In praise and thanksgiving for sacraments, for without them we perish. God in His great mercy even honours our desire for the sacraments. The difference is a bit like gold and silver.
The Church tells us that there are three ways we can receive baptism, by sacrament/water, by desire and by blood/martyrdom. This baptism by desire is how we can explain grace being active in catechumens and in the non-baptised. What is asking Jesus to become Lord and saviour of our lives if not the desire to live under His Kingship and as members of His family? This desire is a desire for baptism whether it is acknowledge overtly or not.
The ordinary way we receive God's personal forgiveness is through the sacrament of penance. But we know that God does not despise a good act of contrition. The former is much, much greater, but the latter is still powerful. Any good, humble act of contrition is a desire for the fullness of forgiveness found in the sacrament.
How often do we see God pour out the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit upon those who hunger and thirst for them – even if they haven't been baptised or confirmed? By desire people such as these have received through desire a portion of the graces of sacramental confirmation – a down payment meant to draw them to the sacrament itself. The sacrament brings with it a fullness and completeness.
God blesses the desires of those who long to receive Him in Holy Communion. It's even got a special name – spiritual communion (as opposed to sacramental communion). Remember this, because it explains how our separated brethren can feel and experience so much during their Communion services. How fortunate we are that God blesses our desires for His holy sacraments! He wants by this to make our desires greater, and to lead us gently onwards to seek the complete fulfillment of those desires.
I won't go on with the other three sacraments – you have the general idea.
What I wanted to say was more along the lines of how incredibly good it is that God gives us a certainty in the sacraments. In these magnificent sacraments God always acts, always. His action is not dependent on the holiness or lack thereof of the priest. His action is not prevented by our ignorance nor by our non-mortal sins.
Each and every time we approach the sacraments, we are 100% sure of encountering Jesus even if we feel no emotional or intellectual response at all. Granted, we are more likely to experience that encounter if we approach the sacraments with more faith and trust.
So when the rest of the world rejects and ignores us, there is always Jesus waiting for us in the sacraments – no ifs, buts or maybes, He is always there, and always active in our lives. Whenever life has more than its fair share of setbacks, Jesus is still there offering Himself under the appearances of bread and wine at every Mass- to prove His tangible and everlastingly eternal love for us. Often it is that alone which helps us get up off the ground and fight again through another day.
When we have failed, and return to seek His pardon, the holy sacrament of penance assures us that we are forgiven. Those precious words of absolution are so unequivocal. There is no doubt that we have been forgiven. Even if we return over 1000 times with the same failings, still our God will give us His mercy. He encourages our every step towards holiness.
So what can we take home from this?
That we can always ask God to unwrap for us deeper layers of the sacraments that we have already received
We can ask Him to release in us the gifts and charisms of those sacraments that we weren't completely ready to receive and use on the day we received those sacraments
That we can always do better in preparing to receive His holy sacraments, and in thanking Him afterwards.
That God desires that we deepen our hunger and desire for the sacraments, by reminding Him of those desires often during the day
That God is not bound by human rules and regulations, and that His mercy often surpasses them.