Understanding the sacraments: Penance–a mystagogical catechesis

Mercy is stronger than sin for penitents who undergo conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit The purpose and effect of the sacrament of penance is to heal our relationship with God. “Indeed, the sacrament of reconciliation with God brings about a true ‘spiritual resurrection,’ restoration of the dignity …

Understanding the sacraments: The Eucharist–a mystagogical catechesis

Through the source and summit of Christian life, we enter into the mystery in every aspect of our lives According to Blessed John Paul II, a mystagogical catechesis of the liturgy helps the faithful to do three things: “to understand the meaning of the liturgy’s words and actions, to pass …

Understanding the sacraments: Confirmation: a mystagogical catechesis

The baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church with the sacrament of Confirmation Liturgical catechesis has one purpose: “to initiate people into the mystery of Christ (It is ‘mystagogy’) by proceeding from the visible to the invisible, from the sign to the thing signified, from the ‘sacraments’ to the …

Mystagogical catechesis: baptism

‘Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people’ By Father Randy Stice In Sacrament of Charity, Pope Benedict reminds us that Christian formation centers “on a vital and convincing encounter with Christ” that “gains depth through catechesis and finds its source and summit in the celebration of …

From sign to mystery–mystagogical catechesis

Pastors’ commitment to efforts in leading faithful into the mystery of the sacred liturgy emphasized by Father Randy Stice In its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Second Vatican Council put special emphasis on “full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations” by all the faithful (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 14). “In …

Understanding the sacraments: Instituted by Christ

The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what he would dispense in the sacraments The Church has always taught that the sacraments were instituted by Christ himself. She is convinced that this truth is rooted in the Word of God and the tradition, as the Catechism affirms: “Adhering …

Understanding the sacraments: How many sacraments?

By Father Randy Stice The final number was finally set after a centuries-long discernment process involving many suggestions How many sacraments are there? Two? Five? Seven? Eight? Twelve? Each of these answers has been proposed at some point by someone. This question was only answered after a long process, as …

The anamnesis

Making present God’s saving power in keeping with liturgical actions and ritual traditions The Catechism (1106) teaches that two elements are “at the heart of each sacramental celebration”: the invocation of the Holy Spirit, known as the epiclesis (discussed in a previous column); and the anamnesis. The anamnesis is “the …