Posts Tagged ‘sacrament’

I am befuddled, perplexed, and lost for words and ways to help my husband, so we will be together again.  How can a person be helped if they repeat mistakes and are unwilling to look at and learn from the past?  It breaks my heart but I it is inexplicable to me how he thinks and acts, plus his inability to listen to advice and to try that advice to change for the better.

Right now I know the main thing I can do is to pray for my husband.  I pray that our marriage, a holy covenant, doesn’t fall apart but…

My heart aches…

God is in control. I know this. Even though things with my husband seem so discombobulated.

God Bless.

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Two recent posts at Biltrix, What It’s Like Hearing Confession (reblogged from last year) and Confession Made Easy, got me thinking about an atypical experience of confession I had when I was 17 years old.   Towards the end of the summer before my senior year in high school I was sexually assaulted by my horse back riding instructor’s husband. I had known my horse back riding instructor and her husband since I 5th grade. So when the professionals tell you abuse or sexually assaults mostly are committed who you know I can testify that that is the truth. I needed to tell someone but because I didn’t want to lose the joyful experience of riding horses but I didn’t want a person to know who would be required to tell the police or who would tell the police of their own free will. I needed someone where I was guaranteed that what happened to me could and would not be told told to any other person. A newly ordained priest had been transferred to my parish over the summer.  He assisted with the youth group and was a very kind man so one time when we were both at a youth event I pulled him aside and told him that I needed to tell him something under the seal of the confessional but it wasn’t necessarily a sin. I asked if that was possible. He said Yes and for me to go ahead. At that time I revealed to him that I had been sexually assaulted.

Fast forward about 6 months later. I did horrible on a Spanish quiz. This was unusual for me. My Spanish teacher could tell something was wrong so she had me stay after class. In talking after class I revealed to her that something had happened to me but was very vague about what specifically happened. That day I finally told the whole story to my principle and the police. I went to a Catholic high school and was treated so well by those at the school who knew what had happened to me. That day that I told my pastor at the high school even took me out to lunch while the principle informed my mom of the situation.

I told the police that the only person I had told about the sexual assault not long after I had been sexually assaulted was a priest. They asked if I could get him to tell what I had told him. I told the police it was under the seal of confession and I would have to find out how I could give my consent to release the priest from his confessional obligation, seal of confession. I talked to my pastor at Church.  The  pastor talked to the priest who got back to me, and it was arranged for me to officially release the priest from the seal of confession forbidding him from revealing what I told him.

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I just found a whole bunch of notes from the Sacraments class that I took at Franciscan University.  In looking through my notes I thought that I would pass on what I learned and have some fun with a little bit of trivia. This will be the first of a few of these posts.

1) St. Augustine described the sacraments as “natural signs” as opposed to “conventional signs”.  One example of a natural sign is a deeper meaning within us, seal of the Holy Spirit.

2) When discussing the sacraments St. Thomas Aquinas set this one apart from the others, saying that all other sacraments lead to this one. Which sacrament was he talking about?

3) St. John Chrysostom used this analogy to explain sacramental character: he said it was like the mark given to a ____.

4) The Feast of Corpus Christi was established by revelations from Sister Juliana in Liego in 1258.  In my notes I had written the date 1258 but Wikipedia has a different date.

Saint Juliana of Liège, O.Praem. (also called Juliana of Mount-Cornillon), (1193–1252) was a medieval canoness regularand mystic in what is now Belgium. Traditional scholarly sources have long recognized her as the promoter of the Feast of Corpus Christi, first celebrated in Liège in 1246, and later adopted for the universal church in 1264. More recent scholarship includes manuscript analysis of the initial version of the Office, as found in The Hague, National Library of the Netherlands (KB 70.E.4) and a close reading of her Latin vita, a critical edition of which was published in French by the Belgian scholar, Jean-Pierre Delville.

5) There are 4 cardinal virtues and 3 theological virtues that correspond to sacraments.  Can you name the virtues and to which sacrament each belongs?

6) The sacraments were instituted by Christ. They are intended to lead us out of isolation. They are intended to lead us through the Church, into the Church, in the name of the Father, praise of the Father for all eternity.

7) St. Robert Bellarmine instituted matter and form of each sacrament in general.

8) There are three elements of a sacrament. I will use the Latin terms. I will define two, can you name the third?

Sacramentum Tantum – visible sign

Res Sacramentum – mediator between res tantum and sancramentum tantum

Res Tantum –


I will give the answers to the questions on Sunday. God Bless.

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A few weeks before my hysterectomy surgery I found a book at a Catholic book store called On The Love Of God Volume II by St. Francis de Sales.  I found these passages in the book interesting.  

“Sometimes this union is made without co-operation on our part except for a simple continuation in which we let ourselves be united to God’s goodness without any resistance. We are like a little child lovingly desirous of its mother’s breast but so feeble that of itself it cannot make any movement either to get to it or to cling to it once it is there.  The child is only happy at being taken up and drawn within its mother’s arms and at being pressed by her to her breast.”

“Sometimes we co-operate, as when we run willingly to assist the sweet force of God’s goodness which draws and clasps us to him by his love.”

“Sometimes it seems that we begin to join and attach ourselves to God even before he joins himself to us. This is because we perceive the unitive action on our part without perceiving the what God is doing on his part.  However, there is no doubt that his action always preceded ours, although we do not always perceive his previous action.  Unless he united himself to us, we would never unite ourselves to him.  He always chooses us and takes hold of us before we choose him or take hold of him.  He assists our feeble efforts and perceptibly joins himself to us, so that we perceive that he has penetrated and entered into our heart with incomparable gentleness.”

“Sometimes this union is made so insensibly that our heart neither feels God’s co-operation within nor our co-operation with it, but discovers the union alone insensibly completed. Sometimes this union is made by the will alone and in the will alone. At other times the intellect takes part in it ….  Sometimes this union is made by all the faculties of the soul.”

“The holy love of the Savior presses us, said St. Paul.  O God, what an example of surpassing union is this! God was united to our human nature by grace, like a vine to an elm, to enable it in some way to participate in his fruit.”

“But when he saw this union undone by Adam’s sin, he made a closer and more pressing union in the Incarnation and by it human nature remains forever joined in personal unity with the divinity.  To the end that not only human nature but all men might be intimately united with his goodness, God instituted the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist.  Every man may participate in it so as to unite his Savior with himself in reality and in the way of food.  Theotimus, this sacramental union calls us and assists us towards that spiritual union of which we speak.”


God calls us to be like little children.  From Matthew 18: 3-4   “and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  God Bless. 

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Tomorrow is my surgery.  I am a little bit nervous about having the hysterectomy since this a huge unknown for, not like my other surgeries.  Plus, it’s a big change for my life.  I am supposed to be there bright and early at 6 am.  Surgery is scheduled for 8am.  Part of the reason I am nervous is usually I get a phone call from the hospital the day before my surgery or Friday if it’s on a Monday and that didn’t happen.  Then in the little handy-dandy surgery booklet my doctor gave me they gave a number to call on Sunday if you didn’t get a call.  I called it and the person I reached tried her best to confirm the time that my doc had given me but she was unable to reach anyone.  So I will go the time my doc scheduled my surgery. I am trusting and having faith that everything is fine.

Finding a priest to give me the Anointing of the Sick was much harder than I expected it to be.  First, I left a message for my pastor. I didn’t hear from him for a while so I called the number the nuns at the bookstore and played phone tag with the priest.  So then I decided to call Franciscan University ( I only live about 45 minutes away) and see whether I could make the trip to receive the Sacrament Anointing of the Sick before my surgery.  The person I talked to said sure come by, there are plenty of priests here.  The next day I drove to Steubenville.  When I reached the chapel on campus I was told by the receptionist that the one friar who was the director of the chapel when I attended FUS was out for the day and then I was given a list of numbers to call to see if a priest was available.  At that point I was doubting that I would receive the sacrament. But I was really hoping that I would see a friar on campus somewhere.  I did. But he was deep in conversation and I didn’t want to interrupt.  I ended up walking around campus for a while and noticed that the friar was still talking with the same student.  Now, I am not the type of person to go up to someone I don’t know and ask them to help right off the bat.  But I was desperate.  I didn’t know what else to do so I strolled over to the priest, said excuse me and explained to him my situation and asked if he could give me the Anointing of the Sick.  He was so kind.  After a few minutes he ended his conversation with the student.  Since he was from out-of-town he needed to find the oil (believe its chrism oil) which he did in the chapel.  Then he administered the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to me.  I was so happy and at peace after I received the sacrament.

I think I was being tested by God.  I think God was testing my perseverance and how much I really wanted the Sacrament.  I think he was also testing my patience.  I think God was saying to me “you will receive the Sacrament in my time, not when you think you should receive it”.  What do you think? Here are some Bible voices on patience and perseverance:

Luke 8: 15  “And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

Romans 2: 7  “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life”

Galatians 5: 22-23  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

2Th 1: 4  “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.”

Hbr 12: 1  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

James 1: 3  “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

James 5: 11 “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

At Mass we sang a song that was based on psalm 103.  I couldn’t remember the song’s name but I found this rendition of the psalm.

Here are a couple of my favorite contemporary Christian songs.

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Deacon Greg Kandra provides us with a couple of excellent explanations as to the reasons why two Catholics may only get married in a Church and not in the outdoors or in a hotel or any other place.  He also mentions that this restriction is not absolute when a Catholic is marrying a non-Catholic but does not offer an explanation for this difference.  Now I can’t help but wonder about what justifies that difference in the way a marriage between two Catholics is treated in comparison to a marriage in which there is  what the Church used to call “disparity of cult”.  Disparity of cult used to be an impediment to marriage and in general was only allowed in exceptional circumstances.  That is no longer the case.  Now disparity of cult seems to be, not an exceptional dispensation which is granted no additional benefits, but  a privileged condition which grants a certain liberty which is not enjoyed by two Catholics marrying each other.   How can this be, and what is the Church saying when She lifts both the general restriction against disparity of cult and also lifts the absolute prohibition of a Catholic getting married anywhere but inside a Catholic church specifically where such disparity exists?  It almost seems as if she is saying that a marriage contracted between two Catholics is a very serious thing, but a marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic…well, not so much…maybe it’s a real marriage, maybe not.  In any case, it’s nothing to get all uptight about, so,  fine, go ahead and marry your Jewish fiancée’ on the beach.


~The Thoughts relayed in this post are by both Kevin and Teresa~


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