What are the two
principal effects of the Sacraments?
Answer / Resources:
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According to the
Catechism of the Council of Trent...
effects of the Sacraments are two. The first place is rightly held by that grace
which we, following the usage of the holy Doctors, call sanctifying. For so the
Apostle most clearly taught when he said: Christ loved the church, and delivered
himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water
in the word of life. But how so great and so admirable an effect is produced by
the Sacrament that, to use the well-known saying of St. Augustine, water
cleanses the body and reaches the heart - this indeed cannot be comprehended by
human intelligence. It may be taken for granted that no sensible thing is of its
own nature able to reach the soul; but we know by the light of faith that in the
Sacraments there exists the power of almighty God by which they affect that
which the natural elements cannot of themselves accomplish... The second effect
of the Sacraments - which however, is not common to all, but peculiar to three,
Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders - is the character which they impress on
the soul. When the Apostle says: God has anointed us, who also hath sealed us,
and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts, he not obscurely describes by
the word 'sealed' a character, the property of which is to impress a seal and
mark. This character is, as it were, a distinctive impression stamped on the
soul which perpetually inheres and cannot be blotted out."
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