What Pope Francis Says About the Sacraments

Baptism

“Baptism permits Christ to live in us, and to live united with him,” he said, “in order to collaborate in the Church, each according to his or her own condition, to the transformation of the world.” (April 11, 2018 General Audience)

Confirmation

He then explained that, during confirmation, “through the sacramental sign of anointing with sacred chrism, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to be more closely conformed to Christ, God’s ‘anointed one.’”

“We are also strengthened — ‘confirmed’ — in the grace of our baptism and in our mission of bearing daily witness to Christ and his love,” the Holy Father continued, adding, “Confirmation is God’s work,” as is every sacrament.

And this particular sacrament, said the Pope, “ensures that our life be embodied in the image of his Son, for us to love like him, infusing his Holy Spirit.”

“This Spirit acts with strength within us, within all people and during one’s whole life,” he emphasized, stating that, “when we receive him in our hearts, Christ makes himself present and takes shape in our lives.” (January 29, 2014 General Audience)

Eucharist

“The Eucharist is Jesus who gives himself entirely to us. To nourish ourselves with him and abide in him through Holy Communion, if we do it with faith, transforms our life into a gift to God and to our brothers,” the Pope said Aug. 16. To let ourselves be nourished by the “Bread of Life,” he said, “means to be in tune with the heart of Christ, to assimilate his choices, thoughts, behaviors.” It also means that we enter into “a dynamism of sacrificial love and become persons of peace, forgiveness, reconciliation and sharing in solidarity,” he added. (August 16, 2015 Sunday Angelus Address)

Penance/Reconciliation

The Pope said he finds it helpful to see the Lord’s attitude as that of “a father with a son who thinks he’s big, who believes he’s grown up, but instead is really just halfway there. The Lord knows that we are all halfway there and many times we need this, to hear this word: ‘Come, don’t be frightened, come. There is forgiveness.’ And this encourages us to go to the Lord with an open heart. It is the Father who awaits us.” (Morning Mass February 27, 2018)

Anointing of the Sick

When the priest goes to the sick person, “it is Jesus who comes to bring comfort, to give strength, to give hope and help, also to forgive sins and this is very beautiful.” “Do not think this is taboo” to call the priest over, he said, “because it is always beautiful knowing that in moments of pain and sickness we are not alone.” “The priest and those who are present during the anointing of the sick, in fact, represent the whole Christian community, who, as one body with Jesus, embrace the person who is suffering and his or her family members,” providing them with strength and hope and sustaining them with their prayers and love, Pope Francis said. (February 26, 2014 General Audience)

Holy Orders

“Holy Orders, in its three grades of bishop, priest and deacon, is the Sacrament that enables a man to exercise the ministry which the Lord Jesus entrusted to the Apostles, to shepherd his flock, in the power of his Spirit and according to his Heart. Tending Jesus’ flock not by the power of human strength or by one’s own power, but by the Spirit’s and according to his Heart, the Heart of Jesus which is a heart of love. The priest, the bishop, the deacon must shepherd the Lord’s flock with love. It is useless if it is not done with love. And in this sense, the ministers who are chosen and consecrated for this service extend Jesus’ presence in time, if they do so by the power of the Holy Spirit, in God’s name and with love.” (General Audience March 26, 2014)

“Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion. Is it out of fashion? In a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of ‘enjoying’ the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, ‘forever’, because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you.” (Address to World Youth Day volunteers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 28th, 2013)

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