Sunday, January 27, 2019

I believe in the Apostolic Church! This means having a real faith that is tested and matured by trial yet consoled by God. Image: St Timothy with his grandmother by Rembrandt Do not be discouraged. Never give up hope. I caught myself saying the other day, “Poor leadership and litigation could destroy the Church!” Immediately astonished as this came out of my mouth that I forgot the promise of the Lord, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” (Matthew 16:18), I prayed for courage and hope. Then I remembered: I say on Sunday in the creed, “I believe in God,” and then moments later, “I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.” I am not only saying I believe in the divine nature of the Church, the head of the mystical Body, Jesus Christ, but also in His power to save, heal, elevate, or sanctify the members. So we are assailed by the weakness of the Church, indeed even our own weakness but we do not despair. Here I think of St Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” Also the Second Vatican Council (LG8): The Church, embracing in its bosom sinners, at the same time holy and always in need of being purified, always follows the way of penance and renewal. The Church, "like a stranger in a foreign land, presses forward amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God.”

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