What is a Sacrament?

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What is a Sacrament? by Mind Map: What is a Sacrament?

1. Rituals involve set phrases, physical objects or formal actions which bring us into a closer relationship with God.

2. How is a Sacrament a symbol?

2.1. Types of sacramental symbols:

2.1.1. Reconciliation: Words of Absolution

2.1.1.1. Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church:

2.1.2. Anointing of the Sick: Oil of the Sick

2.1.3. Eucharist: Bread and Wine

2.1.4. Marriage: Rings

2.1.5. Confirmation: Laying on of Hands

2.1.6. Baptism: Water

2.1.7. Holy Orders: Laying on of Hands

2.2. Catholic believers' communication with God is made possible in and through the words, actions, objects and events central to Christ's life, such as the breaking, blessing and sharing of Bread and Wine, the Anointing with Oil, the Laying on of Hands etc.

3. Recognises that any aspect of human life and experience can reflect God's grace.

4. Symbol

4.1. What is a symbol?

4.1.1. Symbols can be words, gestures, activities or objects that communicate meaning and value.

4.1.2. Symbols convey more than one meaning and require engagement and interpretation. They bring something unseen into sight.

4.1.3. A symbol is AFFECTIVE - it can make us feel emotional/happy/sad/inspired etc.

4.1.4. Symbols are mediators (bridges) that allow us to connect to another reality.

5. Sign

5.1. What is a sign?

5.1.1. A sign stands for something else - giving direction, guidance or warning. It can be an action, gesture, word or object which communicates precise information about how to function in the world. is a simple, shallow reality.

5.1.2. A sign is a simple, shallow reality. It has one FIXED meaning (it does not change from person to person).

5.2. How is a Sacrament a sign?

5.2.1. A sacrament is a 'visible sign of an invisible grace' (St Augustine).

5.2.2. Sacraments are signs pointing towards God.

5.2.3. Sacraments are efficacious signs of Grace, instituted by Christ.

6. Ritual

6.1. What is a ritual?

6.1.1. Rituals facilitate every day human interaction. They symbolise and celebrate the most important values of individuals, communities and nations.

6.1.2. Rituals can be a part of identity and can help individuals express who they are. People have rituals around birth, initiation into a group, marriage, Anzac Day, friendship etc.

6.1.3. A ritual is a symbol that is acted out.

6.2. How is a Sacrament a ritual?

7. Grace

7.1. What is Grace?

7.2. How is a Sacrament grace?

7.2.1. Sacraments confer or 'give' us Grace - they bring us into relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. Grace, and God, is love.

7.2.2. Grace is the free and undeserved gift that God gives to us. This is God's self-communication with us. Grace is essential and necessary for salvation.

8. Images of Sacrament

8.1. Icebergs

8.1.1. There is a tangible/physical nature of sacraments (which is depicted by the top of the iceberg). There is also an invisible reality which we can't see (depicted by the bottom of the iceberg. This invisible reality is the Grace of God.

8.2. Mobile Phones

8.2.1. Sacraments open up a space where we can connect with God - they mediate God's presence to us, in the here and now.

8.3. Bridges

8.3.1. Sacraments bridges that transports us to another 'invisible' reality where we can experience His grace.

8.4. Presents

8.4.1. Sacraments are gifts, given to us freely by God, to help us encounter and be in a relationship with Him.

8.5. Onions

8.5.1. Sacraments have many layers because it is a multidimensional reality. It can be understood in many different ways.

8.6. Vehicle

8.6.1. Sacraments are like vehicles - transporting us to a different reality.

9. God as Transcendent

9.1. What is transcendence?

9.1.1. When human beings experience a deep connection with a higher power. A mysterious feeling.

9.1.2. Extraordinary beyond the normal/physical human experience.

9.2. How is God transcendent?

9.2.1. God exists outside of creation in an 'invisible reality'.

10. God as Immanent

10.1. What is immanence?

10.1.1. Existing or remaining within.

10.2. How is God immanent?

10.2.1. God is near us and constantly present in our lives. He wants to be in a relationship with us.

11. Sacramental Principle

11.1. The sacramental principle is a world view which recognises that all of creation reflects God's presence in some way.

11.1.1. It can therefore be understood that all created things (including signs, symbols and rituals) are good and gracious, and mediate God's presence to us.

12. Christ as a Sacrament of God

12.1. Jesus Christ is a sacrament because it is through Him that we can experience our unseen God.

13. Church as a Sacrament of Christ

13.1. Catholics primarily experience God's presence when they encounter Jesus through the sacramental life of the Church.

13.2. It is through the Church that we can encounter the real presence of Christ and, when we encounter Christ, we encounter God.

13.3. The Church can be viewed as a visible, outward expression of God's grace.

14. Jesus Christ used to physically walk this earth among us. He was a sign of the presence of God. He was a sign that the people were not abandoned, unloved or uncared for.

15. Although God is not directly revealed to us, we can connect with Him through the natural world. We can experience His holiness through the signs and symbols that He created.

16. These spiritual moments, where God's presence is mediated through creation, people or events, are moments of grace.

17. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church mediate God's presence and grace by bringing us into a relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.

18. Both signs and symbols are physical/tangible objects, words or actions which represent something non-tangible (love and grace).

19. E.g. when the water is poured during baptism, this indicates the cleansing of sin by the invisible reality of Christ's efficacious grace being poured into our being.

20. E.g. Baptism involves saying the words "I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". As well as symbols (Oil of Chrism, white clothes and baptismal candle).