Tuesday, January 27, 2009


To the Catholic, the church is the heart of Christ, His beloved and cherished spouse upon whom He has bestowed His ultimate trust to bear and safekeep His children. God has joined with her and they have become one flesh. She is His body on earth--she in Him, He in her, she in us and we in Him--in the perfect moving, breathing, flowing dialogue of love, wisdom and instruction. He is worshiped through the church and she is glorified in Him. The Holy Spirit has united His mind with hers, so that the church may speak with the authority of His voice. He speaks His love for us through her lips. Through the church, Christ rules His Kingdom.

The Holy Scriptures were whispered in her ears. The Catholic Church, through the apostles composed the New Testament, which she added to the Hebrew scripture and past to her offspring. The Catholic Church compiled it, copied it, disseminated it and defended it with her life. 

As the Bride walked towards her Beloved Spouse, the Bible was formed in her wake. It is not the Bible who created her, but she who carefully transcribed the New Covenant. The Bible is the outpouring of their love to their children. Catholics hold the Bible in the greatest of reverence and deeply believe it to be God's Holy Word.

During some of the darkest moments of her reign, some of her children protested her authority and claimed each person would miraculously understand scripture independent of history or ecclesiastical context. Individual interpretation, when prayer for the Holy Spirit was invoked, became infallible to those who no longer trusted God's Bride. (Yet the very words of God --I Tim. 3:15--claimed the Bride, His church--not individuals, is the pillar and foundation of truth.)

So when His children pulled away from God's appointed authorities in His church, they fell into power struggles and a coup commenced on Christ. Disunity ensued and The Body was wrenched and ruptured. Jesus warned that wolves were waiting for the sheep to scatter.

The Bride then reminded her children that all truth was promised by the Spirit to the church, not to individuals. Teachers were appointed by the apostles in order to speak the correct interpretation of church teachings. Why would Jesus set up an organization if personal interpretation was His desire? Why say that God's spirit will be there when two or more are gathered if individualism was His primary purpose?  

The Catholic church urges its children to study scripture and apply what the Spirit says to the individual's life, but also asserts its God-appointed authority to make doctrine from that same scripture for the corporate body of Christ. The Catholic Church never contradicts the Bible; after all, it is God's instructions for her. She has protected it for centuries. 

God still whispers in His beloved Spouse's ear and there is still an ongoing dialogue of love between them. That is a great comfort to us as their children.