The Mystical Body of Christ – the Church
A lot of questions, contentions and assertions, often contradictory, have arisen lately about the matter of who is, or is not, part of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Some have been correct. However, by far, the larger part of the contentions and assertions have all been either just partially correct or flat-out wrong. Some have been fueled by inadequate knowledge; others have been fueled by partisan denominational agendas. Misunderstandings and misrepresentations abound. Let us look, therefore, at who and what constitutes the Church.
The Church is made up of three parts: the (1) Church Triumphant, which consists of all those persons who are now in Heaven, enjoying the Divine Family in a direct manner. The (2) Church Suffering, which consists of all those souls who are still being purified in Purgatory, but who have now attained the assurance of reaching Heaven once their purification has ended. And (3) the Church Militant, the visible Church that consists of all those people on earth who are part of the Body of Christ.
How does one become part of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church?
Entrance into the Body of Christ is through baptism of which there are three kinds: (1) the baptism of water, (2) the baptism of blood, and (3) the baptism of desire. Any person who receives any one of the above kinds of baptism is Christian, hence part of the Mystical Body of Christ (Paul VI, 1964. Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church). This is the official teaching of the universal Church, the fullness of which resides in the Catholic Church. Continue reading “The Mystical Body of Christ – How does one become part of the Church?”
“Go and stand at the gate of the Temple of Yahweh and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you men of Judah who come in by these gates to worship Yahweh. Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will stay with you here in this place. Put no trust in delusive words like these: This is the sanctuary of Yahweh, the sanctuary of Yahweh, the sanctuary of Yahweh! But if you do amend your behaviour and your actions, if you treat each other fairly, Continue reading “For the Church – 3”
The new icon of Our Lady of Longmeadow has just been completed. It will be blessed and installed in its intended home at Saint Mary’s Parish Church, Longmeadow, MA later next month. This is a revealed icon, the story behind the icon can be found here.
“I have seen all this with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, and understood. Whatever you know, I know too; I am no way inferior to you. But my words are intended for Shaddai; I mean to remonstrate with God. As for you, you are only charlatans, physicians in your own estimation. I wish someone would teach you to be quiet – the only wisdom that becomes you! Kindly listen to my accusation, pay attention to the pleading of my lips.
“Will you plead God’s defence with prevarication, his case in terms that ring false? Will you be partial in his favour, and act as his advocates? For you to meet his scrutiny, would this be well? Can he be duped as men are duped? Harsh rebuke you would receive from him for your covert partiality. Does his majesty not affright you, dread of him not fall on you? Your old maxims are proverbs of ash, your retorts, retorts of clay” (Job 13:1-12).
“Denounce your mother, denounce her, for she is not my wife nor am I her husband. Let her rid her face of her whoring, and her breasts of her adultery, or else I will strip her naked, expose her as on the day she was born; I will make a wilderness of her, turn her into an arid land, and leave her to die of thirst. I will not love her children, since they are the children of whoring. Continue reading “For the people – 2”
“No more, for the House of Israel, shall any of the hostile nations surrounding her be a thorn that wounds or a briar that tears; and so men will learn that I am the Lord Yahweh.
“The Lord Yahweh says this: ‘When I gather the House of Israel from the peoples among whom it is dispersed, this is how I am going to display My holiness in the sight of the nations. They shall live on the soil that I gave to my servant Jacob. They shall live there in confidence, build houses, plant vineyards; they shall live in confidence. When I inflict punishments on all the hostile surrounding nations, then men will learn that I am Yahweh their God'” (Ez 28:24-26).
“Publish it among the nations, proclaim it; make no secret of it, say: ‘Babylon is captured, Bel disgraced, Merodach shattered. For a nation is marching on her from the North, to turn her country into a desert: no one will live there any more; man and beast have fled and gone.
“In those days and at that time, the sons of Israel will return: they will come weeping in search of Yahweh their God. They will ask the way to Zion, their faces will turn in that Continue reading “For the people and the Church”
“Take courage, my people, constant reminder of Israel. You were sold to the nations, but not for extermination. You provoked God; and so were delivered to your enemies, since you had angered your creator by offering sacrifices to demons, not to God. You had forgotten the eternal God who reared you. You had also grieved Jerusalem who nursed you, for when Continue reading “For the Church”
Deification is the transformation of man into god through the grace of God. Predominant in the theology of Eastern Christianity, but marginalized and obscured in contemporary interpretations of the theology of Western Christianity, Bartolo-Abela explores how it is deification, not just salvation, that was and remains the intent of God for mankind, with deification occurring not solely in patria, but in via and in patria. This is an understanding of deification which has been largely lost and needs to be recovered in the Western Church.
Examining the works of the Church Fathers on both sides of the East-West divide in Christianity, Bartolo-Abela shows that rather than being restricted to the East, deification featured consistently in many theological works popular in the West, with Continue reading “NEW – Deification of Man in Christianity”
“You are just, O Lord, and all Your judgments are just, and Your ways mercy and truth and judgment. And now, O Lord, think of me and do not take revenge on my sins, neither remember my offences, nor those of my parents. For we have not obeyed Your commandments, therefore we are delivered to spoil and to captivity and death, and are made a fable and a reproach to all nations among which You have scattered us. And now, O Lord, great are Your judgments, because we have not done according to Your precepts and have not walked sincerely before You” (Tob 3:2-5).
“For Judah rejoiced in the officiating priests and Levites. It was they who performed the liturgy of their God and the duties of purification – and the cantors and gatekeepers too – in accordance with the ordinances of David and his son, Solomon. For from ancient times, from the days of David and Asaph, there had been guilds of cantors and canticles of praise and thanksgiving to God” (Neh 12:44-46).
The question was asked, “What does ‘the divine inheritance’ mean?” The response is simple, though by no means brief if answered in depth. The divine inheritance means we are called to literally inherit everything God the Father has, with Himself as Perfect Love above all else. And you have no idea what that is like, what perfect bliss and joy it entails, until you have tasted it. Continue reading “What is the meaning of the divine inheritance?”