Catholicism dictates that seven sacraments (visible signs of the grace of God) can be received by Catholics. These sacraments are baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony. These sacraments were dictated by Jesus and are based on various principles which prove their necessity in the world. Theologians believe that there were no sacraments until Adam sinned.
Before specific sacraments were dictated in the Bible, sacraments existed under the law of nature. St. Thomas said that people were guided internally by worshipping God and naturally exhibited acts of worship, which eventually led to the written laws of the sacraments.
Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem "God's Grandeur" discusses the beauty of God's existence and the amazing fact that men have never succeeded in ruining his grace despite their best efforts. Hopkins begins by establishing that God has imbibed himself into the world such that it sparks with his beauty and love. Hopkins laments the fact that men do not appreciate God's strength and grace and instead do whatever they can to ruin the world.
Hopkins's poem shows that the sacraments' principle that God exists in nature is proven through the very fact that centuries of destruction, hate, and selfish behavior have not ruined the world or even men:
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.