cannot tell what you are asking as stated.
[/quote]

I think this is something that came from the back of a “learning card” - a sunday school type tool for teaching kids the faith. Found it here: memorare.com/cards/sacracard.html The thing reads reads as follows:

The Sacraments

1. What is a Sacrament?
A outward sign instituted by Christ which conveys grace is given to the soul worthy to receive.

*2. Why can Sacraments give grace?
*They apply the merits of Christ’s Precious Blood to our souls.

3. Why should we to have a great desire to receive the Sacraments?
They are the chief means of salvation.

4. What is a character?
A mark or seal on the soul given once by the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders which cannot be removed.

*5. What are the seven Sacraments?
*~ Baptism - Spiritual birth
~ Confession - spiritual medicine
~ Communion - spiritual food
~ Confirmation - spiritual adulthood
~ Holy Orders - between a priest and God
~ Matrimony - between a man and woman
~ Extreme Unction - anointing near death

6. What is the age for Confession/Communion?
At the age reason (often age 7), are capable of serious sin and can distinguish between ordinary bread and the Blessed Sacrament.
**

Not a bad idea, cards like this. There’s a whole list of 'em on various topics here: memorare.com/cards/index.html

-Peace in Christ-

DustinsDad


#7

Thanks DustinsDad for the link and the card. I wanted to make sure of its origin that the statement wasn’t being twisted. DD is right on, the Sacraments are God’s Gift to the Church. And what a Precious Gift :smiley: . Thanks and God Bless.


#8

I don’t understand how the sacrament of marriage fits. A sacrament is “An outward sign instituted by Christ which conveys grace is given to the soul worthy to receive.” Was marriage really instituted by Christ? Didn’t it exist before Christ? Is it possible for a person who isn’t a Christian to really be married? What kind of grace is given to people who get married?

The question seems to be answered in the next part where it says the reason sacraments can give grace is because “They apply the merits of Christ’s Precious Blood to our souls.” Does getting married really caused the merits of Christ’s blood to be applied our souls? Are married people in better standing before God than single people?

The next line says the sacraments are the chief means of salvation. Is getting married really one of the chief means of obtaining salvation?


#9

[quote=ephphatha]I don’t understand how the sacrament of marriage fits. A sacrament is “An outward sign instituted by Christ which conveys grace is given to the soul worthy to receive.” Was marriage really instituted by Christ? Didn’t it exist before Christ? Is it possible for a person who isn’t a Christian to really be married? What kind of grace is given to people who get married?

The question seems to be answered in the next part where it says the reason sacraments can give grace is because “They apply the merits of Christ’s Precious Blood to our souls.” Does getting married really caused the merits of Christ’s blood to be applied our souls? Are married people in better standing before God than single people?

The next line says the sacraments are the chief means of salvation. Is getting married really one of the chief means of obtaining salvation?
[/quote]

Marriage as a Sacrament was instituted by Christ. The Jewish marriage work more along legal and contractual lines. When we get married in the Church, we have access to Graces from God to help us live out our vocation. And as for your last question, getting married can be a chief means of obtaining Salvation for alot of people. The spouses freely giving of each other has the responsibility to help their spouse be Holy and live out the Faith to share in the Joy of Heaven after the individual dies. And there have been countless times when through Marriage, a spouse cooperated with God’s Grace to save their spouse’s soul and bring them to the Truth and Faith through Love. The same applies to the other Sacraments which aid us with our crosses whatever our Sacramental vocation may be to be Holy and Love God. Thanks and God Bless.


#10

Slinky, I think I understand what you’re saying, but in what sense does marriage cause the merits of Christ’s blood to be applied to our souls?


#11

[quote=ephphatha]I don’t understand how the sacrament of marriage fits. A sacrament is “An outward sign instituted by Christ which conveys grace is given to the soul worthy to receive.” Was marriage really instituted by Christ? Didn’t it exist before Christ? Is it possible for a person who isn’t a Christian to really be married? What kind of grace is given to people who get married?

The question seems to be answered in the next part where it says the reason sacraments can give grace is because “They apply the merits of Christ’s Precious Blood to our souls.” Does getting married really caused the merits of Christ’s blood to be applied our souls? Are married people in better standing before God than single people?

The next line says the sacraments are the chief means of salvation. Is getting married really one of the chief means of obtaining salvation?
[/quote]

Marriage certainly existed before Jesus established it as a sacrament, but then so did holy orders and the Passover, which he made into sacraments of grace as a part of the New Covenant.

Marriage as seen by Christ and his Church is a vocation, as worthy of the word as holy orders, so yes, you are right, it is also a means for people to receive God’s grace as is holy orders.

Marriage, like the ministerial priesthood, is not just a state of life in the natural sense of the word, but both have been transformed by Christ into real means of receiving grace from God, as one is faithful to the vows one took in either vocation.

Have you looked up the sacraments in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in a reliable Catholic Encyclopedia? It might help you with your questions if you did–truly, I’m not at all being sarcastic. :slight_smile:


#12

No, I haven’t looked them up, but I do have a copy of the Catechism at home. (I’m at work right now.) In the meantime, what exactly are holy orders?


#13

[quote=ephphatha]No, I haven’t looked them up, but I do have a copy of the Catechism at home. (I’m at work right now.) In the meantime, what exactly are holy orders?
[/quote]

It’s the ministerial priesthood. While we are all “priests, prophets and kings” for Christ, he also established the ministerial priesthood to administer the sacraments to all the faithful.

If you truly want to understand what the Church teaches about these issues you really have to read the Catechism. I always encourage people to do that before getting into any deep discussions regarding any Church teaching so that we don’t waste time talking past one another. Besides, one receives the benefits of seeing the overall picture of how the Church thinks and operates from its pages.


#14

[quote=ephphatha]Slinky, I think I understand what you’re saying, but in what sense does marriage cause the merits of Christ’s blood to be applied to our souls?
[/quote]

From the Catechism:

The grace of the sacrament of Matrimony

1641 "By reason of their state in life and of their order, [Christian spouses] have their own special gifts in the People of God."147 This grace proper to the sacrament of Matrimony is intended to perfect the couple’s love and to strengthen their indissoluble unity. By this grace they "help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children."148

1642 Christ is the source of this grace. "Just as of old God encountered his people with a covenant of love and fidelity, so our Savior, the spouse of the Church, now encounters Christian spouses through the sacrament of Matrimony."149 Christ dwells with them, gives them the strength to take up their crosses and so follow him, to rise again after they have fallen, to forgive one another, to bear one another’s burdens, to "be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,"150 and to love one another with supernatural, tender, and fruitful love. In the joys of their love and family life he gives them here on earth a foretaste of the wedding feast of the Lamb:
[indent]How can I ever express the happiness of a marriage joined by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels, and ratified by the Father? . . . How wonderful the bond between two believers, now one in hope, one in desire, one in discipline, one in the same service! They are both children of one Father and servants of the same Master, undivided in spirit and flesh, truly two in one flesh. Where the flesh is one, one also is the spirit.151
[/indent]Here’s the link to this part of the online CCC, you can check out the footnotes there and the rest of this section.

-Peace-

DustinsDad


#15

Thanks, Dustins dad


#16

Thanks DD. If you have any further questions ephphatha, feel free to post :slight_smile: . I just wanted to add that all Sacraments are avenues of Grace. Marriage can be chief for a couple as Holy Orders is for the priest, but the Sacraments work as a whole not exclusively. Thanks and God Bless.


#17

Thanks slinky. I did have another question, but I’m not sure how to phrase it. I’ll just give you an observation and maybe I can get a response. It seems to me that there’s a difference between these sacraments. Some are necessary and some aren’t. I would assume, from a Catholic point of view, that Baptism and Communion are both necessary. But Matrimony is not necessary (at least I don’t think it is). Among the sacraments, which are necessary and which are optional? What collection of sacraments are sufficient?


#18

[quote=ephphatha]Thanks slinky. I did have another question, but I’m not sure how to phrase it. I’ll just give you an observation and maybe I can get a response. It seems to me that there’s a difference between these sacraments. Some are necessary and some aren’t. I would assume, from a Catholic point of view, that Baptism and Communion are both necessary. But Matrimony is not necessary (at least I don’t think it is). Among the sacraments, which are necessary and which are optional? What collection of sacraments are sufficient?
[/quote]

We all need the sacraments of initiation. These are baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist. After baptism and once we have reached the age of reason, we are obligated to confess our grave sins at least once a year in the sacrament of penance.


#19

[quote=TESSfromCALVARY]Are the sacraments a Catholic’s “chief means of salvation?”
[/quote]

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ at His crusifixion gained us forgiveness.
Grace is a gift freely given by God. We are saved by Grace through Faith Working in Love. The servant is not greater than the master. In Luke, Jesus said “Why to you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I command?”

Yours in Christ.


#20

[quote=slinky1882] We can obtain Grace through participation in the Sacraments and cooperation with God’s Will. The reaon I ask for the origin of the quote is that I cannot tell what you are asking as stated. Thanks and God Bless.
[/quote]

*I PRIMARILY PUT QUOTATION MARKS AROUND THAT PHRASE TO SUGGEST THAT I HOPE I SAID IT RIGHT. WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS, “HOW DOES A CATHOLIC OBTAIN SALVATION?” *


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.