Mysterion Presents the Sacramental Worldview

Fr. Harrison Ayre wrote a recent book, Mysterion: The Revelatory Power of the Sacramental Worldview. I think this is one of the best recent books on a Catholic worldview. So, I posted a review over on Aleteia. You can read it all over there but here are a few paragraphs to whet your appetite.

Title card from a video Fr. Harrison did on the book (fair use)

Our modern world tends to be very materialistic and horizontal in its viewpoint. Many Christians recognize the error of this. But, they make an incorrect response to our materialistic culture. Many adopt a spiritualist view that sees matter itself as evil, or a dualist view that sees matter and spirit as both existing, but in barely touching realms.

Fr. Harrison Ayre presents the proper Christian approach in his new book, Mysterion: The Revelatory Power of the Sacramental Worldview.

This worldview is called “sacramental,” which makes many of us think of the seven sacraments. Although that is an aspect of it, the point is more about how physical signs can impart spiritual meanings. If I commit a mortal sin through some physical act, I really sever that relationship with Jesus by that act. On the flip side, when I go to a priest and he makes the sign of the cross over me saying, “I absolve you …” that relationship is restored.[…]

Fr. Harrison begins by noting, “We are always and everywhere ‘in Christ’ … Reflect on that statement for a minute, ponder the meaning of the word ‘in,’ think of it in all its literalness: that is what our life is like as Christians.” (1)

This whole book can be said to be a reflection on this initial line. Our lives are Christified by our Communion with him. Ayre defines sacramentality: “Sacramentality refers to something perceptible that is a sign of a particular reality and makes that reality present.” (72) This reality of the sign is what allows us as Christians to participate in Christ’s life.

Read the rest over on Aleteia.

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