Sacraments and Moral Living
THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS
The Latin word sacramentum means “a sign of the sacred.” The seven sacraments are ceremonies that point to what is sacred, significant and important for Christians. They are special occasions for experiencing God’s saving presence. That’s what theologians mean when they say that sacraments are at the same time signs and instruments of God’s grace.
There are Seven Sacraments
Anointing of the Sick.
Catholic morality is about life: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The Catholic Church bases its moral Teachings on the message of Jesus. Morality boils down to love: loving God and loving our neighbors. If we truly love God (Who Himself is love) and neighbor, then our behavior toward ourselves and others will reflect this commitment. The Catholic Church teaches that we are to strive for holiness and perfection, since Jesus told us to be perfect as the Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). However, this is only accomplished with the help of God’s grace. Catholics believe that we are called to turn from evil, and towards the good. This means turning away from actions and thoughts that are contrary to God’s will. Most sins can be traced to the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Envy, Lust, Wrath, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth). Turning toward the good means developing virtue, that is a habitual and firm disposition to do good. The core virtues are divided into the Theological Virtues, which are the foundation of Christian moral activity (faith, hope, and love), and the Cardinal Virtues, virtues around which all others are grouped (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude).