Living the Sacraments: Grace into Action
(Servant, paperback, 176 pages) answers a question I struggled with for many months after entering the Church: how can I "get the most" out of the sacraments?
In my early Catholic days, I would often receive the Eucharist and feel as if nothing happened. While I was happy to get my sins off my chest through Confession, I didn't feel much holier afterward. And I had trouble "living out my baptism"--whatever that meant--since I didn't even remember when I was baptized.
Living the Sacraments
was written for people just like me, people trying to figure out how to tap into the sacraments and maximize their power. The Church teaches that each sacrament's "efficacy" is tied into our orientation toward it. In other words, someone going to Confession out of mere obligation yet content to continue sinning doesn't receive the sacrament's full grace. Likewise, when we receive the Eucharist lackadaisically we stymie it from transforming us.
Bert's book--with ringing endorsements from Scott Hahn, Archbishop Chaput, and Ralph Martin--unravels these issues and teaches how to understand and properly approach the sacraments. And he does it all through Scripture, writings from the saints, wise guidance, and warm personal stories.
The writings from the saints are especially illuminating. By the time you finish this book, you beging to see the sacraments through the saints' eyes; you begin to harness the sacramental power just as the great spiritual masters have down through the ages.
Finally, Bert doesn't write as one who has it all figured out. His stories show how he's struggled many times to live out the teachings that he's discovered. He writes not from on high, but as someone joining you on the journey.
Whether you're unfamiliar with the sacraments or have been engaging them for years, Living the Sacraments
will provide clarity on these sacred passages.
You can purchase this book here