July 21, 2010

When the Church Lets Us Down

This is an excerpt from the book Arise From Darkness: What To Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Benedict J. Groeschel C.F.R.

Perhaps the Church has hurt you. The Church has hurt me. It has hurt most people near it for any length of time – not the whole Church, but part of it. I assure you that you and I will know, at the end of our days, that great Church which is the Mystical Body of Christ when it comes to its full reality. That is what eternal life is – when all who are saved from every nation and race and people will be gathered into the Mystical Body of Christ. We are preparing now for the heavenly Church, but our own spiritual life will be very weak and very narrow indeed if we do not loyally struggle for the Church in this world and try to be faithful to her even when others are not faithful. On Judgment Day no one is going to ask you about what anybody else did for the Church, only about what you and I did as individuals, as members of the Church of Christ in this wounded world. St. Paul, who loved the Church and suffered for her, writes to us:

I rejoice in my suffering for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints (Col 1:24-28).

Let us be faithful to that Church which our Lord Jesus Christ sent down through the ages, and let us find our spiritual fulfillment in being what St. Francis, St. Catherine, St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, St. Pius X, Padre Pio, Father Solanus, Cardinal Cooke, Pope John Paul II, and Mother Teresa all were in their lives – faithful, humble, generous, self-effacing members of the Church of Christ.

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