Skip to comments.The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas, EXTREME UNCTION, HOLY ORDERS, MATRIMONY, Summary of Sacraments
Posted on 04/13/2009 3:33:35 AM PDT by GonzoII
The fifth Sacrament is Extreme Unction. Its matter is olive oil blessed by the bishop. This Sacrament should only be received by those who are in danger of death through sickness. They are to be anointed in the places of the five senses: that is, on the eyes, because it is the organ of the sense of sight; on the ears, because of hearing; on the nostrils, because of smell; on the lips, because of taste or speech; and on the hands because of touch, and on the feet because of walking. The form of this Sacrament is this: "Through this anointing and through His most divine mercy, may the Lord forgive thee whatever thou hast committed through sight" (and so on for the other senses). The minister of this Sacrament is the priest. The effect of this Sacrament is a medicine for both mind and body.
Concerning this Sacrament is the error of the Elaeonitae, who are said to anoint their dying with oil and balsam and water and to accompany the anointing with invocations in Hebrew pronounced over the head of the sick. This is, however, contrary to the form handed down by St. James, as given above.
(For "Questions for Discussion" see Chapter 6.)
30. Anointing of the feet may now be omitted (Canon 947).
31. "This Sacrament imparts grace which remits sins, especially lighter sins or venial sins; for mortal sins are removed by the Sacrament of Penance. Extreme Unction was not instituted primarily for the remission of grave offenses; only Baptism and Penance accomplish this directly. . . . Finally, the recovery of health, if indeed advantageous, is another effect of the Sacrament" ("Roman Catechism," "Extreme Unction," 14-16).
The sixth Sacrament is Holy Orders. There are seven orders: priesthood, deaconate, subdeaconate, acolyte, exorcist, lector, and porter. Tonsure (clerk-ship, clericatus) is not an order, but a formal profession of giving one's life to the divine ministry. The episcopate is rather a dignity than an order. The matter of this Sacrament is that matter which is handed over to the candidate at the conferring of the order. Thus, priesthood is conferred by the handing over of the chalice, and so each order is conferred by the handing over of that matter which in a special way pertains to the ministry of that particular order. The form of this Sacrament is this: "Receive the power to offer sacrifice in the Church for the living and the dead." And similarly power is conferred in the other orders. The minister of this Sacrament is the bishop who confers the orders. The effect of this Sacrament is an increase of grace for the performance of the duties of a worthy minister of Christ.
Concerning this Sacrament was the error of Arius, who taught that the priesthood could not be distinguished from the episcopate.
33. "That the number of ministers was wisely established, is proved by considering the various offices that are necessary for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the administration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is the chief scope of their institution. They are divided into major or sacred orders (priesthood, deaconship. subdeaconship) and minor orders. . . The bishops are placed over the various dioceses to govern, not only the other ministers of the Church, but also the faithful, and to promote their salvation with supreme care and diligence." Roman Catechism," "Holy Order," 26). It is the common opinion to-day that the episcopate is an order.
Matrimony is the seventh Sacrament. It is a sign of the union between Christ and the Church. The efficient cause of Matrimony is the mutual consent expressed in words effective in the present by the parties.
Matrimony has a threefold good. The first is the birth of children and the educating of them to the worship of God. The second is that fidelity which one must render to the other; and the third is that it is a Sacrament, or, in other words, the indivisibility of Matrimony which shows forth the indivisible union of Christ and His Church.
Concerning Matrimony there are a number of errors. The first is that of Tatian, who condemned marriage, and against such it is written: "If thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned." The second error is that of Jovinian, who made marriage equal to virginity. The third is that of the Nicolaitae, who mutually exchange their wives. There were also many other heretics who taught and worked impurities, and against which are the words of St. Paul: "Marriage honorable in all, and the bed undefiled."
33. "This means that the consent is the effective cause of marriage, . . . because without the consent and the contract, the obligation and the bond cannot exist. . . . God Himself instituted marriage, and, as the Council of Trent declares, He made it perpetual and indissoluble. 'What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder,' said Our Lord (Matt., xix. 6). It belongs to marriage as a natural contract to be indissoluble; but, above all, its indissolubility arises from its nature as a Sacrament. This sacramental character raises marriage to the highest perfection. Moreover, dissolubility of marriage is immediately contrary to the proper education of children and to the other advantages of marriage. Holy Scripture frequently proposed to us the divine union of Christ and His Church under the figure of marriage" ("Roman Catechism," "Matrimony," 11-15).
34. Cor., vii. 28.
35. Heb., xiii. 4.
By the reception of these Sacraments, man is led to future eternal glory which consists in seven gifts, three of the soul and four of the body. The first gift given to the soul is the vision of God in His essence, according to the words: "We shall see Him as He is." The second gift is comprehension, or that understanding of God as the reward of our merits: "So run that you may obtain." The third is perfect enjoyment, wherein we shall have full happiness in God: "Then shalt thou abound in delights of the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face to God."
The first gift which shall be enjoyed by the body is that of impassibility, for "this corruptible must put on incorruption." The second gift is brilliancy: "Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father." The third is agility, through which they can instantly be present wheresoever they wish: "They shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds." The fourth is the gift of subtility, whereby they can penetrate wherever they desire: "It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body." To all of which may He lead us, who liveth and reigneth forever and ever! Amen.
(For "Questions for Discussion" see Chapter 6.)
36. I John, iii. 2.
37. I Cor., ix. 24.
38. Job, xxii. 26.
39. For another description of these gifts, see above, p. 61.
40. I Cor., xv. 53
41. Matt., xiii. 43.
42. Wis., iii. 7
43. I Cor., xv. 14.
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Nice image of Michael casting out Satan. Raphael, correct?
I still remember my art history classes from college...