The 4 Pillars of Our Faith: Sacraments

A Well-Built FaithThis week, I’m featuring short excerpts from my book, A Well-Built Faith, focusing on the 4 pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Here’s a brief look at the second pillar: the Sacraments.

To be sacramental is to express beyond words. Catholics are sacramental because human beings are sacramental. Humans express love in a variety of ways beyond words. We do not feel that our love is fully expressed unless we can reach out to another person and touch them in some way. We are bodily creatures who experience the spiritual world in bodily – physical – ways. And so, as Catholics, we experience God and express ourselves to God using the physical. We use our bodies (standing, kneeling, bowing, lifting hands, signing ourselves) and we use physical objects (water, oil, bread, wine, fire, garments, rosary beads, incense) to encounter God who transcends words. We worship the intangible God using tangible realities.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Joe, this book was a much-thumbed and well-read reference for me during this past year of teaching fifth grade religious education. Our main theme was the Sacraments and I usually turned to A Well-Built Faith before reading the text. Many, many thanks.

  2. I tell my kids that since Jesus had a body, was physical unlike the Father, he was a kind of Sacrament; through their bodies, people had physical access to God through Jesus’ body.

    And that’s why we still have Sacraments: to maintain that physical connection.

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