Let us continue our study and examination of the Catholic Church this week, for this twofold purpose – 1. To teach my followers and readers how to understand these paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and 2. To assist the mainstream media in understanding what the Catholic Church teaches about herself and what she says to the world.
Please share this QLC as well as yesterdays with your family and friends. If you know individuals that work for the media who are writing on Pope Francis’ visit this week to the United States, I would ask that you share this with them as well.
For today’s QLC, we are going to focus briefly on what the Church teaches when it comes to the People of God, the Body of Christ, and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. These are three very important aspects of the Church. I would especially draw your attention to paragraphs 783-786, which explains the threefold ministry of Jesus Christ, which is in turn shared by the People of God through Baptism – Priest, Prophet, and King. During his keynote address on Tuesday at the World Meeting of Families, Bishop Robert Barron spoke on this very topic. You can read about it here.
Now let’s examine what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on The Church as the People of God, Body of the Christ, and Temple of the Holy Spirit –
Christ Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own” (Titus 2:14). [#802]
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Pet 2:9). [#803]
One enters into the People of God by faith and Baptism. “All men are called to belong to the new People of God” (LG 13), so that, in Christ, “men may form one family and one People of God” (AG 1). [#804]
The Church is the Body of Christ. Through the Spirit and his action in the sacraments, above all the Eucharist, Christ, who once was dead and is now risen, establishes the community of believers as his own Body. [#805]
In the unity of this Body, there is a diversity of members and functions. All members are linked to one another, especially to those who are suffering, to the poor and persecuted. [#806]
The Church is this Body of which Christ is the head: she lives from him, in him, and for him; he lives with her and in her. [#807]
The Church is the Bride of Christ: he loved her and handed himself over for her. He has purified her by his blood and made her the fruitful mother of all God’s children. [#808]
The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the soul, as it were, of the Mystical Body, the source of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the riches of its gifts and charisms. [#809]
“Hence the universal Church is seen to be ‘a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit'” (LG 4 citing St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat 23: PL 4, 553). [#810]
For a complete understanding of this, I would read paragraphs 781-801 in the Catechism.
Please continue to pray for the Catholic Church here in the United States as Pope Francis continues his Apostolic Trip. Pray for the safety of the Holy Father as well as his intentions this month. Also pray for the US Bishops that may have the fire and determination through the power of the Holy Spirit to evangelize this modern culture.