2. The Means of Grace

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Bloom, Robert L.; Crapster, Basil L.; Dunkelberger, Harold A.; Glatfelter, Charles H.; Mara, Richard T.; Richardson, Norman E.; Schubart, W. Richard
Contemporary Civilization; Middle Ages; Christianity; Church; History of Christianity; History of Religion; Religion
book chapter description
Central to the medieval Church and the ultimate source of its power, both spiritual and temporal, was its possession of the sacraments. The sacraments were based on the belief that what man could not do for himself God could and would do for him. Medieval man believed that there were at least two things that it was impossible for him to do: he could not create himself and he could not save himself. But the same God who had created man stood ready to snatch him from the terrible consequences of his sinfulness. This great favor was accomplished through the sacrament. [excerpt]