“So let me get this right: you Catholics believe these rituals you perform actually do something? You think God acts through them to give you grace?”
Yes. But this shouldn’t seem strange to a Christian. Protestants, after all, believe that Jesus uses means to accomplish his work, that he speaks and acts through his body, the Church, that we are his hands and feet and voice in this world.
This is the incarnational principle. Catholics simply believe that God has chosen to communicate his grace through visible signs or actions that impart the graces depicted by each sign. Think of Jesus sending the man born blind to wash in the pool of Siloam in order to receive his sight. This is precisely the Catholic view of the sacraments.
There are many, many great resources out there for learning about the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Here are some of our favorites.
A FEW GREAT VIDEOS
A FEW GREAT TALKS
by Fr. Michael Schmitz
In this talk Mike Schmitz. one of the leading speakers to young people in the Church today, explains how Christians truly become sons and daughters of God the Father for all eternity through the sacrament of Baptism. A great introduction to the topic.
by Brant Pitre
by Fr. Larry Richards
A FEW GREAT BOOKS
by Fr. Paul Haffner
The seven sacraments lie at the centre of Christian life and experience, for here God the Holy Trinity touches human lives and hearts. This book is wonderful in the total picture it gives o these mysteries — and a written in a way that is clear and understandable.
by Scott Hahn
Here Dr. Hahn explores the meaning of the most solemn, majestic, and beautiful gifts Jesus has given His Church. He endowed the sacraments with power to change lives and save souls. They are the ordinary means by which we are given a share in the very life of God.
by Tim Gray
Sacraments in Scripture is an excellent tool for deepening one’s understanding of the biblical basis for the mystery of Christ’s abiding presence with us through the sacraments.