He'll Leave the Light On Fer Ya
My brother-in-law came into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Saturday. He had been Lutheran and already had been baptized so he received the sacraments of confirmation and the Eucharist. Earlier in the week he had received the sacrament of reconciliation in his first confession. (He told me if the sky darkened on Wednesday, it was because of his confession :)
A young women at the Vigil Mass was baptized and then received confirmation and Christ in the Eucharist! From the waters of baptism, the blood of Christ was applied and the guilt of her sins was washed away. At that very moment, it was as if she had never sinned. Her soul was as clean as a newborn baby's. Can you imagine the grace that was flowing throughout the world in every parish in every country as they took in the new candidates and catecheumens*? Jesus was dispensing grace via the sacraments to the whole world as has been the way of the Church since the beginning.
So much grace, so much grace.
An argument is often made that the sacraments separate Christ from the believer and that the sacrament is elevated and Christ is denigrated. Nothing could be further from the actual reality that occurs in the administering of the sacraments. They are signs that truly convey the actual grace of God that they point to. Christ gives himself via the sacraments. They are efficacious meaning Christ accomplishes His work through them.
When Jesus healed the man with clay and spit, was it the clay and spit that healed the man? we know that it was Jesus, but he used physical means to do it. Same thing with the Sacraments.
So, congratulations to all the new Catholics out there. I pray that you continue to grow in grace by frequent encounters with Jesus in the Eucharist, the confessional and in prayer. If there is a nearby parish, find out what time their daily Mass is and don't be a stranger. He'll leave the light on fer ya!
*Candidate is a baptized Christian desiring entrance into the Church. The Catholic Church recognizes the work of God in baptism regardless of what denomination it occurred in as long as it was conferred with the correct form and manner. (Use of water with the Trinitarian formula)
Catecheumen is a non-baptized person desiring entrance into the Church.