A missionary Carmelite priest, Fr. Sonny John, gave an insightful homily yesterday where he said that even the devil has seven sacraments: doubt, disillusionment, despair, division, depression, desperation and death. I thought of our other missionary priest, St. Damien, and how he must have struggled with these "sacraments" at times, fighting satan'swileswith the power of the Holy Spirit. Herejoiced to bring the Sacraments of the Churchto those lost souls of Molokai: A parent's first duty is to provide for the children. I have the obligation of giving my children, newly born of water and the Holy Spirit, the things that are necessary for spiritual life."
The Sacraments of the Church are encounters with Christ which bestow God's grace upon us by means of the Holy Spirit. They help us in our faith journey, keeping us close to God and allowing Him to work in our lives. Receiving the Sacraments gives us the strength to live our lives in accordance with God's laws. We are fed and nourished by Christ and become open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you." (John 14:18-20) Christ did not leave us orphans; He sent the Holy Spirit and left us the seven Sacraments of the Church. Fr. Damien did not leavehis childrenorphans either; he brought Christ to them in those same Sacraments and, in doing so, brought them spiritual life.May wenever take for granted these sacred gifts of God.
St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!