Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Beautiful Catholic Church

When one looks closely at the world, they find it is full of evil. Because it is evil, there must be laws. Laws in themselves are not sufficient unless there are penalties attached and are enforced. Even then, that is not sufficient. Now, there are security alarm companies. Still, evil prevails in this world. In the midst of all the evil prevalent in this world, there is a jewel, a diamond.

That jewel is the Catholic Church. It is a perfect diamond. In all aspects that the world is evil, the Catholic Church is glorious because all its doctrines are perfect. It might be said, “But look at all the controversies, the bad things that have occurred in the Church.” Yes, there are evil people in the Church, but the Church itself is perfect, a perfect jewel nonetheless. Its doctrines are still true. Even if some people are not faithful to the Church, nevertheless the Church is still faithful because its Head is faithful.

The world can try to change marriage and allow same sex marriage, but it cannot change the true marriage that the Church will uphold. Many denominations are conceding to the world, accepting world views, but the Catholic Church stands tall, shining like a diamond. The world sees the Catholic Church, sees its holiness, and hates it because it loves its evil ways. Therefore it attacks the Church at every opportunity. Sometimes it may be a frontal attack; sometimes, it just tries to chip away, attempting to get the Church’s members to pressure the Church to change its doctrines, to take away its holiness, its glorious shine.

Our Lord told a parable about a merchant finding a precious pearl, burying the precious pearl in a field, and then sells everything he has in order to buy the field. Many believe that our Lord was referring to the gospel. I will not disagree with that because the gospel is precious, but let’s turn it around.

The merchant is Jesus Christ. The perfect pearl He finds is the Catholic Church. He hides it in the world, and goes and sells everything He has—His life—in order to purchase that precious pearl, the Catholic Church.

Even before I became a Catholic, even when I believed Catholics were in gross error, doomed, there was always a sense of encouragement, security, whenever I saw a priest or nun. There was always a mysterious pull whenever I saw an old-style Catholic Church.

The first contact that I had with the Catholic Church was watching a sitcom called “The Flying Nun.” The convent, the nuns, living life completely for God, was alluring. And then, years later, the wonderful woman whom I would marry would be Catholic. Unbeknownst to me, God, working slowly, in mysterious ways, was making me part of that precious jewel.

Look at the world; look at the Catholic Church. The contrast is glaring. The Catholic Church shines gloriously while the world looks like a pigsty. The other denominations cannot shine as gloriously as the Catholic Church because they think they can have Christ and the pigsty also. Martin Luther said Christians were dung covered with snow, Christ’s righteousness. Many Baptists believe once you’ve “accepted Christ as your personal savior” you are saved and can’t lose your salvation. It invites “having your cake and eating it, too.” Yet, the Catholic Church says nay, standing gloriously tall. The glorious Church asks, “Why do you desire dung when you can have Christ, be like Christ in all His radiance?”

I read somewhere: “The Church, which is called ‘that Jerusalem which is above’ and ‘our mother,’ is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ ‘loved and for whom he delivered himself that he might sanctify her.’ It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly ‘nourishes and cherishes’.”

Because we are in the world, we often fail to see its ugliness. We are so used to it, it does not bother us. Holy Scripture constantly calls us to rejoice, commands us to rejoice, yet we really do not. We do not, cannot, because we don’t see the contrast. We must ask, ask, ask, and keep asking until the Holy Spirit shows us the shining Catholic Church. We must ask Our Lady, our Mother, to intercede for us, that we may truly see the holy Catholic Church. We must ask our patron saints to intercede for us. We must desire this. When we receive Christ in the Eucharist, let us receive Him, urging Him that He allows to really see the Catholic Church, that we may love Him in the same way He loves the Father. Until He gives us sight, we will not abhor sin, never die to sin. In other words, we will not keep His commandments, will not love Him as He loves the Father.

Although He gives us sight progressively, He will give us sight if we desire it. The more sight He gives us, the more we will desire, yearn for more. We begin more and more to take our eyes off the things of the world and turn them to the Catholic Church, the perfect image of Jesus Christ, the Head, and His Mother. T.T.

This theological reflection courtesy of the parishioners of St Paul Catholic Church in Pensacola, Florida: