I just finished re-reading Scott Hahn’s book, Swear to God: the Promise and Power of the Sacraments, wherein he discusses the Sacraments. It’s been years since I’d read it, so it was like reading it for the first time, really. The first thing that struck me was the significance of there being seven Sacraments. Of course I already knew the symbolism of the number seven in ancient Jewish thought, with it symbolising completeness, and I knew there were seven Sacraments, but I had not thought to connect these two. I’m sure I’m not describing it as well as Hahn did, but it is truly amazing to ponder, realising that Jesus left us the complete number of Sacraments in this way.
Hahn, a former Presbyterian minister turned Catholic convert and author, does a great job of discussing covenants and how they relate to Sacraments, which I think is beneficial for anyone, Catholic or not, who wants to understand the Catholic thought on this a bit more. After going through the covenantal history, he looks at the various Sacraments individually, devoting the most time to the Eucharist, of course, since that is such a fundamental part of Catholic faith. As I mentioned, I think this book is good for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Catholics may find a greater understanding of the Sacraments and how they affect us, and non-Catholics may understand more how Catholics view the Sacraments, which can facilitate discussion, since Catholics and Protestants often have very different understandings of the Sacraments. I’d certainly recommend this book, though.