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    Thursday, March 30, 2006

    Really, where would we be without the Church?

    "Through the apostolic ministry," said the Pope. "the Church, the community brought together by the Son of God, ... will live through the ages, building and nourishing the communion in Christ and in the Spirit to which everyone is called and in which everyone can experience the salvation given by the Father.


    Unlike John Paul, I have a hard time reading Benedict without parsing what he's
    saying. Perhaps John Paul did the parsing for me.

    "Indeed, the twelve Apostles were careful to provide successors so that the mission entrusted to them would continue after their death. Thus over the centuries the Church, organically structured under the guidance of her legitimate pastors, has continued to live in the world as a mystery of communion which in some way reflects Trinitarian communion itself."

    That word 'organic' is perfect. With so many people around me having babies
    lately, is sounds like from 12 cells, the next successors carefully chosen,
    through the centuries. Especially at the beginning as the Church was growing,
    the choice of successors was so important, because any changes back then would
    have had loud ramifications as the centuries moved forward.

    So guidance
    by the Sprit is evident, and the fact that the world as we know it would be
    quite something else without the Church's birth 2,000 years ago. What the world
    would be today without the Church I can not imagine.

    The Holy Father then explained how "the idea of communion as participation in Trinitarian life" is particularly highlighted in the Gospel of St. John, "where the communion of love binding the Son to the Father and to mankind is at the same time the model and source of the fraternal communion which must unite disciples to one another."

    The Holy Father concluded: "Communion truly is the good news that remedies all forms of solitude, the precious gift that makes us feel welcomed and loved in God, in the unity of His people gathered in the name of the Trinity; it is the light that makes the Church shine out as a sign raised among peoples."

    Besides all else that could be said about experiencing Trinitarian love through
    the Church, and because of that love, changing the world over 20 centuries,
    married people uniquely cooperating with God to procreate children participate
    in that extra dimension of husband and wife.

    God the Trinity, Church in
    Trinity, man and woman precreating in the communion of love as properly
    understood through the Church's teaching inspired by God the Spirit.

    Long sentences to describe a very earthly activity in a particlar home,
    a particular husband and wife, and new children.

    That understanding is life changing and life forming. The Trinitarian
    aspect could never be recognized without the help of the Church, the Church
    would never exist without the Apostle's careful selection of successors and the
    Spirit's guidance.

    This is something people living without God can not
    hope to experience, and people outside the Church can only experience to lesser
    degrees based on their self-imposed distance.

    And really, where would we
    all be today without the Church?

    We would be nowhere.


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