The Sacraments are Missing

Met with two very good friends today, Protestant friends with whom I have been in an accountability group for many many years. As we discuss our respective issues, problems, victories etc, my thought is almost always: “What you really need are the sacraments.” Yes, they are Christians, sincere in every way. Yes, they have the Scriptures, which they love. And yes, they have access to God via prayer. But I am always struck that, without the sacraments, any and all efforts to overcome our concupiscence eventually devolve into cheap psychology. Or strategies. Or pacts. Or…whatever. It all feels like gimmicks to me. This is not to deny the value of these things. It is good to have a strategy to combat sin. Sometimes psychology is important. Sometimes, (legal) drugs are needed. But that inevitably is always what the conversation comes back to. Where is God’s grace in all of this? Sure, he works through all these things, but what can we do to receive the grace necessary to make these other things truly effective?

Christianity without the sacraments (by which I mean, Eucharist and Penance) is weak in the face of chronic sin. Vice. Addiction. And that Protestants are sometimes holier than Catholics only underscores Catholic apathy. Maybe if we Catholics grabbed ahold of what is truly available to us, maybe, just maybe, Protestants would be more open to what we have to say.

And what I have to say is: “Come in and receive. Lay down your pride and prejudices. Come to receive the fullness of the grace he has made available to us. It is truly life-changing. It is powerful. It is victory.”


~ by Rob on April 7, 2007.

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