The most intense experience of God we can have in our lives is when we celebrate a sacrament.
It might be hard to believe, because receiving Holy Communion or going to confession doesn’t always feel like an intense experience of God. The day you were confirmed, you probably didn’t sense any wind and fire or the power of the Holy Spirit. The same with the Anointing of the Sick. Even during the reception of Holy Orders, or the celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony—which are major, life-changing events—one does not necessarily feel God’s presence in a tangible or emotional way.
And Baptism—which is possibly the most transforming event of a person’s life—we often don’t even remember, if we were baptized as babies.
But all the sacraments are moments when we come in contact with God, through Jesus, in the most profound way that we can while on earth.
Jesus invented the sacraments so that once he had left us to ascend into heaven, they would make present the power of his Paschal Mystery—his death and resurrection—through the Church.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church
(complete edition), there are colored divider pages between the four sections. The divider page before Part Two, the section on the sacraments, shows a fourth century fresco found in one of the catacombs. It depicts the woman with the hemorrhage touching
the hem of Jesus’ cloak. In the Gospel according to Mark, the story refers to the fact that “power had gone forth from him” (Mk 5:30) at that moment. This fresco is a beautiful image of the sacraments, because they are the way we can “touch” God. They are, so to speak “powers that go forth” from Jesus to heal us and give us new life.
Pauline Books and Media recently published a Baptism Bible to start the very youngest out on this most beautiful relationship with God
, as well as a wonderful new Bible for grown-ups who desire to deepen their knowledge and experience of God in his Word.
Invest your time during this Year of Faith in something truly