The sacramental principle
We can define the word 'sacrament' in a very broad way. In Greek it means 'mystery'. But a sacrament is any material or visible thing that is used as a sign or a channel of spiritual communication. We will go back about as far as we can to explain mysteries. We might say that the Lord made this world with a sense of humor. What do we mean by 'a sense of humor'? We mean he made it sacramentally. We say a person has a sense of humor if he can see through things. We say a person has no sense of humor if he cannot see through things. We say he's too thick. Now God made this world with a sense of humor, in the sense that we were always to see him through things, as the poets do. We would look out on a mountain and think of the power of God; on the sunset, and think of the beauty of God; on a snowflake, and dwell on the purity of God. Notice that we would not be taking this world as seriously as do the materialists, to whom a mountain is just a mountain, a sunset is just a sunset, and the snowflake is just a snowflake. The serious-minded people of this world write only in prose. But those who have this penetrating glance of perceiving the eternal through time, the divine through the human, have what we call a sacramental outlook on the universe.