Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 1:
Grace is given directly in answer to prayer, but many very necessary graces are normally to be obtained only through the Sacraments instituted by Christ.
A visible rite or ceremony, which signifies and confers grace. Thus Baptism is a visible rite. The pouring of the water on the forehead signifies the cleansing of the soul by the grace, which the action bestows.
It is presumption to trust in Christ, yet to despise means established by Him and declared by Him to be necessary. The Christ in whom you trust certainly believed in such ceremonies. He anointed the blind man's eyes with saliva and earth, and He instituted the various Sacraments of the Church. If you study Scripture closely you will notice that the visible is again and again employed in the work of invisible sanctification. Your denial of sacramental and visible rites is opposed to the whole tenor of Scripture almost from beginning to end.
Since there is no proportion between the visible action and the giving of interior grace of a supernatural character, it is evident that God alone could institute a Sacrament. It calls for His infinite power. Jesus Christ, therefore, at once God and man, instituted the Sacraments.
There are seven Sacraments precisely because Christ did institute seven. Had He not done so, there would not be seven. The Catholic Church emphatically denies that she has the power to institute a Sacrament Far from instituting Sacraments, she has never even claimed the power to do so. From the very beginning Christians have always had seven, receiving them from the Apostles, who received them from Christ. Protestants were deprived of several of these Sacraments at the time of the Reformation. In the Church of England, however, many are returning to the doctrine of seven Sacraments as instituted by Christ, though of course their return to the doctrine cannot make all the Sacraments valid for them.