I. Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist)
II. Sacraments of Healing (Penance and Anointing of the Sick)
III. Sacraments of Vocation & Commitment (Matrimony and Holy Order)
WHAT IS A SACRAMENT?
is a "reality imbued with hidden presence of God" (Pope Paul VI, Second Session of the Second Vatican Council, 1963). This develops Augustine's meanings of sacrament---a visible sign of the invisible divine presence (Grace). Sacramentality means seeing by faith God in the human, the infinite in what is limited, or the boundless in what is limited, spirit in the material world, and the eternal in history. Catholics are called to see all reality as sacred---we are all called to have a sacramental perspective to see God in all things
(St. Ignatius of Loyola).
What does "Sacramentality" mean?
It means to see God in other people
(Holy and Absolute Mystery, Karl Rahner). It means to see God in community, be it ones own or another community; even a non-Christian community. It means to see God in events, in the environment, in history, in the UNIVERSE; both Christian and Non-Christian. Anything and everything is a potential carrier of the divine presence. Sacramentality means that what is visible can be recognized as carrying the "Invisible," that what is tangible can be understood as carrying Mystery, that even the mundane and everyday can take us into the Infinite. It means recognizing that our own confusing misunderstood human lives are images of Divine Love.
Sacramentality is a principle that is utterly foundational and essential for Catholic thought--all reality is potential, and in fact, bearing divine presence and is the instrument of divine action for our Salvation.
Powerful good things present us with potential dangerous. If we push Sacramentality to extremes, sacraments can become idols, and we then fall into idolatry. Idolatry is to mistaken the sign and instrument for the signified mystery. For example, it would be foolish and wrong to mistaken the map of the Amazon for the reality of the Amazon, or a sign pointing to New York City for the reality of New York City. We must go to God by means of Sacrament. (John 1:17; no one has ever seen God).
No one can see God directly.