The Catechism describes the Church as both the “means and the goal of God’s plan” of communion. The word itself means a convocation or assembly (Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-ka-lein, to “call out of”).
One of the most significant fault lines in Western culture opened up in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when what we now know as the “modern” world separated itself from the classical and medieval world. The thinking of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Newton, Jefferson, and many others represented a sea change in the way Western people looked at practically everything. In almost every telling of the story, this development is presented as an unmitigated good. I rather emphatically do not subscribe to this interpretation.
Fill the hearts of your faithful. Enkindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth”
One of the most ancient prayers of the Church, Come Holy Spirit, is a beautiful sequence sung in the liturgy for Pentecost Sunday.
Feast Day: April 8
“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” This beatitude calls each Christian to be an instrument of God’s mercy in the world. It is for this reason that the Church has traditionally articulated the Christian duty to engage in both corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Our being made for communion with God makes perfect sense since God has revealed himself to be communion – a Trinitarian communion: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This mystery of the one God, three persons is “the central mystery of Christian faith and life.” As a mystery of faith, however, the Trinity is inaccessible to reason alone. What we can know of this mystery is entirely dependent on God revealing who he is to us.
Dear Fr. Joe: It seems to me that every day there is a new scandal in the Church. I struggle with understanding – how can I stay Catholic?
Thank you for your question – things can be very difficult for us right now and your sincere and honest expression of what you are feeling is a gift. I’ll do my best to share well why I not only chose to stay Catholic, but to serve in the Church as a priest. I hope that what I share helps you.