(Part II of this post here: https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/the-holy-catholic-church-pt-2/)
The Sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Saints are filled to overflowing with meditations on the Holy Church of Christ. The Catholic Church, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, is His Bride and Queen, for He is Her King. He laid down His Life and shed every last drop of His Blood for His Church. Let us never be ungrateful but always love the Church as we would Himself for He and His Church are one. If you say you love Christ, then you will love His Church.
We can apply the quote of St. Augustine to her: “Late have we loved thee, O Beauty, ever ancient, ever new, late have we loved thee.” Indeed, how late have we loved thee, O Holy Church of God.
We can find references to Her throughout Scripture. Most importantly we look to Matthew 16:18, where Our Lord established the Petrine office and makes Peter the invisible head of His Church.
“And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ~Matthew 16:18
Notice how Our Lord makes mention of “My Church.” There is only One Church. What part of that the Protestants don’t understand is puzzling. The Catholic Church is right there in Scripture!
“For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ.” ~1 Cor. 12:12
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members of member.” ~1 Cor. 12:27
The union Our Lord has with His Church is that of a spousal union. This is the reason why we call the Church the Bride of Christ.
“Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. So also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church: Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church.” ~Ephesians 5: 22-32
“…Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church.” ~Colossians 1:24
Let the words of the Saints and Popes speak for themselves on the Holy Church:
“Recognize, O Christian, your dignity, and being made a sharer of the divine nature go not back to your former worthlessness along the way of unseemly conduct. Keep in mind of what Head and of what Body you are a member.” ~Pope St. Leo the Great
“Moreover, when in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church, all the members are united and flourish, it results, according to St. Paul, that the joy or pain of one member is shared by all the rest, so that if one of the brethren in Christ is suffering in mind or body the others come to his help and succor him as far as in them lies. The members are solicitous in regard of each other, and if one member suffer all the members suffer in sympathy, and if one member rejoice all the others rejoice also.” ~Pope Leo XIII
The Church has been endowed with a supernatural power to save souls. This is Her very mission. If you attack Her very mission, as we see so many doing in the Church today, you attack Our Lord and souls. Without the Church, people could not be saved because Our Lord wished it so. He called upon the Apostles to baptize the nations and do all that He had commanded them, namely hand on the Deposit of Faith and teach souls what they must do to be saved. The Church exists for no other reason other than the salvation of souls.
“The Church is not something dead: it is the body of Christ endowed with supernatural life. As Christ, the Head and Exemplar, is not wholly in His visible human nature, which Photinians and Nestorians assert, nor wholly in the invisible divine nature, as the Monophysites hold, but is one, from and in both natures, visible and invisible; so the mystical body of Christ is the true Church, only because its visible parts draw life and power from the supernatural gifts and other things whence spring their very nature and essence.” ~Pope Leo XIII, “Satis Cognitum”, 1896 A.D.
“The Son of God decreed that the Church should be His mystical body, with which He should be united as the Head, after the manner of the human body which He assumed, to which the natural head is physiologically united. As He took to Himself a mortal body, which He gave to suffering and death in order to pay the price of man’s redemption, so also He has one mystical body in which and through which He renders men partakers of holiness and of eternal salvation. God ‘hath made Him (Christ) head over all the Church, which is His body’ (Eph. i., 22-23).” ~Pope Leo XIII, “Satis Cognitum”, 1896 A.D.
“As We set out briefly to expound in what sense Christ founded His social Body, the following thought of Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, occurs to Us at once: ‘The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed Herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost.’ For the Divine Redeemer began the building of the mystical temple of the Church when by His preaching He made known His precepts; He completed it when He hung glorified on the Cross; and He manifested and proclaimed it when He sent the Holy Ghost as Paraclete in visible form on His disciples.” ~Pope Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis Christi”, 1943 A.D.
“As the vastness of the charity with which Christ loved His Church is equaled by its constant activity, we all, with the same assiduous and zealous charity must love the Mystical Body of Christ. Now from the moment of His Incarnation, when he laid the first foundations of the Church, even to His last mortal breath, our Redeemer never ceased for an instant, though He was the Son of God, to labor unto weariness in order to establish and strengthen His Church, whether by giving us the shining example of His holiness, or by preaching, or conversing, or gathering and instructing disciples. And so We desire that all who claim the Church as their mother, should seriously consider that not only the clergy and those who have consecrated themselves to God in the religious life, but the other members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ as well have, each in his degree, the obligation of working hard and constantly for the building up and increase of this Body.” ~Pope Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis Christi”, 1943 A.D.
“But we must not think that He rules only in a hidden or extraordinary manner. On the contrary, our Redeemer also governs His Mystical Body in a visible and normal way through His Vicar on earth. You know, Venerable Brethren, that after He had ruled the ‘little flock’ Himself during His mortal pilgrimage, Christ our Lord, when about to leave this world and return to the Father, entrusted to the Chief of the Apostles the visible government of the entire community He had founded. Since He was all wise He could not leave the body of the Church He had founded as a human society without a visible head. Nor against this may one argue that the primacy of jurisdiction established in the Church gives such a Mystical Body two heads. For Peter in virtue of his primacy is only Christ’s Vicar; so that there is only one chief Head of this Body, namely Christ, who never ceases Himself to guide the Church invisibly, though at the same time He rules it visibly, through him who is His representative on earth. After His glorious Ascension into heaven this Church rested not on Him alone, but on Peter, too, its visible foundation stone. That Christ and His Vicar constitute one only Head is the solemn teaching of Our predecessor of immortal memory Boniface VIII in the Apostolic Letter Unam Sanctam; and his successors have never ceased to repeat the same.” ~Pope Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis Christi”, 1943 A.D.
The Vicar of Christ today is Pope Francis. It is Pope Francis’ duty to guard and protect the deposit of Faith. He is not to present his own opinions or impromptu nonsense as the teaching of the Catholic Church because it simply is not. No matter how many times he demonstrates his disdain for the Dogmatic, Teaching Church or how many times he admonishes and persecutes True Catholics for being attached to “rules” (not mentioning the many other comments he has made that are making people question if the Pope is even Catholic), this does not mean that the Church has changed because it has not and cannot. The Church is not a Freemasonic organization and a One World Religion, teaching the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity, although this is exactly what they have been trying to put in place for the past century. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, as so many Saints have said. She is the Kingdom of God on Earth. Those attempting to change Her for their wicked purposes will answer to God. Souls are being lost on these leader’s watches because they no longer hand on the True Faith. They are too busy trying to empty the Church of Her dogma, doctrine, disciplines and even Our Lord Himself in the Blessed Eucharist by simply relegating Him to a piece of bread people should be able to receive as a prize. And yet, the Church remains the Pure and Spotless Bride of Christ who will triumph in the end. The Church will triumph and be restored. There is no doubt about it. Just as Our Lord suffered His Most bitter Passion, so also the Church. Just as Our Lord was resurrected, so will the Church be resurrected. This must happen because the Church is a mirror of Her Master. She lives His life. She is one with Him. One must plead with God to put an end to the unprecedented crisis we are in because souls are being lost and are going to hell. One must pray for the Pope, the Bishops and the Priests, as Our Lady of Akita pleaded with us to do. We must pray that they will all repent for abandoning the True Faith for their own desires and goals of fashioning the Church into something She is not and never can be. We must call a spade a spade. Many Church leaders have lost the Faith and are in apostasy! Many are doing the work of the devil. Many are lukewarm and no longer love the Church. We must pray. Our Lord continues to suffer in His Church. His Church is our life, salvation and refuge. Without Her, we would be lost. Without Her, we could not get to Heaven. Let the Pope, Bishops and Priests remember this and weep for the incalculable damage that they have done to the Mystical Body of Christ and Her Bridegroom, whom they represent.
“If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ – which is the One, Holy, Catholic,
Apostolic and Roman Church – we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression ‘the Mystical Body of Christ’ – an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers. That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures. ‘Christ,’ says the Apostle, ‘is the Head of the Body of the Church.’ If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: ‘Though many we are one body in Christ.’ But it is not enough that the Body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: ‘the Church is visible because she is a body. Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely ‘pneumatological’ as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond.” ~Pope Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis Christi”, 1943 A.D.
Late have we loved thee, O Holy Church of God. Long live the True Church of Jesus Christ!
~Damsel of the Faith