Loving the Catholic Church with all one's heart by recognizing the two natures of Christ and His Church


#1

I love the Catholic Church! So many people are angry at her and cannot see the unutterable magnificence of her beauty. I want to address this by discussing the two natures of the Church.

The Sixth Ecumenical Council teaches Christ has two wills and two natures, one human and one divine, and they are always united. This is very, very important.

Christ makes us completely one with Him in the Eucharist, which is His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The Eucharist transforms our souls and our bodies, drawing them toward perfection. As Christ is one with us, we are His Body. We are one with Him. He has two natures, and in the same way, the Church now therefore has two natures. Christ’s two natures include one human and one divine. The Church, too, has two natures, one human and one divine.

The human nature of the Church includes us and all that is of us. Because some of what comes from us is impure, this part of the Church is imperfect. The human nature of the Church will be perfected at the General Resurrection. Our flesh, at the General Resurrection, will be made perfect, and our spirits will be made perfect in the first resurrection which occurs when we die and our spirits rise to be with God (Rev. 20:6). Through these two resurrections, the resurrection of the spirit and the subsequent resurrection of the body, come to pass through and in the Resurrection of Christ where both of His natures rose from the dead on the Third Day. The human nature of the Church is sinful and one day will be raised, when it surrenders completely to the beauty and love of God.

Now, what makes me love the Church so much is not the human nature but the divine nature. 1 Tim. 3:15 says that the Church is the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth.” Seeing as it is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth, all Wisdom can be found in it, for Wisdom is united with Truth and Truth with Wisdom. Remember that Scripture tells us Christ is both.

The divine nature of the Church is Christ and all that flows from Him. All the graces, goodness and love of God are manifest in the sublime light of Christ in the Church. This is the “Mystical Body of Christ.” It is fabulous, fabulous and supernatural. This is the spiritual heart of the Church. It is pure goodness, and there is no flaw or fault in this heart and core of the Church. In the Mystical Body of Christ, there is no sin, no stain, nothing whatsoever that is wrong. All of it is right and good and holy and pure and true.

This goodness fills up the holy souls! It fills to the brim every dogma and every sacrament, the religious orders, the ecclesiastical hierarchy and every breath of truth and grace that flows from the Church. Everything good that there is in the Church flows from the divine nature, transforming the human nature and bringing it into harmony with the divine so that the two wills and natures of the Church might be one just as Christ’s human nature and divine nature were one.

Everything good, desirable, lovely and true that is found in the Catholic Church flows from the Mystical Body of Christ. The Catholic Church as a Mystical Divine Body is perfect. One can gaze on it and love it easily with all one’s heart, if one can truly see it. Dwell on this love and grace! We need to throw ourselves into this ocean of glory, praying to be able to see the beauty of the Mysteries of God rather than taking it for granted that our own limited perspective is all the good there is to behold.

Insofar as the Church is human, it has yet to be resurrected and elements of it (the sinful elements) must be hated and fought. We do well to hate these sinful elements and fight them, but we must not make the mistake of judging the Divine Nature when we judge sinful elements of the Human Nature. Therefore we must not condemn our priests, bishops or popes, or condemn our doctrines or faith, or anyone as evil because everyone on Earth has part of the Mystical Body of Christ’s nature within them, part of the love of God residing inside them. When we judge people rather than deeds, we judge the Mystical Body of Christ and condemn ourselves.

Insofar as the Church is God or is the outpouring of God’s grace – insofar as it is the divine nature, the spiritual, Mystical Body of Christ that is love and grace in each soul – the Church is the most magnificent and outstanding marvel of the entire world.


#2

Here is an elegant description of the Mystical Body of Christ from Scripture. “Wisdom” is taken in the Fathers of the Church to represent Christ and Mary, who is herself a type of the Church. Christ also is the Church’s Head and fills completely every last part of the Mystical Body of Christ, just as He filled Mary completely with grace. Therefore Wisdom refers just as validly to the Mystical Body of Christ as well. Here’s the wonderful passage describing the beauty of her nature. I love it. It was the Mass reading today and inspired me.

[quote=Wisdom 7:22-8:1]In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.
[/quote]

This is what the Mystical Body of Christ is. That is why I love her so much. We need to pray to see her more clearly as she truly is and delight in her with genuine thanksgiving of heart. In the meantime, we should thank God as often as we can for all the good that we can see, however limited that may be and however few things are going right in our lives. The more we praise Him for the good we can see, the more good we will see, and the more we shall love and praise Him both in His own Person and in His Holy, Magnificent Catholic Church.


#3

By the way, if I made any mistakes in all I said above, I would be very grateful for correction.


#4

beautiful! :slight_smile:


#5

That is so beautiful Lief Erikson! :thumbsup:

May I add something? I heard of a way of applying the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. It is called the Spirituality of the Eucharist, and if I am not mistaken it was first expounded on by Fr. Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest and writer who died in 1996.

I would like to talk a little about how to live the life of the beloved. There are four words that I want to use, words that come from the gospels, words that are used in the story of the multiplication of bread, words that are used at the Last Supper, words that are used at Emmaus and words that are used constantly when the community of faith comes together. Those words are: He took, He blessed, He broke, and He gave.

To be taken, to be blessed, to be broken and to be given is the summary of the life of Jesus who was taken, who was blessed by God, broken on the cross, and given to the world. It is also the summary of our life because just as Jesus, we are the beloved.

csec.org/csec/sermon/Nouwen_3502.htm


#6

That’s beautiful nuntym. I love that!

When I was reading those words from your quote, I was thinking “This is the life of the saints!” That again reflects the unity that exists between the Christ and His Body. We are one, taken, blessed, broken and given, all of us made wholly one.


#7

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