The Holy Mysteries
God has a hidden plan for the world. In this plan God sent Jesus to invite all people to share in his kingdom, which we call heaven.
It is a hidden plan, because God uses things we can see, can touch, or can taste to let us share in what is hidden - things we cannot see, cannot touch, or cannot taste. In other words, God uses things on earth to let us share in Heaven. This is the Mystery of God's love for us.
There are Seven ways God shares his kingdom with us in the Church. We call these The Holy Mysteries, because they let us share in the mystery of God whom we cannot see. The Holy Mysteries let us share in God's Life, which we cannot see or feel without a sign. So each one of the Holy Mysteries has a special sign to show us what we can not see...
SIGNS tell us something to help us. The sign on the corner of your street has the name of your street on it. It helps people find were you live. You don't live on the street sign. It only tells us where you live.
In the same way each Holy Mystery has a special sign to tells where God lives... and how we can be with Him
Baptism gives us the gift of God's Holy Spirit. Its sign is the washing with water three times in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Chrismation (Confirmation) shares with us the Gifts of God's Holy Spirit. Its sign is the blessing with holy oil called Chrism (in Syriac: Myroun) over the face in the sign of the cross, while the priest says, "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit."
Marriage makes holy the love of our parents. Its sign is the "I do" said by the bride and groom giving themselves to each other with the blessing of the priest. Then crowns are place on their heads.
Holy Communion gives us Jesus' body and blood. Its sign is the bread and wine changed into the body and blood of Christ.
Penance offers us God's forgiveness. Its sign is by the priest's words of absolution (cleansing away sins) in confession.
Anointing of the sick offer's God's help to the sick. Its sign is a blessing with holy oil.
Holy Orders makes a man into a priest for Jesus. Its sign is the laying on of hands by the Bishop, followed by the prayer asking God to give the priest all the graces of the Holy Spirit he will need to serve the Church.
Some Catholics call the Holy Mysteries by another name. They call them the Sacraments
The word Sacrament means a kind of promise called an oath. The Sacraments are 7 ways we can promise ourselves to God. In this way, the Sacraments make us holy, because they help us give ourselves to God. When we promise ourselves to God, we share in His Kingdom... so we become holy. The Sacraments are ways to holiness, or ways to Heaven
Maronites use the older name of "Holy Mysteries," for the seven ways we share in God's Kingdom of Heaven, because it means becoming holy and more. The name "Holy Mysteries" reminds us of God's hidden plan of love for us. It reminds us of all the hidden things of God we share in through the things we can see like water, oil, bread or wine...
The name Holy Mysteries also helps us remember that sharing in God's kingdom is an experience, which can only be learned by doing or living it
Did you ever try to teach your friend how to swim by talking ? It can not be done. To really learn how to swim, your friend must get into the water and try to swim. Swimming is something you learn by trying or doing it
The Holy Mysteries are also something we learn by doing them.
We all must learn how to share in God's kingdom by doing the Holy Mysteries in the Church together. That is why you are going to receive the Holy Mysteries of Penance and Eucharist even if you don't understand everything about God.
For it is part of God's hidden plan that, the more you go to confession and the more you receive Holy Communion the more you will learn about God's love for you, and the more you will share in His Kingdom of Heaven.
God's love for you is experienced in your life. You have to practice the Holy Mysteries in the Church to feel God's Love for you.
Draw a line to connect each Holy Mystery with the Special Sign, which shows us God's Love working in our l ives.
BAPTISM... washes away original sin by giving us God, the Holy Spirit.
CHRISMATION... blesses us with Chrism and gives the special gifts of the Holy Spirit to make us Holy.
PENANCE ... offers God's forgiveness with his words to erase our sins.
HOLY COMMUNION... gives us the Body and Blood of Jesus to feed our faith.
MARRIAGE ... places the priest's blessing on the heads of the bride and groom to unite them.
HOLY ORDERS ... makes a man into a Priest by his blessing to serve the Church.
ANOINTING THE SICK ... offers God's Love with its blessing to help the people hurting.
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