Living a Sacramental Life

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Young Catholics Wear Benedict 16 T-Shirts at Youth Rally for Pope (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Church group members wearing Benedict 16 t-shirts watch a concert prior to the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI at a Young Catholics Youth Rally held at Saint Joseph's Seminary April 19, 2008, in Yonkers, New York. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

As summer begins and our thoughts turn to vacation, it's easy to lose sight of the importance of the sacraments in our lives. We might still make it to Mass during the summer (though we may be tempted, especially when traveling, to shirk our Sunday duty), but with First Communion and Confirmation (usually celebrated in the spring) behind us, we're not giving much thought to the fact that the sacraments are the source of our life as Christians. Through them, we receive the grace that makes it possible for us to live a truly human life--that is, a life without sin.

This summer, consider adding a little grace to your vacation by not only attending Mass on Sunday but occasionally during the week. It's a great family activity and a way to show your children (without lecturing them) that your family is serious about its faith. And take advantage of the seasonally short lines for Confession to make that sacrament a part of your monthly schedule. Come fall, you might find that you have picked up a couple of new habits that you won't want to break.

The Sacraments: