Editor’s Pick: I Believe in a Holy ChurchAugust 13, 2012 No Comments
August 13, 2012 / MariaNews.com
I Believe in a Holy Church
By Deacon Antonio Sandoval
The Catholic Church is holy because Jesus Christ, her founder, is holy. Holiness is unconditional love for God and conformity with his will in our thoughts, our words, and in our deeds. In all these respects, Jesus is the epitome of perfect conformity with the Father, even, when in his humanity he expressed sorrow and distress anticipating the betrayal, abandonment, and denial by his friends, and the cruel death he would have to undergo for our salvation. In the Garden of Gethsemane he asked the Father, “If possible, let this cup pass from me, yet not as I will, but as you will” (Mt 26:39).
The coming of Christ brought the light of holiness to a world that had been in the darkness of sin since the Ancient Serpent with his seductive deceptions extinguished the lights of innocence in the Garden of Eden. With his holiness Christ reopened for us the way that leads to the “Eternal Garden of Eden”. The way he reopened for us is his Holy Church.
But the Church is also holy because those of us who answer Christ’s call to follow him in whatever vocation we receive, and carry our cross faithfully after him, become holy. We become saints. Those who become saints are the stout-hearted men, women and children, who love God and neighbor so deeply, that they are willing to live, to fight, and even to die for the God they adore.
All the saints have three things in common: a profound love for Jesus in the Eucharist, a faithful devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and unquestionable loyalty to the Church.
The saints have a profound love for Jesus in the Eucharist because they desire nothing more than union with Jesus, which the Eucharist provides. They believe Jesus, who at the Last Supper, “took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup [filled with wine], gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Mt 26: 26-28). They believe that Jesus is the Living Bread that came down from heaven (John 6:41). They believe that, whoever eats Christ’s Body and drinks his Blood will have eternal life and Jesus will raise them up on the last day (John 6:54). In the Eucharist the saints find a foretaste of heaven.
The saints have a faithful devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary because they believe that once God decided to be born of a woman, there would be no Jesus without the Woman. They have a faithful devotion to Mary because the Lord, who told us to love one another as he has loved us, would certainly tell us to love Mary, his mother, as he loves her. They have a faithful devotion to Mary because Jesus gave her to us as our mother, the new Eve of the new creation. They know that without Mary as our mother, we can’t have God as our Father and Jesus as our brother. They believe that Mary is our mediatrix by intercession, and Jesus is our mediator by redemption.
The saints have an unquestionable loyalty to the Church because they recognize that in the Church we are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the branches joined to Jesus, the True Vine, (John 15:5). In the Church we have the Way that leads to unfading happiness in glory, the Truth that sets us free and the path to eternal Life which is the infinite good which we desire, and nothing else will satisfy us.
Let us celebrate with abundant gratitude the opportunity God has given us to have his Holy Church as our spiritual family on earth and in heaven. Let us pray for the grace to contribute to its holiness by humble cooperation with the Holy Spirit, the soul of the Church.
Read more by Deacon Antonio here
Antonio is a retired deacon in the Archdiocese of Denver. Last September his wife, Maud, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. They were told that she didn’t have long to live. Since she is 83 years old, they decided to refuse the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Last October they were sent to Hospice. They have now been there for 8 months. Antonio’s wife is not experiencing the symptoms of multiple myeloma other than the fact that she cannot move and has to stay in bed all the time. She is also in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease. You prayers will be appreciated. Antonio spends the entire day with his wife.
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