From the dawning of the day through the morning, guide us,
from the noontide to the setting of the sun, lead us,
from the evening till we sleep, keep us,
through the night till daybreak, protect us,
and all for your love's sake. Amen.
From day to day (Jenny Child - Celtic prayers & reflections)
Each person is a union of body and soul. In our lives, our activities, our thoughts, our relationships, there is more than meets the eye. We have longings and hopes that are limitless and eternal. When we die, as we all will, there will continue a deeper life, a life where those limitless hopes and longings will finally be fulfilled. That limitless life is part of what we are now.
Those things that make up our bodily life – birth, growth, illness, failure, death, etc., are mirrored in the stages of our spiritual life – in what we call sacraments. Christ gave us the sacraments. In every sacrament there is a mystery happening which we cannot see with the eyes of our body. That does not mean it is not real. There are lots of things that are real but that we cannot see – like faith and hope and love. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life – its beginning, growth, strengthening, healing and outreach to God and others.
Why do we need the sacraments? Because we need God’s help in all aspects of our lives, and that is available in a unique way through the sacraments. God created the human person to have life and goodness, not death and evil. But death and evil are part of every human life. We are imperfect. We hope, we love, we sin, we die. We believe that Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is the only means through which we can overcome sin and death and live. Mainly through his sacraments, Christ gives us his saving grace which he won for us through his Passion, Death and Resurrection, by “dying he destroyed our death, by rising he restored our life”.
In the sacraments Christ himself is present to us and acts in us. Sacraments, however, are not a private meeting of each individual with God, but are built on an openness in each person’s heart and mind. We are not Christians on our own - each sacrament is not just a private thing but an action of the whole Church, through which we are being built up into “a holy priesthood, a people set apart” Pt.2:4-5
The seasons of our lives
Creator God, in the springtime of our lives,
you give us the enthusiasm and daring of youth.
In the summer of our lives,
you encourage us to reach our full potential.
In the autumn of our lives,
you walk beside us as we reflect on years gone by
In the winter of our lives,
you enfold us in your love which will never let us go.
When the seasons of our lives are past,
you clothe us with resurrection bodies
which will live forever.