Council of Baltimore (October 27, 1833)
14. Thanks be to our heavenly Father: our hearts have been greatly consoled by the increasing multitude that since our last Council has on every side exhibited itself to us, pressing forward to this life-giving food. We have indeed been made joyful by the vast increase; still we have to lament the absence of numbers. Oh, that they would reduce their principles to practice! That they would feel the importance of providing for eternity! That they would follow the plain and explicit declarations of the incarnate Son of God, rather than hazard every thing upon the miserable sophistry of the deceitful world! Brethren, we openly announce to you that there is no other name under heaven in which you can be saved but by our Lord Jesus. And there is no salvation in His name but by means of His institutions, and these are principally the sacraments which He has established. We beseech, we conjure you not to continue the criminality of this neglect.
Council of Baltimore (April 22, 1837)
37. Now it is by the means of His sacraments that He has provided in the ordinary communication of this grace for the various modes of our regeneration and sanctification. “Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (Jn 3:5).
Now when the apostles who were in Jerusalem, had heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. For He was not as yet come upon any of them: but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them and they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:14-17).
In the Gospel of St. John we read, “Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you, except you eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood you shall not have life in you” (Jn 6:54)….
38. How many sources of grace are thus opened to us for the several circumstances in which we may be placed? Again therefore, beloved; entreating, we exhort you not to despise the mercy of our God; no to reject the bounties of Christ, not to neglect the means of salvation thus placed within your reach. Not only for your own sakes, but for the sake of your children, of your families, of the whole Church of Christ are you, especially the heads of those families, bound to have recourse to such of those divine institutions as are befitting your circumstances.
Hierarchy in the United States (September 26, 1919)
27. It is likewise consoling to see in our time a revival of the spirit which, in primitive ages, led the Christian to receive each day “the Bread that came down from Heaven.” In the Holy Eucharist, the love of Jesus Christ for men passes all understanding. “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me and I in him” (Jn 6:57). A worthy communion unites us with our Savior, and even transforms our spiritual being, so that we might say with the apostle: “I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20). As by His continual abiding within it, the Church is holy and without blemish, so does the presence of Christ in each soul purify it even as He is pure, and gives it power to do all things in Him who strengthens it.
28. The sense of our unworthiness may incline us to draw back from the Holy Table; but, as St. Paul tells us: “Let a man prove himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice” (1 Cor 11:28). Only sin can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, and for sin He has provided a remedy in the sacrament of His mercy. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity” (1 Jn 1:9). Through these two sacraments, the one given for the healing of our souls, the other for their nourishment, we are established in the life of grace and are “filled unto all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:19).