Monday, August 22, 2016

These Are the Sacraments (Image Books)

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century. His brilliance was something to marvel at. In addition to his magnificent mind, he was equally blessed with a great tongue. By that I mean, that he was an excellent speaker and teacher. He presented his brilliance in an accessible way that instructed thousands upon thousands of people. Other ways he shared his mind with others was through his books. There were scores of them written, and I would like to tell you about a brief one today.

These Are the Sacraments is a small 200 page book that provides the reader information on everything they ever wanted to know about the Sacraments. The book is divided into eight chapters - an introduction on the Sacraments and then one for each of the seven Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony). The book begins by talking about a divine sense of humor that Jesus must have had. This is because a sacrament combines two elements (visible and invisible) to make something holy. He then discusses the Bible as a sacramental, what the Sacraments bring to mankind, and the power of the Sacraments. To give you an example of how the chapters look, I will tell you some of the parts of the chapter on Baptism.

Water: The Material Sign of Baptism
Baptism and the Life of Christ
The Blessing of Baptismal Water
Baptism in the Early Church
Outside the Church
Sponsors
Exorcisms
The Body in Baptism
The Baptism Itself
Effects of Baptism
The Infusion of Virtues

As you can see, literally everything about a Sacrament is covered, and it is very well thought out and organized. I read a different book that covered Sacraments when I went through the RCIA process, but I don't recall what it was now. I wish I had read this book instead, as it is quite possibly the best book on Sacraments one can read. The only negative I have about the book is the book itself. The words are too close to the margins and the book is very stiff and feels like if you open it, it will rip the spine in two. It's a shame that a five-star message is wrapped in a three-star presentation. Despite that, I still think this is a book that belongs in every Catholics library. Inquirers, Converts, and Cradle Catholics alike will find great merit in this book. I highly recommend it!

This book was provided to me for free by Image Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!