The Sacraments in the Christian Life


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By M. M. Philipon, O.P.

Holiness is imitation of Christ to the point of identification with Christ. Instituted by Christ himself and dispensed by the Church over the centuries, the sacramental order is the ordinary means by which God communicates to the faithful the grace to live, love, suffer, and die in his Son.

M. M. Philipon, O.P., treats the seven sacraments in turn and explains their place and power in the Christian life. Baptism supplies the Church with its members; Confirmation constitutes them its defenders; the Eucharist, “source and summit of the Christian life,” unites them to Christ; Penance absolves them of sin and reconciles them with God and the Church; Extreme Unction prepares them for their departure from this world to meet Christ in the next; Marriage increases the Church’s membership and sanctifies the human love of husband and wife; and Holy Orders grants sacred power to the priestly ministers to teach, celebrate the sacraments, and govern the Church.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3, 4)

Christ promised to be with the Church always, “to the close of the age.” Combining theo­logical eloquence with practical wisdom, The Sacraments in the Christian Life shows how the sacramental economy fulfils this promise, transmitting to the faithful the benefits of their redemption and keeping them, in their journey through this visible world, “safe for eternal life.”


M. M. Philipon, O.P. (1898–1972) was a French Dominican priest, theologian, and author. Along with The Sacraments in the Christian Life, his works in English include The Spiritual Doctrine of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity (1947); The Eternal Purpose (1952); The Mother of God (1953); and The Spiritual Doctrine of Dom Marmion (1956).

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Paperback: 350pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953126