It is a visible sign of God, through which I receive the Sanctifying Grace to live my Christian faith and transmit it to others. This is a beautiful definition of the word sacrament. Now, I would like to explain it in parts so that we have a better perception of it.
The first thing to ask is: What does a visible sign mean? The visible sign is one that communicates a clear and intelligible message, which immediately makes me take an action based on that message. In other words, a visible sign is one that stimulates our intelligence to understand the message it transmits to us. At the same time, this message motivates our willingness to execute the action of the received message.
In order to understand this definition a little more, I want to use the handbook that exists in any state of the United States, which teaches us the meaning of each transit sign or symbol and the actions we must take when these signs appear in the road when driving our car. We all know that the person who wants to drive a car in the US must learn the state driving manual and pass an exam as proof that he or she has understood the laws that will govern you if you want to drive a vehicle in the United States. At the same time, it warns you about the consequences that you will suffer if you break any of the laws that you learned from that driving manual.
Once you acquire the manual, start studying it, try to understand it, so it is important that you study it in the language that you best understand. When you begin to study all the laws, you begin to discover many things; for example, How you should behave when driving on public roads, as well as other people who are driving on the streets.When you are an aggressive driver and the difference of driving defensively; the importance of being courteous when yielding, etc. And if for some reason you do not understand any of the signs, then ask an expert who knows the meaning of that sign.
Once you have learned the theory, through a rigorous and disciplined study of the laws of this driver’s manual, it is time to pass an examin which you will demonstrate how much knowledge you have about the traffic laws, which will govern your life as a driver of a vehicle. If you learned the laws of the driving manual well, you will undoubtedly pass the exam, because they will not ask anything that is not in this manual. Once you have passed the theoretical exam, it is assumed that you are already an expert in traffic laws.
However, they still do not give you the license to drive a car because you must prove that you are really capable of fulfilling the laws in practical life. Now we go to the stage of learning how to drive a vehicle. For this we need some things; for example,buy a car or have someone lend it to us. Then look for an instructor to show us all the parts of the vehicle, how each of them work. In other words, teach us all about what the parts are and their elementary functions to learn how to drive a car on public roads according to traffic laws.
The instructor is very important. He is an expert in the laws of the driving manual, so he corrects us with authority if we commit an infraction and until we are prepared.He does not give us the green light to do the driving test with the officer responsible for the DMV office. When the instructor sees that we have learned to drive the main parts of the car that enables us to drive on public roads following the traffic laws, then he recommends that we take the practical test to acquire our driver’s license for the first time, which we must always take with us while we are driving a car.
Since it is possible that a traffic officer can stop us at any time and ask us about it because it is proof that you are a connoisseur of traffic laws and that you have passed the exams without any problem. Now, if you were stopped by an officer responsible for enforcing traffic laws because you broke one of them; he will surely let you know your mistake and will give you a warning so that you will not forget the laws again.
If you break any of the laws again, the officer will admonish you more severely, and if you persist in continuing to break the laws, I am sure that the officer will revoke your license and privilege of driving a car, since you represent a great danger driving on the public roads and before something much more serious happens.
Another point that we should note is that the driving manual also has laws that apply to the instrument we use to put them into practice, that is, our car.For example, the lights work well, that it has identification plates, that the seatbeltsare working and put on all the time, the importance of having insurance for you and the car, because if for any reason you have an accident, you have to be prepared for the unpredictable, to at least cover the cost of the damages that the accident incurs, etc.
Well, after having spent some time in the US State Driving Manual, we will start developing the concept of the word SACRAMENT.
What is a visible sign? As we said before, it is what communicates to us a message and makes me execute an action. For example,when you drive your car down the street and suddenly you see a red light, the message of what that red light means comes to mind: stop completely; and, the brain sends a message to our body, and it moves to execute the action of the received message; that is, stopping the car completely.
The same thing happens when the traffic light turns green, you know that it means you can continue driving your vehicle, and the brain sends a message to the body to execute the action to continue. How do you know all of this? Because you had to study it; you had to pass the exams to prove that you had really learned. Now the most interesting thing comes, nobody forced you to do it, you alone decide and persevere until you achieve your goal.
When we talk about the word SACRAMENT, it is something similar; it is a visible sign, only that, instead of being vehicular traffic, it is A VISIBLE SIGN OF GOD. This means that it is God who is sending me a message through that visible sign, being water for baptism, the priest for confession, the Holy Chrism for confirmation, the oil for the Anointing of the Sick, Marriage rings, the laying on of hands and Holy Chrism for the Priestly Order. Each sacrament has that visible sign of God that is communicating a message through Him. In the next edition, we will go deeper into this introduction.