The Amazing Married Deacon/Sacrament/Music Analogy
There is only one kind of person that is blessed to receive all seven sacraments in their life: a married deacon or priest. So in this regard, a very small fraction of men are supremely blessed.
Well, check this total spiritual “Real Man Analogy” with music and the seven sacraments, in Roman Rite Order.
Reminder of deep thoughts today: in the 12 notes of Western music, for any arbitrary key, there are 7 pure notes in the key, and 5 left over that are effectively sharps relative to the key (or flats, depending on your point of view). They sound a little off in the key. They are imperfect notes.
Well, if you take any pure key of the major, or happy, mode, and start with the base note and travel the seven notes of the key down to the octave, you have eight steps, including the octave. This scale is joyful but descending.
Now, after natural birth, the married deacon travels seven sacramental events. On the one hand, the path is descending, descending toward frailty and physical death, but it is joyful to the soul, since the deacon grows in holiness and love of God. Now, of the seven sacraments, five sacraments absolutely require a priest or bishop to confer. Priests and bishops are imperfect channels, or mediums, for grace, since they are sinners.
Now if you set up a one-to-one correspondence between natural birth and the Roman Rite order of the seven sacraments to the eight steps of the descending joyful scale of a key, and adding the final note for natural death, then, get this: it is mind blowing: as the deacon walks this scale, every time he is about to go from one step to the next, and the next step is a sacrament that needs a priest to confer (or bishop in case of holy orders), he must pass through an imperfect note, and for the very two sacraments that don't require a priest (baptism, marriage), as well as death, a non-sacramental event, he doesn’t pass through an imperfect note to get to it.
Easiest way to test: go on the piano, and use key of C, the regular key, as in the diagram above. This is the simplest key since the pure notes of the key of C are the white keys, and the imperfect notes are the black keys.
Traverse the key of C down the octave on the 9 white keys: Let the first C be natural birth. Then B, Baptism, etc, down to the ending C, Anointing of the Sick, which will be the sacraments in Roman Rite order, and following it, at the end, is the lower octave B, natural death.
Then, observe the amazing reality we just discussed: every time you go from one step to the next, precisely where the next step is a sacrament that requires a priest, you have to cross a black key, or imperfect note, to get to that next step, just as to attain that sacrament, you must pass through an imperfect vessel, a priest, who is a sinner like all of us. And every time the next sacrament or step doesn't require a priest, the transition is immediate from one white key to the next, without going through a black note.
Is that awesome or what?
Don’t believe it? see below:
There are three places where two white keys are consecutive without an intervening black key:
1. C to B, since between natural birth and Baptism, a priest is not necessary
2. F to E, since between Confirmation and Marriage, no priest is necessary
3. C to B [lower octave] , since between Unction and Death, no priest is necessary (Death is a natural event, not a sacrament)
And, on the counterpart, note that every one of the five sacrament keys that require a priest are preceded by a black key:
1. A, Confession, preceded by A# [B?]
2. G, Eucharist, preceded by G# [A?]
3. F, Confirmation, preceded by F#
4. D, Holy Orders, preceded by D# [E?]
5. C, Unction, preceded by C# [D?]
NOW FOR AN INCREDIBLE BENEFIT!
Sanctifying Grace Already a Taste of Heaven
Now, for another incredible analogy! We know mystically that sanctifying grace is already a foretaste of heaven. Why? Because sanctifying grace is a very created participation in the Divine Life and Love of the Trinity, which will be the prima causa of all happiness in heaven. Heaven is Heaven because of Divine Love. From here, I argue that the minimal notes in our scale above that give grace would imply all the other steps that remain in heaven! More specifically, I argue that if we take the minimal notes in the scale above to have sanctifying grace, then if we “follow the full implications of those notes”, that is, find their fullest, basic chords therefrom, we will get all sacramental phases that will persist in heaven, whether literally or in principle. Sound crazy, well come and see!
Well, first, what notes are the minimum to get sanctifying grace? Well, the only sacrament necessary for salvation, and the sacrament that must be first, is Baptism. Hence Baptism is the minimal note. However, in order to be Baptized, one must first exist, or be born naturally, hence, Baptism precludes natural birth. So the first two notes, C and B, or natural birth and Baptism, are the necessary notes for sanctifying grace.
Now, how do we “follow the full implications of those notes”? Common sense: chords! And that, I argue, would be the fullest natural chord in the key, no more, no less! What, then, are the minimal full chords of natural birth and Baptism? Well this is the full natural chords of C and B in key of C. As it stands, from basic music, such chords are CGE (Cmaj, which is the base note, the note of happiness, and the fifth) and BFD. More specifically, the minimal but full chord of C is, going from descent: C G E, and the minimal chord of B, in the key of C, but full, is a step over: B F D
Hence, the full set of notes implied by natural birth and Baptism are:
CGE and BFD
Bingo! These steps are:
C: Natural Birth
B: Baptism, Supernatural Birth
D: Holy Orders
The steps NOT included are:
C: Anointing of Sick [lower octave C]
B: Natural Death [lower octave B]
Well, what do we have? We have that the six notes implied above are in fact the very, and ONLY, Sacramental aspects that WILL persist in HEAVEN, either literally or by principle! The article is below, which we will summarize:
First, let us take the case of the steps that do NOT remain in heaven, but which will haunt hell:
Three Sacramental Signs shall never be again in heaven
So, we have the three notes not implied by sanctifying grace in our musical analogy: the Healing sacraments, Confession and Anointing of the Sick, and Death. It is interesting to note that, indeed, these three aspects of earthly life will never exist in heaven and even the only steps above that will never exist in heaven.
Confession: There shall never be sin in heaven, ever, nor is there penance or healing to do, since we will have been utterly purged and utterly made selfless either on earth or in purgatory.
Anointing of the Sick: Every tear shall be wiped away; there is no more suffering in the heaven, nor need for healing, nor to be strengthened to bear suffering.
Natural Death: though we will have to die naturally, our soul first shall partake of the beautiful life that shall never end, and then, at the end of time, our body also: “And death and the netherworld were cast into the lake of fire.”
Moreover, the implications of these negative elements of earthly life will persist in hell forever:
The Three Sacramental Signs forever in Deprivation
Confession: You had a chance at mercy in Confession, but you threw it away at all impasses. Now you will forever sin, and never have possibility for mercy.
Anointing of the Sick: You thought earthly pains should be avoided at all costs and shunned the last chance at mercy; now forever, again, there shall be no more chance of mercy, nor shall there be healing for sickness. The torments of hell shall last forever, and there is no cure.
Natural Death: Not only have you died naturally, but eternally you have died spiritually, forever to die, the second death (Apocalypse 20)!
But the other six signs will remain in principle forever in heaven!
Six Sacramental Signs will Remain Forever in Heaven
Natural life: Forever will we live, even supernaturally.
Baptism: Forever will we be children of God; forever will we continue to know and love God, the Baptismal disposition.
Confirmation: Forever will we be a mature member of the Church, sealed with the Spirit, the indelible mark of the Gifts of the Spirit on our Soul.
Eucharist: Forever shall we commune with our brothers and sisters; forever shall we feast on God's truth and love and one another's love; forever will the eternal Sabbath last.
Marriage: Forever will we be spouses of the Christ, both individually and collectively, receiving into our inner being the love and truth of God and offering ourselves back to Him in unfathomable ecstasy.
Holy Orders: Forever will we be marked a servant of Our God, whether by literal Holy Orders, or by the vocation that God gave us as servants and handmaids: mediating grace as a priest, as a biological father, as a single lay person in his talents and gifts, or too, in the feminine sense, the motherly gifts, service, and sisterhood.
Addendum: Ending in Resting Peace
We finally note that the scale actually goes beyond the lower octave to B. That is, C is not the event of death but is the Unction. The event of death is the subsequent B. This is profound if only because in music, the chord made from C and B, or derivatively in any key, the chord <>maj7, where <> is the base note of the key, is a heavenly, restful chord. It is one of the most peaceful and beautiful, if not the most peaceful and beautiful. Try it on the piano if you know it, or go to the web and listen to an example. And this is precisely what death does bring us to in salvation, the eternal peaceful rest of Heaven.
The Sacramental analogy is complete: the music is natural and rigorous, not random and relative. So we are dealing with Creation intrinsically designed by God. Secondly, the nature of the scale we have for the sacramental life is descending joy, which is perfectly appropriate for the married deacon: physically, his life descends toward death, but spiritually, he has joy from the Sacraments, which redeem him, strengthen him, and give him the ever progressive growing in truth and love. Moreover, the very nature of the scale including the notes of imperfection--and when we assume the presumed most wise way to order the Sacraments, by Peter--perfectly delineates the path in terms of imperfect notes transitioning between sacramental steps when the imperfect medium of a priest is required, and totally conveniently leaves these notes absent when a priest is not necessary for the succeeding step. Finally, the chords derived from the minimal notes of grace, a taste of heaven, perfectly include only those notes of sacramental signs that shall persist in heaven!
Therefore, again, if we remember that these notes are all essential, or natural, rigorous music, so that this arrangement is not just arbitrary visually but intrinsic to the very scale itself--meaning, in any key, regardless of what notation be used, these arithmetic relationships would still exist--is it a mere coincidence? You decide!