Sacrament Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 59 quotes )
I did not even know who Christ was, that He was God. I had not the faintest idea that there existed such a thing as the Blessed Sacrament. I thought churches were simply places where people got together and sang a few hymns. And yet now I tell you, you who are now what I once was, unbelievers, it is that Sacrament, and that alone, the Christ living in our midst, and sacrificed by us, and for us and with us, in the clean and perpetual Sacrifice, it is He alone Who holds our world together, and keeps us all from being poured headlong and immediately into the pit of our eternal destruction. And I tell you there is a power that goes forth from that Sacrament, a power of light and truth, even into the hearts of those who have heard nothing of Him and seem to be incapable of belief.
Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we rceive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best--if you like, it 'works' best--when, through long familiarity, we don't have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count, the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance.
The people, especially in the villages, know nothing at all of Christian doctrine; and many pastors are sadly unfit and incompetent to teach. Yet all are called Christians, have been baptized, and enjoy the use of the Sacrament, although they know neither the Lord's Prayer, nor the Creed, nor the Ten Commandments...
Very deep things in our nature, some dim sense of the dependence of great things upon small, some dark suggestion that the things nearest to us stretch far beyond our power, some sacramental feeling of the magic in material substances, and many more emotions past fading out, are in an idea like that of the external soul. The power even in the myths of savages is like the power in the metaphors of poets. The soul of such a metaphor is often very emphatically an external soul.
At this gathering [Council of Niceau in 324 AD] many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon - the date of Easter, the role of the bishops, the administration of sacraments, and, of course, the divinity of Jesus . . . until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet . . . a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.
I was suddenly made aware of another world of beauty and mystery such as I had never imagined to exist, except in poetry. It was as though I had begun to see and smell and hear for the first time. The world appeared to me as Wordsworth describes with “the glory and freshness of a dream.” The sight of a wild rose growing on a hedge, the scent of lime-tree blossoms caught suddenly as I rode down a hill on a bicycle, came to me like visitations from another world. But it was not only my senses that were awakened. I experienced an overwhelming emotion in the presence of nature, especially at evening. It began to have a kind of sacramental character for me. I approached it with a sense of almost religious awe and , in a hush that comes before sunset, I felt again the presence of an almost unfathomable mystery. The song of the birds, the shape of the trees, the colors of the sunset, were so many signs of the presence, which seemed to be drawing me to itself.
The most important truths always appear first as blasphemies or obscenities. That's why every great innovator is persecuted. And the sacraments look obscene, too, to an outsider. The eucharist is just sublimated cannibalism, to the unawakened. When the Pope kisses the feet of the laity, he looks like an old toe-queen to some people. The rites of Pan look like a suburban orgy.
Long since on Mars and more strongly since he came to Perelandra, Ransom had been perceiving that the triple distinction of truth from myth and both from fact was purely terrestrial-was part and parcel of that unhappy distinction between soul and body which resulted from the fall. Even on earth the sacraments existed as a permanent reminder that the division was neither wholesome nor final. The Incarnation had been the beginning of its disappearance. In Perelandra it would have no meaning at all.
There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. It is possible that man may sometimes return on the track of evolution, and it is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead.
In his paradise in Lima he had spent a joyous night with a young girl who was covered with fine, straight down over every millimeter of her Bedouin skin. At dawn, while he was shaving, he looked at her lying naked in the bed, adrift in the peaceful sleep of a satisfied woman, and he could not resist the temptation of possessing her forever with a sacramental act. He covered her from head to foot with shaving lather, and with a pleasure like that of love he shaved her clean with his razor, sometimes using his right hand and sometimes his left as he shaved every part of her body, even the eyebrows that grew together, and left her doubly naked inside her magnificent newborn's body. She asked, her soul in shreds, if he really loved her, and he answered with the same ritual phrase he had strewn without pity in so many hearts throughout his life: "More than anyone else in this world.
When I was twelve I was obsessed. Everything was sex. Latin was sex. The dictionary fell open at 'meretrix', a harlot. You could feel the mystery coming off the word like musk. 'Meretrix'! This was none of your mensa-a-table, this was a flash from a forbidden planet, and it was everywhere. History was sex, French was sex, art was sex, the Bible, poetry, penfriends, games, music, everything was sex except biology which was obviously sex but not really sex, not the one which was secret and ecstatic and wicked and a sacrament and all the things it was supposed to be but couldn't be at one and the same time - I got that in the boiler room and it turned out to be biology after all.
The multitude of men and women choose the less adventurous way of the comparatively unconscious civic and tribal routines. But these seekers, too, are saved—by virtue of the inherited symbolic aids of society, the rites of passage, the grace-yielding sacraments, given to mankind of old by the redeemers and handed down through millenniums. It is only those who know neither an inner call nor an outer doctrine whose plight truly is desperate; that is to say, most of us today, in this labyrinth without and within the heart. Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur, and the means then to find our way to freedom when the monster has been met and slain?
True worship is the living human being, who has become a total answer to God, shaped by God's healing and transforming word. And true priesthood is therefore the ministry of word and sacrament that transforms people in to an offering to God and makes the cosmos into praise and thanksgiving to the Creator and Redeemer.