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The Wisdom of the Saints………….about the Sacraments

Let none of you turn deserter. Let your baptism be your armor; your faith, your helmet; your love, your spear; your patient endurance, your panoply.” St. Ignatius of Antioch (1st-2nd century)

Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us ‘in a mystery’ by the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will contradict; – no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in these matters especially…For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. Moreover we bless the water of baptism and the oil of chrism, and besides this the Catechuman who is being baptized. On what written authority do we do this? Is not our authority silent and mystical tradition?”St. Basil the Great (4th century, Doctor of the Church)

As our Savior spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night. At night a man cannot see, but in the day he walks in the light. So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see, but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight. In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.” St. Augustine (4th-5th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

The side of the dead Christ was struck by a lance, that the Sacraments might flow forth.” St Augustine

What was visible in Christ has now passed over into the sacraments of the Church.” Pope St. Gregory the Great (6th-7th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

The Lord was baptized not so that the waters would cleanse Him but so that He could cleanse them, purifying them by His sinless flesh to assume the power of baptism. When the sons of Israel passed through the River Jordan they entered the promised land. What is special about Christ’s baptism is that it admits one to the kingdom of God.” St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century, Doctor of the Church)

The first Christians had great spiritual celebrations on the anniversary of their Baptism, which was the day of their dedication, the day on which they were consecrated to God. They took no notice of their birthday, for at birth we are not children of God but rather children of Adam. So they celebrated the day on which they were made children of God, the day of their Baptism.” St. Francis de Sales (16th-17th centuries, Doctor of the Church)

we have the Sacraments of Holy Church to wash us from our iniquities, for they are like channels through which the merits of the Savior’s Passion flow into us so that through them we recover grace when we have lost it.” St. Francis de Sales

In truth, our Merciful Savior has done much more for us than reveal the wonderful doctrines of the Gospel; He has enabled us to apply them…But how should we bring home His grace to ourselves? How secure the comfortable assurance that He loves us personally, and will change our hearts, which we feel to be so earthly, and wash away our sins, which we confess to be so manifold, unless He had given us Sacraments – means and pledges of grace – keys which open the treasure-house of mercy.” Bl. John Henry Newman (19th century)

When we were baptized, we became candidates for Heaven, and every time we receive the Sacraments of Mother Church, we take another step forward. How wonderful and how legion are our privileged opportunities!” Ven. Solanus Casey (19th-20th centuries)

What does it mean to be a priest? According to Saint Paul, it means above all to be a steward of the mysteries of God…The steward is not the owner, but the one to whom the owner entrusts his goods so that he will manage them justly and responsibly. In exactly the same way the priest receives from Christ the treasures of salvation, in order duly to distribute them among the people to whom he is sent.” Pope St. John Paul II (20th-21st centuries)

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