The seven sacraments of the Church, as instituted by Christ Himself, work as a system. But why did Christ give us the sacraments? And how do they work together and do what they say they do?
Lawrence Feingold, associate professor of theology and philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, will answer those questions in a lecture series to begin Sunday, March 8 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. “Touched by Christ: The Sacramental Economy” will explore why Christ used material things, such as bread and wine, in instituting the Eucharist, for example. He also will look at the rites of the Old Covenant.
The Association of Hebrew Catholics is sponsoring the series, which will include 18 lectures, generally on the second and fourth Sundays of the month in the Gannon Room of the cathedral basilica’s rectory. The series also will be live-streamed and archived.
The series will look at the sacramental system as a whole, what they have in common with one another, and how they are used in Christ’s mission for our salvation and how they build up the Church. He also will look closer at how Christ — not the Church — instituted the sacraments.
“The heart of this series is to get at these are not just signs, but they are signs that do what they say, and it’s because Jesus is working through them,” Feingold said. “He is using the sacraments as His instruments to touch us today with His life-giving grace.”
Feingold, who is director of theology for the Association of Hebrew Catholics, is working on a book on the Church’s sacramental economy, which refers to the way that Christ gives to the members of His Body a share in His divine life through sensible signs. “The sacraments are like the arteries and nerves of the Mystical Body by which the life of Christ our Head and His Holy Spirit are received by us,” Feingold said.
Feingold said that although the book was written for the academic setting of the seminary, he hopes it will appeal to “all who want to understand the sacraments more deeply.”
The book is being published through Emmaus Academic of Steubenville, Ohio. Feingold said it will answer the “why” question — “why Jesus gave us the sacraments and then to marvel over them and the grace that they give.”
Lecture series on the sacraments
“Touched by Christ: The
Sacramental Economy” will begin Sunday, March 8. The series will
generally be held on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at 3
p.m. for the first two talks, and 1:30 p.m. thereafter, in Gannon Hall
in the rectory of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Lindell
Boulevard and Newstead Avenue in the Central West End.
The series, which continues through Nov. 22, also will be live streamed online and archived. To participate online, register at www.hebrewcatholic.net.