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Re: Part Two of the Course, Fifth Assignment, Question 1
by arnetta sims - Saturday, 18 August 2012, 2:03 PM

The most important document resulting from Vatican II is The Constitution on Sacred Liturgy. I believe that the liturgy is the life line of the sacraments. This document allowed The People Of God to express and participate in the mission of the Church more fully through sacramental experiences. Therefore the laity became co-sharers in the responsibility of promoting the Gospel.To examine contemporary sacramental theology it is necessary for me to find meaning through the essence which is liturgy.

In the development of liturgical theology we see the Church reveal herself in forms of art, decorum and language. These expressions suggest a more pastoral nature to create human life in the manner of " analyzing abstract theological concepts" (pg. 123). The manner in which the sacraments are communicated help bridge the concept of the invisible to the invisible.Ritual becomes the instrument to stablize the functions of these practices and experiences.

Sacramental practices changed around 1966 and were gradually accepted by the people. The need for liturgical reform was influenced by liturgists and theologians which call for "inculturation" including all of God's people. At this point I would like to express my belief of the fact that I really do not believe that the Church even today fully understand what a sacrament is, but simply the effect of the sacrament. We try to perceive what the action does for us or the feeling that we experience in performing the ritualistic actions. In so doing theologians define the descriptive as being the meaning. The effect becomes more or less the terminolgy for the sacramental experience. Making sense for me is knowing that this external expression is to have an internal impact. Experiencing the sacraments through the liturgy is to stir up change and transformation in my life. I am to be transformed first by receiving the information and then applying it to my life. It is within the liturgy that the community comes together to celebrate the real presence of God which is intended to direct them toward salvation.What makes sense to me does not necessary make sense to someone else. But we can agree if good liturgy is shared the Spirit of the living God will flow through the sacraments. The opinion I offer is mine eventhough many learned theologians have studied and researched theories for the sacraments, these concepts are based on what makes sense to me. I accept the official sacraments, but I feel some elements of reverence for the mystery have dimished.

I celebrate the sacraments in the formula suggested by the Church. But I can not bring myself to the sacrament of reconciliation. I realize the purpose of the sacrament, but my sacramental experience of forgiveness is so very personal between me and my God. When I go into the presence of God in other sacraments He reveals what graces that I am lacking. I can forgive my fellowman because when I am in His presence, He forgives me. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that connects us all together with the First Sacrament. It is the Holy Spirit that opens the doors to the sacred.My interpretations and expressions are based on my spiritual level and what makes sense to me. The liturgy is the source in executing and celebrating the sacraments. The communal celebration expresses the social nature of man in a worship setting. Liturgy brings it all together in concert where we meet the Incarnate One and the rest of creation and this becomes sacramental life. I believe that this was the desire of contemporary theologians and it must be fine tuned from time to time.

I strongly agree with the explanation given by Martos on page 207 as the overall answer to a major factor of disconnect in sacramental theology; " For there is a prevailing sense in religious education and catechetics today that if the church's teachings about the sacraments are true, they need to make sense in terms of how people live their lives." Amen!

GRADE 2 (A good reflection on contemporary developments, but not a reflection on a contemporary sacramental theology.)

(Edited by Dr. Joe - original submission Friday, 17 August 2012, 03:41 PM)