Recently I was reminded that it is not the breaths I take that matter, but what takes my breath.
I thought once more of what there is in my life that takes my breath:
The fact that the universe is still expanding,
A parent’s love for a child,
The look of love between a couple celebrating 60 years of marriage,
A four-year-old proclaiming ‘I’m a big kid now’,
A person who has lived well and is dying well,
Being forgiven and hugged.
These all seem to be sacraments of God’s love.
On another level we Catholics celebrate seven Sacraments of initiation, healing, and service:
Baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, matrimony and holy orders –
All can take my breath away.
They are all sacraments of God’s love.
How did the Church decide on seven?
Why these seven?
How did they develop?
How do they express God’s love for us?
How do they express our response to God,
Especially as a community?
The History of the Sacraments, a topic taught (for credit or interest) at the Wellington Catholic Education Centre, begins to look at some of these developments and what they mean for us in the 21st century.
See details below.
A form of this programme is also available for parishes or pastoral areas or for other interested groups.