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Reflections: Sacraments Section

The Last Supper

Sacraments | Home | Daily Digest | Reflections: A-Z | Categorized

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 Sacraments Section

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Against Communion in the Hand

Baptism [Pg.]

Baptism Basics / Misc.

Baptism by Blood or Desire

Baptism / Confirmation

Baptism / Penance

Character Imprinted on the Soul

Communion of the Laity Under One Species

Confession of Venial Sins / Frequent Confession

Confirmation [Pg.]

Confirmation Basics / Misc.

Eucharist / Baptism

Eucharist / Penance

Eucharistic Adoration / The Eucharist Reserved in the Tabernacle

Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick [Pg.]

Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) Basics / Misc.

Forty Hours Devotion

Frequent Communion

General Absolution

God's Mercy to Sinners / All Sins Can Be Forgiven

The Guilt From Unremitted Sins Committed Long Ago Still Remains

Holy Communion [Pg.]

Holy Communion

Holy Communion Should Be Denied to Those Who Obstinately Persist in Manifest Grave Sin

The Holy Eucharist & The Goodness and Love of God

Holy Eucharist / Mass [Pg.]

Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.)

Holy Eucharist / Mass & Priests

The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests

Holy Orders [Pg.]

Holy Orders Basics / Misc.

Living up to One's Baptism

Marriage, Family & Home (Catholic Life Reflections)

Mass is a Sacrifice / The Mass & Calvary

Mass Offerings

Matrimony / Marriage [Pg.]

Matrimony Basics / Misc.

Necessity of Baptism

Necessity of Receiving the Holy Eucharist

The Obligation of Confession

One Must Also do Works

Penance / Confession [Pg.]

Penance / Confession (Basics / Misc.)

Praise / Benefits of Baptism

Praise / Benefits of Confession / Penance

Praise / Benefits of Confirmation

Praise / Benefits of Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick)

Praise / Benefits of Holy Orders

Praise / Benefits of Matrimony

Praise / Benefits of the Holy Eucharist & Mass

The Real Presence / Transubstantiation

Reverence / Proper Behavior (Mass / Holy Eucharist)

Sacraments (Basics / Misc.) [Pg.]

Sacraments at the End of Life

Seal of Confession

Separation (Marital)

A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity

Spiritual Communion

There is No Confession After Death

Traditional Prohibition Regarding Concelebration

Viaticum

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Category
Quotation

Baptism

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Baptism Basics / Misc.

Baptism by Blood or Desire

Living up to One's Baptism

Necessity of Baptism

Praise / Benefits of Baptism

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Baptism / Confirmation

Also See: Baptism (Topic Page) | Confirmation (Topic Page)

"For just as the remission of sins is granted through baptism, so the sanctification of the spirit is realized through unction... While applied to the body, it is beneficial to the soul... Hands are imposed, that the advocacy of the Holy Spirit may be brought down through benediction. For the Paraclete then willingly descends from the Father, when bodies have been made clean and blessed." (St. Isidore, Doctor of the Church, 7th century A.D.)

"The sacrament of Baptism is more efficacious than [Confirmation] as to the removal of evil, since it is a spiritual birth, that consists in change from non-being to being. But [Confirmation] is more efficacious for progress in good; since it is a spiritual growth from imperfect being to perfect being. And hence [Confirmation] is committed to a more worthy minister [the Bishop]." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"All should hasten without delay to be born again unto God [receive Baptism], and afterwards to be signed by the Bishop, that is, to receive the sevenfold grace of the Holy Ghost [that is, Confirmation]; for, as has been handed down to us from St. Peter, and as the other Apostles taught in obedience to the command of our Lord, he who culpably and voluntarily, and not from necessity, neglects to receive this Sacrament, cannot possibly be a perfect Christian." (St. Clement)

"As Pope Melchiades says (Epistola ad Episcopos Hispaniae), 'these two sacraments,' viz. Baptism and Confirmation, 'are so closely connected that they can nowise be separated save by death intervening, nor can one be duly celebrated without the other.' Consequently the same seasons are fixed for the solemn celebration of Baptism and of this sacrament. But since this sacrament is given only by bishops, who are not always present where priests are baptizing, it was necessary, as regards the common use, to defer the sacrament of Confirmation to other seasons also." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"On account, however, of original sin, our whole nature had fallen into such guilt and dishonor that we had become enemies to God. 'We were by nature the children of wrath' (Eph. ii., 3). There was no power which could raise us and deliver us from this ruin and eternal destruction. But God, the Creator of mankind and infinitely merciful, did this through His only begotten Son, by whose benefit it was brought about that man was restored to that rank and dignity whence he had fallen, and was adorned with still more abundant graces. No one can express the greatness of this work of divine grace in the souls of men. Wherefore, both in Holy Scripture and in the writings of the fathers, men are styled regenerated, new creatures, partakers of the Divine Nature, children of God, god-like, and similar epithets... The beginnings of this regeneration and renovation of man are by Baptism. In this sacrament, when the unclean spirit has been expelled from the soul, the Holy Ghost enters in and makes it like to Himself. 'That which is born of the Spirit, is spirit' (John iii., 6). The same Spirit gives Himself more abundantly in Confirmation, strengthening and confirming Christian life; from which proceeded the victory of the martyrs and the triumph of the virgins over temptations and corruptions." (Pope Leo XIII, "Divinum Illud Munus", 1897 A.D.)

"Since, then, by the grace of Baptism we are begotten unto newness of life, whereas by that of Confirmation we grow to full maturity, having put away the things of a child, we can sufficiently understand that the same difference that exists in the natural life between birth and growth exists also between Baptism, which regenerates, and Confirmation, by the virtue of which growth an perfect spiritual strength are imparted to the faithful. Besides, as there should be a new and distinct kind of Sacrament when the soul has to encounter any new difficulty, it may easily be perceived that as we require the grace of Baptism to form the mind unto faith, so is it also of the utmost advantage that the souls of the faithful be strengthened by a different grace, to the end that they be deterred by no danger, or fear of pains, tortures or death, from the confession of the true faith. This, then, being accomplished by the sacred chrism of Confirmation, it is hence clearly inferred, that the nature of this Sacrament is different from Baptism. Hence Pope Melchiades accurately evolves the difference between them, writing as follows: In Baptism man is enlisted into the service, in Confirmation he is equipped for battle; at the baptismal font the Holy Ghost imparts fullness to accomplish innocence, but in Confirmation he ministers perfection to grace; in Baptism we are regenerated unto life, after Baptism we are fortified for the combat; in Baptism we are cleansed, after Baptism we are strengthened; regeneration of itself saves those who receive Baptism in time of peace, Confirmation arms and makes ready for conflicts." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Also See: Baptism (Gen'l. Info.) | Confirmation (Gen'l. Info.) | Baptism (Reflections) | Confirmation (Reflections) | Baptism (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Confirmation (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Character Imprinted on the Soul

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Baptism / Penance

Also See: Baptism (Topic Page) | Penance (Topic Page)

Error CONDEMNED by Pope St. Pius X in "Lamentabili": "The practice of conferring baptism on infants was a disciplinary evolution, which was one reason for resolving the sacrament into two, baptism and penance." (Pope St. Pius X, This proposition was condemned in "Lamentabili", 1907 A.D.)

"The effect of baptism is different from that of penance. For putting on Christ in baptism (see Gal. 3:27) we become an entirely new creature in him and receive the complete remission of all our sins. But by the sacrament of penance we are by no means able to arrive at that new and spotless life without much weeping and labor, as divine justice demands. Thus the holy Fathers rightly spoke of penance as 'a kind of difficult baptism.' And this sacrament of penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after baptism, just as baptism itself is necessary for salvation for those not yet regenerated" (Council of Trent)

"The manifold mercy of God came to the assistance of fallen men in such a way that the hope of eternal life might be recovered not only by the grace of baptism, but also by the remedy of penance, that those who have violated the gifts of regeneration, condemning themselves by their own judgment, might attain to the remission of their sins; the help of divine goodness having been so ordered that the indulgence of God cannot be obtained except by the supplications of the priests. For the Mediator of God and of men, the man Christ Jesus [1 Tim. 2:5] has entrusted this power to the leaders of the Church, that they might both grant the action of penance to those confessing, and admit the same [persons] cleansed by salutary satisfaction to the communion of the sacraments through the gate of reconciliation." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church, 459 A.D.)

"Penance, as a sacrament, is perfected chiefly in confession, because by the latter a man submits to the ministers of the Church, who are the dispensers of the sacraments: for contrition has the desire of confession united thereto, and satisfaction is enjoined according to the judgment of the priest who hears the confession. And since in the sacrament of Penance, as in Baptism, that grace is infused whereby sins are forgiven, therefore confession in virtue of the absolution granted remits guilt, even as Baptism does. Now Baptism delivers one from the death of sin, not only by being received actually, but also by being received in desire, as is evident with regard to those who approach the sacrament of Baptism after being already sanctified. And unless a man offers an obstacle, he receives, through the very fact of being baptized, grace whereby his sins are remitted, if they are not already remitted. The same is to be said of confession, to which absolution is added because it delivered the penitent from guilt through being previously in his desire. Afterwards at the time of actual confession and absolution he receives an increase of grace, and forgiveness of sins would also be granted to him, if his previous sorrow for sin was not sufficient for contrition, and if at the time he offered no obstacle to grace. Consequently just as it is said of Baptism that it delivers from death, so can it be said of confession." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Confession of sins is twofold. One is made inwardly to God: and such confession of sins is required before Baptism: in other words, man should call his sins to mind and sorrow for them; since 'he cannot begin the new life, except he repent of his former life,' as Augustine says in his book on Penance (Sermone 351). The other is the outward confession of sins, which is made to a priest; and such confession is not required before Baptism. First, because this confession, since it is directed to the person of the minister, belongs to the sacrament of Penance, which is not required before Baptism, which is the door of all the sacraments. Secondly, because the reason why a man makes outward confession to a priest, is that the priest may absolve him from his sins, and bind him to works of satisfaction, which should not be enjoined on the baptized... Moreover those who are being baptized do not need to be released from their sins by the keys of the Church, since all are forgiven them in Baptism. Thirdly, because the very act of confession made to a man is penal, by reason of the shame it inflicts on the one confessing: whereas no exterior punishment is enjoined on a man who is being baptized. Therefore no special confession of sins is required of those who are being baptized; but that general confession suffices which they make when in accordance with the Church's ritual they 'renounce Satan and all his works.' And in this sense a gloss explains Matthew 3:6, saying that in John's Baptism 'those who are going to be baptized learn that they should confess their sins and promise to amend their life.' If, however, any persons about to be baptized, wish, out of devotion, to confess their sins, their confession should be heard; not for the purpose of enjoining them to do satisfaction, but in order to instruct them in the spiritual life as a remedy against their vicious habits... Confession is a part of sacramental Penance, which is not required before Baptism...but the inward virtue of Penance is required." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Baptism (Gen'l. Info.) | Penance / Confession (Gen'l. Info.) | Baptism (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Penance / Confession (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Baptism (Reflections) | Penance / Confession (Reflections) | Sin / Sorrow for Sin / Mercy / Deliverance (Prayers) | Fear of God / Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture) | Sin (Topical Scripture) | Catholic Basics Section

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Character Imprinted on the Soul

"[T]hese three sacraments imprint a character, namely, Baptism, Confirmation, and order." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If any one saith that in the three sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and order, there is not imprinted in the soul a character, that is, a certain spiritual and indelible sign on account of which they cannot be repeated; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"'This character [impressed on the soul by the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders] has a twofold effect: it qualifies us to receive or perform something sacred, and distinguishes us by some mark from one another.'" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Can. 845 §1 Since the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and orders imprint a character, they cannot be repeated. §2 If after completing a diligent inquiry a prudent doubt still exists whether the sacraments mentioned in §1 were actually or validly conferred, they are to be conferred conditionally." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"The second effect of the Sacraments - which however, is not common to all, but peculiar to three, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders - is the character which they impress on the soul. When the Apostle says: God hath anointed us, who also hath sealed us, and given the pelage of the Spirit in our hearts, he not obscurely describes by the word sealed a character, the property of which is to impress a seal and mark. This character is, as it were, a distinctive impression stamped on the soul which perpetually inheres and cannot be blotted out." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[A sacramental] character is properly a kind of seal, whereby something is marked, as being ordained to some particular end: thus a coin is marked for use in exchange of goods, and soldiers are marked with a character as being deputed to military service. Now the faithful are deputed to a twofold end. First and principally to the enjoyment of glory. And for this purpose they are marked with the seal of grace according to Ezekiel 9:4 'Mark Thou upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and mourn' [and Apoc. 7:3]... Secondly, each of the faithful is deputed to receive, or to bestow on others, things pertaining to the worship of God. And this, properly speaking, is the purpose of the sacramental character. Now the whole rite of the Christian religion is derived from Christ's priesthood. Consequently, it is clear that the sacramental character is specially the character of Christ, to Whose character the faithful are likened by reason of the sacramental characters, which are nothing else than certain participations of Christ's Priesthood, flowing from Christ Himself." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since, therefore, the subject of a character is the soul as to its intellective part, where faith resides... it is clear that, the intellect being perpetual and incorruptible, a character cannot be blotted out from the soul... As Augustine says (Contra epistolam Parmeniani ii), 'even apostates are not deprived of their baptism, for when they repent and return to the fold they do not receive it again; whence we conclude that it cannot be lost.' The reason of this is that a character is an instrumental power...and the nature of an instrument as such is to be moved by another, but not to move itself; this belongs to the will. Consequently, however much the will be moved in the contrary direction, the character is not removed, by reason of the immobility of the principal mover... [A]fter this life the character remains, both in the good as adding to their glory, and in the wicked as increasing their shame: just as the character of the military service remains in the soldiers after the victory, as the boast of the conquerors, and the disgrace of the conquered." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Baptism (Gen'l. Info.) | Confirmation (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Orders (Gen'l. Info.) | Sacraments (Gen'l. Info.) | Baptism (Reflections) | Confirmation (Reflections) | Holy Orders (Reflections)

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Confirmation

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Confirmation Basics / Misc.

Praise / Benefits of Confirmation

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Eucharist / Baptism

Also See: Holy Eucharist (Topic Page) | Baptism (Topic Page)

"And forasmuch as man is born once, whereas he eats many times, so is Baptism given once, but the Eucharist frequently." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Baptism is the beginning of the spiritual life, and the door of the sacraments; whereas the Eucharist is, as it were, the consummation of the spiritual life, and the end of all the sacraments" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Baptism is the sacrament of Christ's death and Passion, according as a man is born anew in Christ in virtue of His Passion; but the Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ's Passion according as a man is made perfect in union with Christ Who suffered. Hence, as Baptism is called the sacrament of Faith, which is the foundation of the spiritual life, so the Eucharist is termed the sacrament of Charity, which is the bond of perfection (Colossians 3:14)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Baptism is a spiritual regeneration, wherefore just as by generation being does not accrue save to the object generated, so Baptism produces its effect only in the person baptized, as regards the deed done: and yet as regards the deed of the doer whether of the baptizer or of the baptized, it may profit others even as other meritorious works. On the other hand, the Eucharist is the sign of ecclesiastical unity, wherefore by reason of the deed done its effect can pass to another, which is not the case with the other sacraments." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[B]y His Passion He inaugurated the Rites of the Christian Religion by offering 'Himself - an oblation and a sacrifice to God' (Ephesians 5:2). Wherefore it is manifest that the sacraments of the Church derive their power specially from Christ's Passion, the virtue of which is in a manner united to us by our receiving the sacraments. It was in sign of this that from the side of Christ hanging on the Cross there flowed water and blood, the former of which belongs to Baptism, the latter to the Eucharist, which are the principal sacraments." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Baptism (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Reflections) | Baptism (Reflections)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Eucharist / Penance

Also See: Holy Eucharist (Topic Page) | Penance (Topic Page)

"We must also confess all our sins to a priest, and receive from him the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who does not eat His Flesh and does not drink His Blood (Cf. Jn. 6:55-7) cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Yet let him eat and drink worthily, since he who receives unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, not recognizing - that is, not discerning - the Body of the Lord (1 Cor. 11:29)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"The two sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance are very closely connected. Because the Eucharist makes present the redeeming sacrifice of the Cross, perpetuating it sacramentally, it naturally gives rise to a continuous need for conversion, for a personal response to the appeal made by Saint Paul to the Christians of Corinth: 'We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God' (2 Cor 5:20). If a Christian's conscience is burdened by serious sin, then the path of penance through the sacrament of Reconciliation becomes necessary for full participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The judgment of one's state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one's conscience. However, in cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who 'obstinately persist in manifest grave sin' are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

Also See: The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Penance / Confession (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Reflections) | Penance / Confession (Reflections)

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Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick

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Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) Basics / Misc.

Praise / Benefits of Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick)

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Holy Eucharist / Mass

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Against Communion in the Hand

Communion of the Laity Under One Species

Eucharistic Adoration / The Eucharist Reserved in the Tabernacle

Forty Hours Devotion

Frequent Communion

Holy Communion

Holy Communion Should Be Denied to Those Who Obstinately Persist in Manifest Grave Sin

The Holy Eucharist & The Goodness and Love of God

Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.)

Holy Eucharist / Mass & Priests

The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests

Mass is a Sacrifice / The Mass & Calvary

Mass Offerings

Necessity of Receiving the Holy Eucharist

Praise / Benefits of the Holy Eucharist & Mass

The Real Presence / Transubstantiation

Reverence / Proper Behavior 

Spiritual Communion

Traditional Prohibition Against Concelebration

Viaticum

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Holy Orders

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Matrimony / Marriage

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Matrimony Basics / Misc.

Marriage, Family & Home (Catholic Life Reflections)

Praise / Benefits of Matrimony

Separation (Marital)

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One Must Also do Works

"Those who practice devotion, who go often to Confession and Communion, and fail to do works of faith and charity, are like trees in blossom. You think there will be as much fruit as flower; but there is a great difference." (St. John Vianney)

Also See: Necessity of Faith and Works / Not Saved by Faith Alone (Feed Your Faith Reflections) | Obligation to Perform Good Works (Give & Take Reflections) | Both Faith and Works are Required (Volunteer's Corner Reflections) | Necessity of Good Works (Volunteers' Corner Reflections)

Good Works (Catholic Life Reflections) | Volunteers' Corner Reflections

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Penance / Confession

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Confession of Venial Sins / Frequent Confession

General Absolution

God's Mercy to Sinners / All Sins Can Be Forgiven

The Guilt From Unrepented Sins Committed Long Ago Still Remains

The Obligation of Confession

Penance / Confession (Basics / Misc.)

Praise / Benefits of Confession / Penance

Seal of Confession

A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity

There is No Confession After Death

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Sacraments (Basics / Misc.)

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Sacraments at the End of Life

Also See: Death (Topic Page)

"The abuse of not administering Viaticum and extreme unction to children past the age of reason, and of burying them according to the rite of infants is entirely an abuse. Let the local ordinaries deal severely with those who do not abandon such a custom." (Congregation on the Sacraments, "Quem singulari", August 8, 1910 A.D.)

"[Question:] Whether when material schismatics at the point of death, in good faith seek either absolution or extreme unction, these sacraments can be conferred on them without their renouncing errors? - Reply: In the negative, but that it be required that they reject errors as best they can, and make a profession of faith." (Reply of the Holy Office, 5/17/1916 A.D.)

"It has seemed fit to the holy Synod to add to the preceding doctrine on penance the following matters concerning the sacrament of extreme unction, which was considered by the Fathers the consummation not only of penance, but also of the whole Christian life which should be a perpetual penance. In the first place, therefore, as regards its institution it declares and teaches that our most clement Redeemer, who wished that a provision be made for salutary remedies at all times for His servants against all the weapons of all enemies, just as He made provision for the greatest aids in other sacraments by which Christians, as long as they live, can preserve themselves free from every very grave spiritual injury, so He fortified the end of life with, as it were, the most powerful defense, by the sacrament of extreme unction. For, although 'our adversary seeks' and seizes throughout our entire life occasions 'to devour' [1 Pet. 5:8] our souls in every manner, yet there is no time when he directs more earnestly all the strength of his cunning to ruin us completely, and if possible to drive us also from faith in the divine mercy, than when he sees that the end of life is upon us." (Council of Trent, 1551 A.D.)

Also See: Penance / Confession (Gen'l. Info.) | The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick (Gen'l. Info.) | Sacraments (Gen'l. Info.) | Penance / Confession (Reflections) | Viaticum | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Reflections) | Extreme Unction / Anointing of the Sick (Reflections)] | Sacraments (Basics / Misc.) (Reflections) | There is No Confession After Death | The Guilt From Unremitted Sins Committed Long Ago Still Remains | A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity | God's Mercy to Sinners / All Sins Can Be Forgiven | Prayers For Final Perseverance / Happy Death | Suffering & Death (Catholic Life Section) | Prayers for Deceased / Faithful Departed | The Importance of Being Catholic: Combating Religious Indifferentism / No Salvation Outside the Church

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