“…and upon this rock I will build my church,
and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
– Matthew 16:18 (NLT)
The radiant holiness of the Church
is sometimes obscured by the personal wretchedness of many of the men and women who comprise it.
We can see, though, that just as a picture is made up of light and shade,
those very infidelities and weaknesses
contribute to highlight, by contrast, the sanctifying presence in the Church of the Holy Spirit,
who keeps her sanctity untainted in the midst of so much frailty.
The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ,
and our love for her must flow from our gratitude for the means the Lord offers us to reach sanctity.
The Church continues the sanctifying action of Jesus,
and it does so principally through the liturgy
and the sacraments
– most especially the Blessed Eucharist.
The Church’s doctrine enlightens our mind,
brings us to know Our Lord,
and enables us to converse intimately with Him
and to love Him.
If we have faith and hope,
if we believe in the Lord, Our Saviour,
who established the Church so that we would come to know Him;
so that in the power of the Holy Spirit,
we could share in His redeeming love until the end of time (Bishop William E. Lori),
then we can understand that the Church is holy
while her members have defects, are sinners.
Within the Church,
the clergy and the laity,
good and bad,
are gathered together.
She is made up of a diversity of children, because she brings them all forth in the faith.
She does this
although, through their own fault, she does not manage to lead all of them
to the freedom of grace by a renewal of their lives (St Gregory the Great).
Today in our prayer and throughout the day
we can thank God for all the many good things we have received through our Mother, the Church.
They are gifts we can never repay.
What would our life be like without those means of sanctification which is what the sacraments are?
How could we know the Word of Jesus, words of eternal life!
and His teachings,
if they had not been guarded for us so faithfully?
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
Gracious Lord, today I pray for Your Church.
Fill it with all truth; with all peace.
Strengthen and defend it,
and where it is in want, provide for it.
Where it is corrupt, purge it.
Where it is in error, direct it.
Where anything is amiss, reform it.
Where it is divided, heal it and reunite it in Your love.
For this I pray with all my heart. Amen.
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Note: The main source of today’s REFLECTION is the seven-volume work
“In Conversation with God” by Padre Francisco Fernández Carvajal.