The Latin word for sacraments is sacramentum meaning “a sign of the sacred. In our Catholic faith Christ instituted the sacraments into our lives as a sign and instrument of God’s grace. The seven Sacraments are outward signs of Jesus’ presence is our lives and they resemble the stages of our natural life and our spiritual life. The Sacraments are divided into three categories: Initiation, healing, service of communion.
Sacraments of Initiation
According to our Catholic Catechism (1212), the sacraments of Christian initiation- lay the foundations of every Christian life. “The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.”
Sacraments of Healing
According to our Catholic Catechism (1421), the purpose of the healing sacraments is for “The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave our sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members.” These two sacraments “heal” those weaknesses, illnesses, suffering and sin that subject us in our daily lives.
Sacraments at the Service of Communion
According to our Catholic Catechism (1534), the sacraments at the service of communion are “directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.”