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Sustaining a Sacramental Commons

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Abstract

Augustine described sacraments as visible signs of invisible grace, indications of the presence of the Creator in creation. Although the Christian churches later limited “sacrament” to mean only seven or two religious rituals, usually administered by a member of the clergy, U.S. Catholic bishops in 1991 described a “sacramental universe,” recalling Augustine's understanding. The “sacramental universe” is localized as the “sacramental commons”; people are called to care for it responsibly. The gospel account of Jesus' encounter with the Rich Young Man provides insights about human responsibility to share the goods of the commons as common goods, thereby sustaining the well-being of the sacramental commons.
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Keywords: Rich Young Man; Sacramental; commons; social consciousness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Carroll College, Montana

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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