Summary of Be Transformed: The Healing Power of the Sacraments by Dr. Bob Schuchts

In Be Transformed, Dr. Bob Schuchts’ presents the sacraments as God’s primary way to heal us, our families, our Church, and the whole world. In particular, Dr. Bob presents the 7 sacraments as the 7 ways that God heals the 7 deadly wounds throughout all the major stages of our lives (cf. CCC 1210).

“I have come to understand that the sacraments are God’s primary remedy for healing the whole person, the whole family, the whole Church, and the whole world” (xi).

“The sacraments are God’s chosen remedy for healing our deadly wounds and infusing our souls with Christ’s resurrection life” (xv).

Q. What are the 7 deadly wounds?

The 7 deadly wounds are rejection, abandonment, powerlessness, confusion, fear, shame, hopelessness.

  • Universal: They are 7 primary effects of original sin – they are universal & no one is exempt. They are also a cause and consequence of our personal sin.
  • Identity lies: They each have a corresponding identity lie – powerfully impacting what we believe about ourselves, others (judge them falsely), the world, and God (fail to see His goodness and trust in Him). Wounding is like fertile soil for the enemy’s lies to be implanted in our minds and hearts. Over time, “these wounds and lies from the evil one become the foundation for our false identity. Weakening our resolve and belittling our dignity, they disfigure the image of God within us” (27).
  • Block God’s love: They effectively block our ability to receive the Father’s blessings in our life: “At the root of human sin is the lie which is a radical rejection of the truth contained in the word of the Father.” (St. John Paul II, DV, 33).

Q. What is the process of transforming the 7 deadly wounds?

Dr. Bob presents a three-fold process of transformation: Healing, Identity, and Mission (“HIM”).

  • Healing: When received in faith, the sacraments can reach the depths of our being to restore us to wholeness in Christ.
  • Identity: Refers to who we are and how we come to understand ourselves in relation to God. We replace a false identity based on lies and deceptions (being defined by our sins, wounds, and disordered relationships) with a true identity based on a real and vibrant relationship with Christ through the sacraments.
  • Mission: Once we know ourselves in Christ, we discover our unique purpose in life to become the unrepeatable person God created us to be, to engage in our personal mission to participate in Jesus’ work of restoring all things to the Father (CCC 850).

Q. Why haven’t the sacraments healed me already?

  • Faith: Although Jesus freely gives us all of the graces we need to be healed in every sacramental encounter, our amount of healing and transformation is based upon our of faith (CCC 1098, 2563).

“Catholic theology can help us understand how a sacrament can be valid and legal but ‘unreleased’ . . . if its fruit remains bound or unused. . . . Sacraments are not magic rites that act mechanically, without people’s knowledge or collaboration. . . . The fruit of the sacrament depends wholly on divine grace, however this divine grace does not act without the ‘yes’—the consent and affirmation—of the person.”  – Cantalamessa, SIS, 42

“The degree of openness and belief in our hearts is the defining factor in whether the sacraments produce fruit in our lives and how much (see CCC 1098)” (14).


  • Healing: Baptism heals the wound of rejection (“I am not loved; I am not wanted”) because it restores our relationship with the Father. In baptism, we receive a public blessing that we are precious and unrepeatable as the Father’s beloved children.
    • Signs of healing: Accepted and valued for who we are more than what we do.
  • Identity: Baptism gives us a new identity in Christ as the Father’s beloved, , which is our core truth.
  • Mission: Baptism gives us a new mission with Christ to embody the Father’s love for others.


  • Healing: Eucharist heals the wound of abandonment (“I am alone; no one cares”) because Jesus offers us a way to continually abide in Him.
    • Signs of healing: Connected and understood.
  • Identity: Eucharist gives us a new identity in Christ as God’s abiding presence.
  • Mission: Eucharist gives us a new mission with Christ to incarnate His presence in this world, to be a source of charity and unity for others.


  • Healing: Confirmation heals the wound of powerlessness (“I feel overwhelmed; I can’t do anything”) because the same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus with power comes to us in Confirmation to give us all the power we need.
    • Signs of healing: Empowered and liberated.
  • Identity: Confirmation gives us a new identity in Christ as anointed with power.
  • Mission: Confirmation gives us a new mission with Christ minister in the power of the Spirit.


  • Healing: Confession heals the wound of shame (“I am bad, stupid, dirty; it’s all my fault”) in which God’s mercy shows us that we are totally known and completely loved.
    • Signs of healing: Pure and worthy.
  • Identity: Confession gives us a new identity in Christ as pure and undefiled – restored to wholeness & to intimate friendship with God.
  • Mission: Confession gives us a new mission with Christ extend the Father’s mercy as agents of reconciliation for the world.


  • Healing: Matrimony heals the wound of fear (“If I trust I will be hurt; I’m not safe”) by providing a sacramental covenant in which true communion and intimacy can flourish.
    • Signs of healing: Safe and secure.
  • Identity: Matrimony gives us a new identity in Christ as God’s faithful love.
  • Mission: Matrimony gives us a new mission with Christ to represent Christ’s faithful love.


  • Healing: Priesthood heals the wound of confusion (“I don’t understand; it doesn’t make sense”) by exercising the Father’s authority for the sake of unity, speaking truth.
    • Signs of healing: Clarity and enlightenment.
  • Identity: Priesthood gives us a new identity in Christ as the Father’s authority.
  • Mission: Priesthood gives us a new mission with Christ to restore holy authority in a world that is so confused and uncertain about who to trust.

Anointing of the Sick

  • Healing: Anointing of the Sick heals the wound of hopelessness (“Things will never change; I’m weary”)
    • Signs of healing: Hopeful and encouraged.
  • Identity: Anointing of the Sick gives us a new identity in Christ as raised to new life.
  • Mission: Anointing of the Sick gives us a new mission with Christ to spread Christ’s hope and healing.

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