Tuesday 28th May 2024

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

A Beacon Of Light . . . The Seven Sacraments Touch All Aspects Of Our Lives

December 14, 2021 Frontpage No Comments


(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. He received his BA in religious studies and his MA in dogmatic theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

  • + + Having discussed the liturgy and its importance in our journey of faith, today we will begin examining the seven sacraments and their role in our lives.
    Christ instituted seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Marriage. The sacraments touch every aspect of our Christian lives. Through them we experience the birth, healing, and mission that is associated with the life of faith. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are grouped together and called the Sacraments of Initiation.
    Together these sacraments lay the foundation of the Christian life. Penance and Anointing of the Sick are considered sacraments of healing, while Holy Orders and Marriage are geared toward the service of the Church and others.
    To assist us in understanding the sacraments better, each week will focus on one of the sacraments.

The Light Of Christ

Baptism is the foundation on which all the sacraments rest. Without Baptism we cannot receive any of the other sacraments. In His love for us, God uses Baptism as the foundation on which He will build a house where faith and God reside. Through Baptism we come to know God and pass through the first portal of the spiritual life and receive the Light of Faith.
When was the last time you participated in a Baptism? Do you remember the ceremony or what took place?
Probably not! The Rite of Baptism is filled with many poignant moments where the Lord makes Himself manifest. The rite begins by asking the parents and godparents what name has been given to this child. This is very important because it reminds us that we are called by God to participate in salvation.
Having provided a name, the parents are asked what they desire. They respond by saying faith or Baptism. Then the celebrating priest (or deacon) reminds the parents and godparents of their responsibility. This responsibility consists of a promise.
The parents promise to train the child in the practice of the faith by teaching the child to keep God’s Commandments by loving God and their neighbor. The parents are the first teachers in the way of the faith. They have a great responsibility on their shoulders for which they are judged by God. By the parents’ affirmation as the first teachers in the faith, the priest welcomes the child with great joy and claims him for Christ our Savior. This is done by tracing the Sign of the Cross on the child’s forehead.
The rite continues with the Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word where we listen to the Word of God as he reminds us of the importance of Baptism. The General Intercessions are our prayers to the Lord for the child about to receive the Light of Christ. Next we invoke the Church Triumphant, or the Communion of Saints, to intercede for this soon to be child of God.
We especially invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph, St. Peter and St. Paul, the patron saint of the child being baptized, and the patron of the Titular Church where the Baptism is taking place.
This is a wonderful moment! The members of the Communion of Saints are interceding to the Lord on behalf of the child.
Having called upon the heavenly intercessors, the Prayer of Exorcism and the First Anointing then take place. They are the immediate preparation for receiving Baptism. Baptism is the sacrament that frees us from original sin.
Part of the freedom from original sin involves casting away the Evil One. In the prayer of Exorcism, we pray asking that the darkness of sin and death be replaced with the Light of Christ! In the prayer we say: “Almighty and ever living God, you sent your only Son into the world to cast out the power of Satan, spirit of evil, to rescue man from the kingdom of darkness, and bring him into the splendor of your kingdom of light. We pray for this child: set him free from original sin, make him a temple of your glory, and send your Holy Spirit to dwell with him” (Rite of Baptism).
Immediately after this prayer we anoint the child with the Oil of Catechumens. The Oil of Catechumens is used during Baptism because it strengthens the one being baptized to turn away from evil, temptation, and sin. Through this anointing the child is prepared to enter the family of God.
The rite continues with the Blessing of Water. The prayer of blessing is a reminder of the journey of faith. We are reminded of creation and how the Lord breathed on the waters making them the wellspring of all holiness. We are reminded of the waters of the great flood that are a sign for us of the waters of Baptism. We hear of the Red Sea that led the Israelites out of slavery; set free from sin by Baptism.
We are reminded of the moment of Jesus’ Baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River where Christ was anointed by the Holy Spirit. We hear of the blood and water that flowed from the side of Christ as He hung on the cross.
By this prayer we sanctify the water making it holy. It becomes the fount of God’s love for the Church through which we receive sanctifying grace and are made a new creation. Then we profess our faith by renewing our baptismal promises and proclaim them for the child being baptized. We proclaim our renunciation of sin and profess our faith in Jesus Christ!
The moment of Baptism has arrived! The child is held over the baptismal font as the priest pours water in the Sign of the Cross three times saying: “(Name), I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” These words, combined with the action of pouring the water, constitute Baptism.
There before our eyes is a new child of God! At that moment the newly baptized, or the neophyte, is completely changed forever. The baptized can never go back to their prior existence. They are a new creation in Christ!
We celebrate the new creation through the Anointing with Chrism. Sacred Chrism is consecrated by the bishop during Holy Week at the Mass of Chrism. This anointing confirms our unity in Christ. Just as Christ was Priest, Prophet, and King, we too, share in this same dignity.
The priest says this beautiful prayer: “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into His holy people. As Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet, and King, so may you live always as a member of His Body, sharing in everlasting life.”

A Child Of The Light

Every sacrament uses sacred symbols to remind us of the important action taking place. In Baptism one such sacred symbol is the Baptismal Candle. The handing on of the candle is the key to the portal of Baptism. The priest lights the candle from the Paschal Candle saying: “Receive the Light of Christ!” He then hands it to the parents with this instruction:
“Parents and Godparents: This light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He is to walk always as a child of the light. May he keep the flame of faith alive in his heart. When the Lord comes, may he go out to meet Him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom” (Rite of Baptism).
Baptism is the foundation of our faith. It is the portal through which we begin the journey of faith.
Throughout the Rite of Baptism, we see various ways that the Light of Christ is made manifest. We encounter the Light of Christ in the spoken word through prayers and invocations. We encounter the Light of Christ in sacred signs and symbols, like the Oil of Catechumens, the Sacred Chrism, the blessed water, and in the light of the Baptismal Candle.
All the words, actions, and sacred symbols are part of the Divine Light of Christ. Each, in their own way, contribute to the Light of Christ. Yes, my dear friends, it begins with Baptism. We have passed through the first portal of our faith!
Next week we will look at the second Sacrament of Initiation: Confirmation.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1


Today . . .

Pedophile advocacy group praises Germany’s new law softening punishment for child pornography

(LifeSiteNews) — In 2010, Jan Flesichhauer and Wiebke Hollersen penned a chilling essay for Der Spiegel titled “How the Left Took Things Too Far.” “One of the goals of the German 1968 movement was the sexual liberation of children,” they wrote. “For some, this meant overcoming all sexual inhibitions, creating a climate in which even pedophilia was considered progressive.”   That climate involved discussions about whether sex with children might be healthy for the children and musings that this could…Continue Reading

Here’s Harrison Butker’s Full Speech Celebrating Pro-Life Christian Values

Some sports stars make headlines for drug abuse or acts of violence, but one football player is taking heat for publicly promoting Christian values. On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered the commencement at the Catholic Benedictine College, encouraging young graduates to stand firm in their faith and live out authentic Christian virtues. Now, the National Football League (NFL) is playing defense and condemning Butker’s speech as offensive. The NFL’s senior vice president and top diversity, equity,…Continue Reading

DeSantis declares Florida ‘will not comply’ with Biden rule forcing ‘gender identity’ on schools

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida “will not comply” with the Biden administration’s recently finalized rule forcing widespread recognition and accommodation of LGBT “identities” on the American education system, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared. In February, President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Education submitted to the U.S. Office of Management & Budget its finalized Title IX rule. Late last month, the administration published the rule, which expands the federal

U.S. birth and fertility rates drop to record lows, according to CDC report

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 26, 2024 / 16:45 pm Provisional data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week showed that the fertility rate in the United States hit a record low and the total number of births in the country was the lowest it’s been in decades.  According to the report, slightly fewer than 3.6 million babies were born in 2023, or 54.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15 through…Continue Reading

Kamala Harris Heads to Arizona to Promote Abortions Up to Birth

Kamala Harris is visiting Arizona today to showcase the Biden-Harris Administration’s radical support of unlimited abortion. “Kamala Harris has become the abortion czar of the Biden Administration,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “Instead of joining with the pro-life movement to build programs and safety nets to help promote real solutions for women and their preborn children, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have engaged in fearmongering and propaganda,” Tobias continue

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading