SACRED PASSAGES: Bringing the Sacraments to Life

Bert Ghezzi, Author . Doubleday $19.95 (166p) ISBN 978-0-385-50340-2

Although scholars have produced countless learned tomes on sacramental theology for Catholics over the centuries, most faithful readers would probably gladly trade them all for a lucid discussion of the meaning of the rites of baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage and holy orders. In this slim volume of reflections on these rituals, prolific and popular author Ghezzi succeeds in combining an accessible style with a solid, if unadventurous, understanding of the biblical roots, historic tradition and contemporary meaning of the sacraments. Signs and symbols of God's powerful presence in Christian lives, each sacrament is a "sacred passage," argues Ghezzi, a milestone God uses to welcomes believers into deeper communion with Him. As the faithful participate in the sacraments, they become more and more capable of subduing their self-indulgent natures and conquering temptation. At the book's core is the writer's encouragement to believers to access the powerful help he contends these rites offer: "Through the sacraments Jesus supernaturalizes us and enables us to do some things that only God can do." Touched by the Catholic renewal movement, Ghezzi also emphasizes the importance of a personal relationship with Christ. Though clearly written for faithful Catholics craving a refresher course in the basics, this engaging and commonsensical little volume can be a helpful introduction to anyone seeking a deeper knowledge of sacramental thought in the Catholic tradition. (July 15)

Reviewed on: 05/26/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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