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Bulletin Article – May 5, 2024

Throughout the year, we present an article in the bulletin each week on a variety of topics, written by a member of our Parish staff on a rotating basis.

From The Coordinator Of Religious Education

by Gwen Heithaus

This time of year is known for a lot of things. Tulips, Easter bunnies, allergies. There is a LOT going on every spring. While all of these springtime traditions or occurrences are fun (in most cases) I would argue that there is one thing that happens each spring that trumps everything else: the reception of sacraments. 

Much of the bulletin and our school newsletter for the last several weeks has pertained to students and parishioners receiving sacraments. Whether it was our RCIA candidates who were welcomed into the Church at the Easter Vigil, the children who received First Communion last Sunday, or the teens who decided to enter more fully into their faith at Confirmation this past Thursday, we have been blessed with so many people & reasons to celebrate. Everyone knows that we celebrate people receiving sacraments. But why?

A sacrament is a visible sign of the invisible work God is doing within us. Every time we receive a sacrament, God gives us more of his grace. That is the work he is doing within us. What does it mean then to receive God’s grace?

There are two types of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace. Sanctifying grace is what helps us in our day to day lives. It allows us to feel God’s presence with us in the normal, everyday moments. It helps us make good decisions as we walk through our day. It is what makes us want to draw near to God as we go about our lives. Actual grace, on the other hand, is what we often receive in a moment of great difficulty. Were you able to resist snapping at your spouse this week during a heated moment? It might have been actual grace working on your side. Manage to keep your cool while your child took five minutes to put on one shoe? Thank God for that moment of actual grace. 

Clearly we need as much actual and sanctifying grace as we can get. God is so good to us that he gives us a constant source of grace – the sacraments. We are called to receive as many sacraments as we can as often as possible so that God can continue to do his work in us and help shape us into the people he created us to be. This spring we celebrate not only those who are receiving a sacrament for the first time, but also those who choose to go back to them over and over again. Let us pray for a greater desire to receive the sacraments and for God’s continual work within us. 

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