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Sacramental Life Unit 1 Introduction

Sacramental Life Unit 1 Introduction

Author: Jon McGurran
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Unit 1 Study Guide


            -There will be no review day.

            -The completed study guide is due on the day of the Quiz

            -Study your Key ideas, homework questions and vocabulary. They will be on the test.

1.) What command did Jesus give to his disciples at the moment of his Ascension into Heaven?

2.) What is Grace?

3.) How were Adam and Eve different from the rest of God’s creation? What was the implication of their choice to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

4.) Describe the ways God intervened in the lives of the faithful before Jesus Christ.

5.) Many times in the Old Testament God manifested himself to man through physical objects. List three examples of this and describe the significance of the particular physical manifestation. Why did God choose to appear in these ways?

6.) What does it mean when Christ is called a “living sacrament?”

7.) How do the sacraments resemble Christ’s ministry on earth?

8.) How did the Apostles initially react after Christ’s Ascension? How and when did that attitude change?

9.) What role does the Catholic Church play in the continuing life of the sacraments?

10.) What is the origin of the word “Sacrament”?

11.) Why are signs important in how we understand the world? How do sacraments fulfill the role of a sign or symbol?

12.) What does it mean that sacraments are efficacious signs?

13.) How is Christ at work in the sacraments?

14.) What is the difference between Actual and Sanctifying grace?

15.) Describe the three divine calls associated with the sacraments.

16.) What three common elements do the sacraments share? Describe them and explain why they are important.

17.) What does it mean to receive the sacraments with a proper disposition? Why is it important to receive the sacraments with a proper disposition?

Vocab Unit 1

Unit 1: Introduction                                    Vocabulary                                    Sacramental Life

Actual Grace

            This supernatural, free, and underserved help from God is given for specific circumstances to help us choose what is good and avoid what is evil.


            A specific gift or grace of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefits the Church, given in order to help a person live out the Christian life, or to serve the common good in building up the Church.


            The name given the assembly of people whom God has called together from the ends of the earth. This word has three meanings: the people that God gathers together, the local church (diocese), and the liturgical assembly. Also, the name given to a building used for public Christian worship.


            Human appetites or desires remain disordered due to the temporal consequences of Original Sin; Concupiscence remains even after Baptism and constitutes an inclination to sin. It is often used to refer to desires resulting from strong sensual urges or attachment to things of this world.


            A solemn agreement between people or between God and man involving mutual commitments and guarantees.

Ex Opere Operato

            A term in sacramental theology (literally, “by the work done”), meaning that sacraments are effective by means of the sacramental rites themselves, and not because of the worthiness of the minister or recipient.


            The necessary ritual words and signs that accompany a sacrament.

Habitual Grace (See Sanctifying Grace)

Image of God (Imago Dei)

            The image of God, present in all humans by virtue of their creation by Almighty God, is made even more explicitly through the Sacrament of Baptism, whereby one is “baptized into” Christ and made “a new creation.” That image of Christ is enhanced through living a life of grace or marred by the commission of sin.


            The material or physical sign of a sacrament. Examples include water (Baptism) and bread and wine (Eucharist).


            Hebrew for “anointed.” This is used in reference to Jesus because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission of priest, prophet, and king, signified by his being anointed as Christ.


            The person who administers or celebrates a sacrament.

Mystical Body of Christ

            Based on the teaching of St. Paul found in his First Letter to the Corinthians, this doctrine holds that believers are united to Christ as branches to a vine and, due to that union, united to one another.

Original Sin

            Adam and Eve’s abuse of their human freedom in disobeying God’s command. As a consequence, they lost the grace of original holiness and justice, and became subject to the law of death; sin became universally present in the world; every person is born into this condition. This sin separated mankind from God, darkened the human intellect, weakened the human will, and introduced into human nature an inclination toward sin.


            From the Greek “proto” meaning “first” and “evaggelos” meaning “bring the good news.” The first message of Good News—the first Gospel—is Genesis 3:15 in which the promise of the Messiah and Redeemer is foretold.


            Literally meaning “being brought back,” the act by which Jesus Christ, through his sacrificial Death on the Cross, set us free from the slavery of sin, thus redeeming or “buying us back” from the power of the Devil.


            The bodily rising of Jesus from the dead, as he had foretold, on the third day after his Death on the Cross, set us free from the slavery of sin, thus redeeming or “buying us back” from the power of the Devil.


            An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed through the work of the Holy Spirit. There are seven sacraments.

Sacramental Character

            An indelible mark, i.e., a permanent and unrepeatable spiritual quality, imprinted on the soul by the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, that gives the Christian a share in the priesthood of Christ.


            Profaning the Sacraments or other liturgical actions, or things consecrated to God in a special way, such as priests, religious women and men, churches, shrines, convents or monasteries, icons, statues, etc. Extreme irreverence by word or dead.

Sanctifying grace

            The free and unmerited favor of God given through the sacraments. This heals human nature wounded by sin by giving man a share in the divine life infused into the soul by the Holy Spirit to heal from sin and sanctify. (also known as Habitual Grace)

U1 Day 2: Grace and the First Sin

Day 2 Grace and the First sin

1.)What are we studying in this class?

2.) What is the most basic definition of grace?

3.) According to 2 Peter 1:3-4, in addition to helping us escape sin, what else does God’s grace do for us?

4.) What did Christ provide for new believers to enter into the mystery of his own life and have a real encounter with him?

5.) What body did Christ found to continue his saving work on earth, and what specific means did he establish to convey his grace to the world?

6.) What is the recurring story of God’s grace in the Scriptures?

7.) What does it mean to be made in the image and likeness of God?

8.) What role did God intend for Adam and Eve in the Garden?

9.) What is the protoevangelium?

10.) What does it mean to say that the period of human history from Adam and Eve to Christ is a time of preparation?

11.) How did God use the Jews to prepare the world for the coming of Christ?

D3 Material Things as Instruments of Grace

(apparently my dog is itching is collar..sorry about that.)

1.) How was Mary’s “yes” to God different from Adam and Eve’s, Abraham’s, and Moses’ response to God?
2.) What is the primary way that Christ chose to convey grace to the world after his ascension?
3.) Even though people administer the sacraments, who really acts in them?
4.) How is the Church also a sacrament?
5.) What was the original meaning of the word “sacrament”?
6.) How does the Christian meaning of sacrament transcend the term’s original meaning?
7.) How are human beings dependent on material things?
8.) What is the role of signs and symbols in human life?
9.) How can it be said that creation itself is a sacrament?
10.) How is Christ a sacramental sign?

As I told you, about once a week you will have a reading that will require you to think and write a response.

This week read ""

In one page, give me your thoughts about this prayer. What are some of the images that St. Thomas uses and why? (This will be graded as a separate assignment, still due next class period.)

D4 Efficacious Signs of Sanctifying Grace

1.) What does it mean to say that the sacraments are efficacious signs?
2.) When one receives a sacrament, what Person does he encounter?
3.) Why is the personal holiness of the minister of a sacrament desirable but not necessary?
4.) Why is having Christ as the principal minister of the sacraments a comfort to the faithful?
5.) To whom is actual grace available and does actual grace force us to do the right thing?
6.) What is the effect of venial and mortal sins on sanctifying grace?
7.) Why does the Church recommend frequent Confession?
8.) What kind of life does sanctifying grace give us? Does it prevent us from sinning or experiencing doubts in our faith?
9.) What does sanctifying grace allow us to do?
10.) Why did God not design sanctifying grace to force us to be good or prevent us from sinning?

D5 Responsibilities towards the Sacraments

1.) Why do all Christians especially those entering adulthood, need grace?
2.) What are the three divine calls of the sacraments?
3.) What is the communal value of the sacraments? (community)
4.) Can people self-administer sacraments?
5.) What does it mean to have a proper disposition to receive a sacrament? (attitude)
6.) What dispositions are required both for the sacraments and for the life in Christ for which the sacraments are intended? (3 things)
7.) How do we obtain these dispositions?
8.) Why is it necessary for us to desire them?
9.) What is the effect of the Eucharist on an atheist?
10.) What is the effect of the Eucharist on a person in the state of mortal sin?