Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sacramentals

I am going to begin a study of some of the most absurd teachings of the Catholic church.   Before I start, I would like to remind anyone reading this of how convinced and committed I was to the Church.  I have a Theology BA and spent all of my young adult years in ministry. 


The first one I would like to bring up is Sacramentals.

CCC = Catechism of the Catholic Church (official teachings of the Catholic Church) 

CCC 1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy."

Sacramentals are things like Holy Water, Holy Salt, Blessed Objects, Relics, etc.  They are tangible things that Catholics really believe hold supernatural power.  Most of these things obtain their power through prayers the clergy says, but others like relics (pieces of body parts or clothing worn by a saint) have the power in them on their own.

This concept is supported from passages in the Bible.  You can read more about them here: https://www.osv.com/MyFaith/ChurchSeasonsandFeasts/Article/TabId/673/ArtMID/13718/ArticleID/16133/What-Are-Sacramentals.aspx

The thing is that they hold a very similar concept to superstitious items like rabbits feet, voodoo dolls, magic spells, and other things we know to be nonsense.  Why do Catholics give them a pass? Because they WANT them to be real.  Once again it comes down to the desire to be able to effect this world in ways that go beyond our natural powers.   For example, many Catholics wear scapulars, put medals up or crosses (all blessed of course) in order to.....  get this....  ward off evil spirits.  Hello?

It comes down to an actual belief that there are all sorts of realities that are completely unmeasurable and unprovable. Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

Catholics teach that, somehow, power and grace is attached to these real items turning them into actual supernatural power sources.   Cool.  Yeh, it would be cool.  So would most mythological, superstitious, magical stuff.  Fortunately, there is no proof whatsoever that there is any shred of truth to it.  Thank Heavens!  Opps.

6 comments:

fRED said...

Well...I wish this stuff would work. But it doesn't seem to be much different than wearing a sports jersey of your favorite player, or your team's official licensed cap. If you're a concert goer, there are the programs and T-shirts and ticket stubs, etc. How about the techno geeks that have to have the latest model of cell phone or gadget.

I think it has something to do with being human. We are not spiritual or supernatural beings so we need something tangible to help us feel more secure. Kids have their stuffed animals and adults do too.

But it bugs me that fans are expected to shell out extra cash to prove their faithfulness by purchasing the applicable secular sacramentals. Our loyalty should not be related to how much we buy. That is materialism. Thus, the relationship becomes only transactional.

fRED said...

It's been a long time. I hope everything is alright. I miss your posts.

fRED said...

Shane, come back.

fRED said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Hope all is well.

fRED said...

AJ, Don't know what happened to you and/or why you abandoned your blog. Hope all is okay.

This is to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy and prosperous New Year.

AJL said...

Hi fRED, yes.... it's been a while. Life has been extremely busy. Thanks for visiting..