Think of a “best friend” kind of relationship. You share stories and jokes. You laugh and sometimes cry with each other. Even though you can’t see it, you know love is there. But the love you share is a mystery. If you tried to tell someone else what you felt, you couldn’t fully describe it. It’s as if you have to experience love before you can understand it.
Sacraments work in a similar way. We need to participate in a sacrament before we can comprehend its full meaning. The meaning that is communicated in every sacrament is that God loves us completely. We call this loving relationship with God, grace. We encounter grace most fully in the sacraments. Through grace, we become part of God’s divine life—the life of the Trinity. It is pure love between the Father and the Son poured out to us by the Holy Spirit.
When we celebrate a sacrament, we need to come to it with an attitude of openness to God’s love and grace. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes God’s love will challenge us. Sometimes it will make us realize we need to live our lives differently. Every time we encounter God’s grace, something changes. Something new is created. Something weak is strengthened. Something dead is brought back to life. If we celebrate a sacrament with the required disposition, or attitude, we will recognize God’s grace in us more clearly. The Catholic Connections Handbook
A sacramental celebration is a meeting of God’s children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words. CCC1153
We need Sacraments in order to outgrow our petty human life and to become like Jesus through Jesus: children of God in freedom and glory.
Sacraments are not magic. A sacrament can be effective only if one understands and accepts it in faith. Sacraments not only presuppose faith, they also strengthen it and give expression to it.
YOUCAT 173, 177