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61. Necessity of Sacraments

1. To save his soul, man needs sacraments, for: (a) humannature needs to be led by bodily and sensible things to what isspiritual; (b) man needs corporeal signs, for sin has subjected himto material things, and he is unable to apply his mind directly towhat is spiritual; (c) man actively tends to material performanceand outer expression; if this tendency be not directed aright, itends in superstitious and even demoniacal practices. Sacraments,therefore, are means of instructing man in things spiritual,teaching and preserving him in essential truths and seemlypractice. Hence, because of their essential service to man, we saythat sacraments are necessary for man's salvation.

2. And sacraments are spiritual remedies for the woundsinflicted on the soul by sin. Indeed, while man was in the state ofinnocence, and was sinless, he did not need sacraments.

3. Sacred signs or sacraments were in use, by divinecommand, under the Old Law, before the coming of Christ. No man canbe saved but through Christ. Therefore, before Christ came, peopleneeded visible signs to testify their faith in his coming. Suchsigns were sacraments.

4. When Christ came and founded his Church, he establishedseven sacraments; these are the sacraments of the New Law; theestablishing of these Christian sacraments abolishes the sacramentsof the Old Law, which were ancient and holy signs prophetic of thecoming of Christ and of the Christian sacraments.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you? "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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