Emily Stimpson has quoted the same reader as I have (he must have emailed all of the Catholic blogs he could find) and has written a number of entries that follow along the same theme. While I admire the motivation behind her point–that the Church is the Body of Christ, I think she is missing the point… in the same way that she feels my wife Amy is missing the point.
The notion of the Church as the Body of Christ originates with Saint Paul. The same Saint Paul said:
You have become news with a case of immorality, and such a case that is not even found among the pagans…(referring to the man who had taken his stepmother as a wife)…
And you feel proud! Should you not be in mourning instead and expel the sinner. For my part, although I am physically absent, my spirit is with you, as if present. I have already passed sentence on the man who committed such a sin. Let us meet together, you and my spirit, and in the name of our Lord Jesus and with his power, you shall deliver him to Satan, so that he loses everything and his life, but his spirit be saved on the day of Judgment. (1 Cor. 5:1,2-5)
Elsewhere, Our Lord also using the image of the body said:
If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better to enter life without a hand than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out. And if your foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot than with both feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye makes you fall into sin tear it out! It is better to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than, keeping both eyes to be thrown into hell where the worms that eat them never die, and fire never goes out. (Mark 9:43-48)
This passage follows the one most quoted during the current crisis:
If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck. (Mark 9:42)
What bothers most people about this issue is that this surgery on the Body of Christ has yet to be done.
Granted patience is necessary, but there comes a point where some still are way too “proud,” even though they have sanctioned and facilitated certian members of the clergy in their commission of the most unspeakable acts. God speaks to us in the Holy Scriptures about what is necessary.
Good people are people of prayer. They do not need to be called to prayer and repentance–they already are praying. I attend Mass daily, recite the rosary daily, pray the liturgy of the hours daily and do spiritual reading daily.
The people who need to “repent” are the people who are heading in the wrong direction. Some of these are not interested in turning back to Christ who is the Truth, but rather they are interested in protecting their “place” as I have written about in other places on this blog, which of course is a reference to the High Priest in John’s Gospel:
What are we to do? For this man keeps on giving miraculous signs. If we let him go on like this, all the people will believe in him and, as a result of this, the Romans will come and sweep away our Holy Place and our nation. (John 11:47,48)
The man is Jesus Christ–the TRUTH, and you can replace the “Roman” with the “press or media.” A day of prayer of healing for all those who have suffered at the hands of evil men is a good idea, after the evil men have been excised from the Body of Christ–let them retire to a monastery, let them join the faithful in prayer but not as leaders but as penitents.
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