The Cause Of Grace

801 Words 4 Pages
In chapter three, Coleman O’Neill, OP presents three critical points about the sacraments: they are causes of grace, they are instruments of Christ, and they are signs of faith. This paper will explore the significance of these three elements and then conclude with a summary.
Near the beginning of chapter three, O’Neill explains that the “restoration of the sinner can be achieved only by grace.” (O’Neill pg. 47) Grace is essential in the lives of Christians because it allows them to share in God’s divine nature, it likewise manifests Yahweh’s image in them, and it also brings about the indwelling of the Trinity within those individuals. (cf. O’Neill pg. 51) Without the assistance of grace, according to O’Neill, it is impossible for Christians
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However, before the Church ever administered any sacrament, She already had faith that was given to Her by the early disciples who received it directly from Jesus. (cf. O’Neill pg. 71) The faith of Our Lady and the apostles was given to the Church so that She could apply the benefits of Jesus’ death on the cross to the rest of humanity. (cf. Ibid.) O’Neill points out that without faith there could not be any sacraments because they are signs that rely on faith. (cf. Ibid.) According to this rationale, the sacraments cannot exist on their own as a parish can without faith. For the sacraments to exist, they require the faith of the Church (i.e. the community of believers) because it is Her faith which aids in the administration of the sacraments. (cf. O’Neill pg. 71-72) It is only through the faith of the Church that humanity can obtain through the sacraments the historical mysteries of Jesus (i.e. the Passion, Cross, and Resurrection) that can save them. (cf. O’Neill pg. 73) In summation, the point of the sacraments is that they give exactly what they signify to Christians which is grace, Christ’s continued presence, and faith. The sacraments maintain a connection with the historical mysteries of Christ’s Passion, Cross, Resurrection, Ascension, and Final Coming. Christ utilizes the sacraments through the Church’s liturgy to help people conform to the Father’s will, which, in turn, helps them to give an acceptable act of worship to

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