A Sacramental Perspective

So in Christ, above all, God’s life was made visible to us. We need, however, to affirm that all reality is, both potentially and in fact, a bearer of God’s presence and an instrument of divine action on our behalf. A sacramental perspective is one that “sees” the divine in the human and so sees another dimension to all facets of our lives. We know that God is totally other, but we also know that God can be revealed in all things – events, people, communities, objects. Indeed, for the most part, it is only in and through these material realities that we do encounter the invisible God. “The world is charged with the grandeur of God,” as Gerard Manley Hopkins says. In the widest sense, again according to [Richard] McBrien, the word “sacrament” applies to any finite reality through which the divine is revealed and through which our human response is shaped. Everything that God has made can reveal and make present the saving love of God. It is not surprising that we use ordinary material things as symbols in the official sacraments – bread, water, wine, oil, touch.

Margaret Malone, “Benedictine Life: A Sacramental Life”, in Living in the House of God: Monastic Essays (Collegeville: Cistercian Publications, 2014), 17-18. ISBN: 978-0-87907-032-8.