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34. The Sacrament of Orders

1. Orders, or holy orders as it is more generally called,is the sacrament by which bishops, priests, and deacons are giventhe power to perform their sacred functions.

2. Peter the Lombard defines the sacrament of orders as:"A seal of the Church by which spiritual power is conferred onthe person ordained." Rightly understood, this is a gooddescription of orders. The sacrament is a sign or seal. It is"of the Church" in the sense that Christ instituted itand consigned it to the Church for administering; our Lord did thiswith all the sacraments; hence it is common to hear the expression,"the sacraments of the Church," even though the Churchcannot institute or abrogate any sacrament. The definition of Peterthe Lombard indicates the effect of this sacrament in therecipient, namely, spiritual power.

3. A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ,while he was here on earth before his Ascension into heaven, whichboth signifies and confers an inward grace. The sacrament of orderssquares with this definition. It is therefore a true sacrament.

4 & 5. This sacrament is conferred by the imposing of thebishop's hands upon the recipient (this constitutes thematter of the sacrament) followed by prescribed prayers(the form) which indicate the meaning of the matter orsign, and constitute it a sacrament.

"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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