__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 81

82

CHICAGO STUDIES

in order to obtain some obscure salvation. They may be gone through with deep faith and ardent devotion and indeed be fruitful, but this faith, devotion, and fruit are being stimulated and shaped by some other factors in the Christian life besides the sacraments and the word. Once we depart from the word and sacraments, however, as the source of Christian orientation, we are liable to every kind of error, as the history of Christianity demonstrates. Not without reason does the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (n. 13) assert that popular devotions must be in accord with the liturgy, for in the liturgy the Church presents us daily with the word and sacra· ment which are normative for our spiritual nourishment. Another consequence concerns the actions of the minister of the sacraments. The minister of a sacrament is not com· parable to a merchant. The merchant's role is to ensure trans· fer of merchandise from manufacturer to customer by adher· ing closely to the formal procedures set up in the business world for this purpose: going through the catalogue of choices with the· customer, getting the correct catalogue number, send· ing the order in, recording the sale, providing a receipt, and so on. The merchant need not be friends with the customer or manufacturer, and he certainly is not concerned about the re· lations between the customer and manufacturer, whether they like or hate each other. The minister of a sacrament, on the other hand, is concerned primarily with the recipient's relationship to God, for the grace of which he is )llinister includes the right relationship to God. Personal experience attests to the importance of the minister's relationship to the recipient in establishing this right relationship. An impoverished if not false notion of grace underlies a view of the minister's task as primarily getting the right catalogue number for the grace needed by the recipient and filling out the proper forms to ensure delivery from God, with little personal involvement and with little concern for the actual thoughts and feelings of the recipient toward God. The minister of a sacrament is like a marriage counselor, not a merchant. The marriage counselor meditates between two

Profile for Chicago Studies

Spring 1968  

Volume 7:1

Spring 1968  

Volume 7:1

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded