Valentine’s Day and the Seven Sacraments

February 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

I must be kidding, right? Sacraments and Valentine’s Day?

Nope. Very serious. One of the results of teaching high school over the last few years is that I’ve been forced to come up with original and creative ways to discuss traditional Catholic doctrine. Students in high school do not accept platitudes or obscure theological statements; they inquire relentlessly. The same goes when I talk about something in constitutional law in mock trial: jargon doesn’t work. The root elements, in transparent language, have to be discussed. That, of course, is a very good thing, as it shows an impressive academic spirit among those I teach. It also prevents me from saying outlandish things without proper explanation. I have to know what I am saying.

Below, I share a few thoughts about how to understand the Seven Sacraments, which often baffle both Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I consider the question, “How can we understand the meaning and purpose of the Sacraments?” I answer through the lens of Valentine’s Day to show how signs and symbols and tangible objects are natural ways that humans communicate meaning and sustain relationships — which is what the Sacraments do with God. Essentially, Sacraments are a date with the Sacred. Enjoy!

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