Write In Between

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Writer's Wednesday -- Henri de Lubac

The whole of the newborn Church acted and spoke "in the name of Jesus Christ"; she is always doing what the angels did by night over Bethlehem--bringing "to all the people" tidings of great joy; for, she says, a Savior is born to you, and he is Christ the Lord.

We may have as much zeal as these first proclaimers of Christ, and we may indeed be better than they are at stirring people up--we may have better technical resources. But has our message retained the purity of theirs? Is our bearing witness always as much "conformed to the Gospel of Christ?"

...the Gospel is not announced by word only. It is announced--and to an even greater extent--by living. It is by living by Christ's Spirit that the Church manifests him and spreads his name abroad like a perfume... And this "brotherly love" has always been... the Church's best act of witness and her most powerful attraction.

...to borrow the words of St. Gregory of Nyssa: When the Christian community is faithful to him who gathers it together in order to dwell in its midst, each man can see the beauty of the Bridegroom through the Bride, and thus all can marvel at what no creature can fathom. For as St. John says, no man has seen God or can see him; as St. Paul adds, he has made out of the Church his body, built up in love. He puts a reflection of his own beauty on the face of the Church; and those those who love the Bridegroom rise, through her, to the invisible God...

Unfortunately, this triumph is never complete...

[Others] can scarcely be blamed if they do not see in the Christian community the bearer of a message of salvation when they see it behaving just like any other party, sect or clique and if it lacks of sensitivity or internal divisions present them with the horrifying spectacle of a Catholicism without any heart...

They can scarcely be expected to believe in the Bridegroom if, through our lives, the Bride seems to be barren...

But all these deviations are powerless against the Church herself. Men may be lacking in the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit will never be lacking to the Church. In virtue of her witness and sovereign powers, she will always be the Sacrament of Christ and make him really and truly present to us. She will always reflect his glory, through the best of her children. Even when she shows signs of weariness, germination is in progress toward a new spring, and in spite of all the obstacles we heap up, the saints will spring up once more.

---Cardinal Henri de Lubac, (1896-1991), The Splendor of the Church.




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Okay, here's a short little one that I could not resist including in today's post:

The Church wishes to impose nothing on anyone, and merely asks to live in freedom, in order to reveal the One whom she cannot hide: Christ Jesus."

---- Pope Benedict XVI

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1 Comments:

  • Oh I love that quote! I would love for kids to hear that and discuss it. Recently I heard (read) someone say that the Church's rules and regs can be better understood as "prescriptions", like a doctor gives, for your health and well being. Puts an interesting perspective on things, doesn't that?

    By Anonymous Margo of St. Mike's, at 11:55 AM  

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