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    NN OO WW YY OO UU KK NN OO WW MM EE DD II AA S T U D Y G U I D E

    Signs of Gods Grace: A Journey Through the

    Sacraments

    Presented by Rev. Thomas J. Scirghi, S.J., Th.D.

  • SIGNS OF GODS GRACE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SACRAMENTS S T U D Y G U I D E

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  • SIGNS OF GODS GRACE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SACRAMENTS S T U D Y G U I D E

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    Table of Contents

    Program Summary ............................................................................................................... 4

    About Your Presenter ........................................................................................................... 5

    Topic 1: An Introduction to the Sacraments .................................................................. 6

    Topic 2: Baptism: We Are Washed and Welcomed into the Church .......................... 11

    Topic 3: Confirmation: The Pentecost Feast Still Burns with Tongues of Fire .......... 16

    Topic 4: The Eucharist: The Lamb of God Frees Us from Sin ................................... 22

    Topic 5: The Liturgy of the Eucharist: Come to the Table, Take and Eat .................. 27

    Topic 6: Penance: The Celebration of Gods Mercy ................................................... 31

    Topic 7: Anointing of the Sick: Are Any Among You Sick? .................................. 35

    Topic 8: The Funeral: The Lord Promises to Raise Us Up ......................................... 40

    Topic 9: Matrimony: The Sacred Covenant ................................................................ 44

    Topic 10: Holy Orders: Continuing the Call to the Lord in Service to the Church ...... 48

    Topic 11: Preaching: Jesus Christ Is Present in His Word ............................................ 53

    Topic 12: Sacramentals: Extending the Table of the Lord ............................................ 58

    Bibliography ....................................................................................................................... 63

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    Program Summary

    The sacraments lie at the heart of the Catholic faith. Now, you can discover

    them anew in this captivating program.

    St. Anselm perhaps best defined Christian theology when he described it as

    fides quaerens intellectum, or faith seeking understanding. At the center of

    theology is worship, where the faithful come to give praise and thanksgiving to

    God. Through our communal prayers and rituals, we remember our tradition,

    express our faith, and encounter the presence of the living God.

    The sacraments tell the powerful story of the Christian faith. These

    efficacious signs of grace (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1131) are

    rooted in the work and teaching of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God and

    Word made flesh, the One who directs us along the way to union with God.

    Thus, sacramental celebration is absolutely fundamental to all Christians.

    Now, you can join Fordham University professor Fr. Thomas Scirghi, S.J.,

    in this illuminating series on the sacraments. An expert on sacramental theology,

    he authored Everything Is Sacred: An Introduction to the Sacrament of Baptism,

    which bestselling author Fr. James Martin, S.J., praised as the perfect

    guidebook for curious parents, enthusiastic newcomers, and confused cradle

    Catholics. Frankly, this is the best book on baptism Ive ever read. Fr. Scirghis

    mastery of the material is evident in this 12-lecture series.

    With Fr. Scirghi as your guide, you will explore the origin of the sacraments

    through their scriptural roots and their development in the Churchs history. You

    will also study ritualhow each sacrament is celebrated. Whether you are

    seeking to deepen your understanding of the sacraments or looking for a

    thorough introduction to the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, you will

    find this course invaluable and insightful.

    This is a truly essential course for Christians of all ages and positions:

    students, pastors, and lifelong learners alike will find these lectures enlightening.

    The sacraments tell the Christian story of how we come to follow the way of the

    Lord. Discover this story today.

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    About Your Presenter

    Rev. Thomas J. Scirghi is Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham

    University, where he specializes in the theology of sacraments and liturgy, as

    well as homiletics, the theory and practice of preaching. He earned a Master of

    Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, California; an

    S.T.L. from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge,

    Massachusetts; and a Doctor of Theology from Boston University. A member of

    the New York Province of Jesuits, he has taught at the Jesuit School of

    Theology at Berkeley and the Jesuit College of Theology in Melbourne,

    Australia. In 2013, he was appointed to the Thomas More Chair of Catholic

    Studies, a joint appointment to the University of Western Australia and the

    University of Notre Dame, Australia. He has lectured on liturgy and preaching

    for clergy and laity throughout America, as well as in Africa, Asia, and

    Australia. Recently he published Everything Is Sacred: An Introduction to

    Baptism (Paraclete Press), and Living Beauty: The Art of Worship, with his

    colleague Alejandro Garcia-Rivera (Rowman and Littlefield Press). He is also a

    frequent contributor to Pastoral Liturgy magazine.

  • SIGNS OF GODS GRACE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SACRAMENTS S T U D Y G U I D E

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    Topic 1: An Introduction to the Sacraments

    I. Welcome and Introduction

    A. The breadth and aim of the course

    II. The definition of sacraments (cf. CCC 1131)

    A. Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The celebration of the sacraments make present the graces

    proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required

    dispositions.

    B. N.B. Old Baltimore Catechism definition: A sacrament is an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace. The new Catechism expands upon the old definition.

    C. Lets focus on seven points here.

    1. Efficacious signs

    a. They effect what they signify, i.e., something happens because of them; they cause something to happen.

    b. Most signs simply point, e.g., Exit,Lincoln Memorial, but some signs are efficaciousthey cause something to happen

    c. E.g., a couple celebrates tenth wedding anniversary over a nice dinner. These signs also enhance their relationship.

    d. Symbols

    i. These efficacious signs are more precisely symbols.

    ii. Symbols re-present a hidden reality. They make present something that we cannot perceive with our senses, e.g., love.

    2. Grace = the presence of God.

    a. In the state of grace = close relationship with God

    b. The celebration of the sacraments provide opportunities to realize that we are in the presence of God.

    3. Instituted by Christ

    a. First, note that the word instituted may be tricky.

    b. We may think that Jesus Himself practiced or performed the seven sacraments.

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    c. But Jesus never married anyone: He wasnt married nor did He join people together in marriage. For that matter, although he was baptized, he did not baptize anyone.

    d. Rather, the sacraments find their origins in Christ. That is, they are rooted in the words and worksin the teachings and actionsof Jesus Christ.

    i. Baptism: Matthew 28

    ii. Penance and anointing of the sick: Jesus forgave sinners and healed the sick

    4. Entrusted to the Church

    a. We know that the Church is the Body of Christ.

    b. So it is here, in this body, that the sacraments are celebrated and the presence of Christ continues to be experienced.

    5. Divine life is dispensed

    a. We share in the divine life of God.

    b. The sacraments remind us that we