Confirmation 2014 Session 3. What is the Church?. St. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians.
What is the Church?
In the abundance of his glory may he, through his Spirit, enable you to grow firm in power with regard to your inner self, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, with all God’s holy people you will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length and the height and the depth; so that, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond knowledge, you may be filled with the utter fullness of God.
Ephesians 3: 16-19
“A Christian who lets himself be guided and gradually shaped by the faith of the Church, in spite of his or her weaknesses, limitations and difficulties, becomes like a window open to the light of the living God, receiving this light and transmitting it to the world.”
Benedict XVI (TPF)
“Jesus is encountered, just as two thousand years ago, in a human presence, the Church, the company of those he assimilates to himself, his Body, the sign and sacrament of his Presence.”
“Just as each of us has various parts in one body, and the parts do not all have the same function: in the same way, all of us, though there are so many of us, make up one body in Christ, and as different parts we are all joined to one another.”
“ I see the Church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.”
Pope Francis 9/30/13
“We are called to adore Christ in our hearts in order to allow ourselves to be touched by the impulse of grace contained in the seed of the word, which must grow in us and be transformed into concrete service to our neighbor….
A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love.”
World day of Prayer for Vocations 2014
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 16: 18,19.
“The grace of the Holy Spirit which the Apostles gave to their collaborator through the imposition of hands continues to be transmitted in Episcopal Ordination. The bishop in turn by the Sacrament of Orders render the sacred ministers sharers in this spiritual gift and, through the sacrament of Confirmation, ensure that all who are reborn of water and the Holy Spirit are strengthened by this gift. And thus…the grace of Pentecost is perpetuated in the Church.” (DV)
“The Church gives us our priests, the Mass, and the sacraments, which we need in our daily lives to do our work. We need the Eucharist because unless we are given Jesus we cannot give to Him.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“The sacraments signify grace and confer grace: the They signify life and give life.
The Church is the visible dispenser of the sacred signs, while the holy Spirit acts in them as the invisible dispenser of the life which they signify. Together with the Spirit, Christ Jesus is present and acting.”
John Paul II (DV)
“The reservoir of truth” St Melito of Sardis (d.190)
“is the place of faith, the place for the transmission of the faith, the place in which, through Baptism, we are immersed in the Paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ, who frees us from the slavery of sin, gives us the freedom of children and introduces us into communion with the Trinitarian God.” Benedict XVI (TPF)
He is the living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you, too, may be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2: 4,5
“Through the Eucharist, the disciples become his living dwelling place which, as history unfolds, grows like the new and living temple of God in this world.”
“The church in her inmost self is a Eucharistic community, hence, communion in the Body of the Lord.”
Benedict XVI (HCL)
“The temple is the expression of the human longing to have God as a fellow occupant, the longing to be able to reside with God and thus to experience the perfect way of living, the consummate community, which banishes fear and loneliness once and for all.”
Benedict XVI (NSL)
“ The Church is like a human family, but at the same time she is also the great family of God … a family as vast as the world, including Heaven and Earth, the past, the present, the future …
through which he establishes an overarching communion and unity that embraces every continent, culture and nation.”
“The place where God’s merciful love reaches out to all people.”
Benedict XVI (GR/YV)
“The Communion of the Saints. How shall I explain it to you? You know what blood transfusions can do for the body? Well, that’s what the Communion of the Saints does for the soul.”
He is here in his Church; his living breath, his divine life are present in every one of the baptized; all who believed have his strength and love from which to live; every one of us who takes part in his holy sacrifice grows in this fire-like undying love….
This is the joy we have to sing: the Lord is near. The Church has joy in his presence as the bride in the presence of her lover.”
Sr. AemilianaLöhr, O.S.B.
“No one becomes a Christian in isolation….
Community, in which individuals remain themselves but at the same time encounter what is truly human in their fellows – such community does not come into being when individuals keep to themselves what is deepest in them….That is why we have the duty of making public what is most intimately ours, of bringing it forth and allowing it to put its stamp on the world around us. It is up to us not to let the world be without God but rather to let our faith mediate God to it.”
Benedict XVI (D&P)
The Church is
“I pray not only for these (disciples) but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me. May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.”
John 17: 20, 21
“For the Church, Good Friday and Easter have always existed together; she is always both the mustard seed and the tree in whose boughs the birds of the air make their nests.
Thus, on the one hand, the weakness proper to human beings is revealed in Peter’s ministry, but at the same time, also God’s power: …he demonstrates that it is though frail human beings that he himself builds his Church.” Benedict XVI (HCL)
“..the community that is the people of God founded on the New Covenant thanks to the blood of Christ.
Her members do not belong to a particular social or ethnic group, but are men and women of every nation and culture”.
Benedict XVI (TPF) (cf. Col 3:11)
“God wants all men to be saved. This is an invitation to us and also a responsibility… The Church is not a place of refuge for a privileged few….
“The great Church is the whole world.”
Jesus’ prayer is the protection of the Church
The Church “prays and works at the same time, so that the entire world be transformed into the people of God, the Body of the Lord and the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and so that in Christ, the Head of all things, honor and glory may be rendered to the Father and Creator of the universe.” (LG)
1 Tim: 2 -4
“The Church becomes visible for people in many ways, in charitable activity or in missionary projects, but the place where the Church is actually experienced most of all as Church is the liturgy….At the end of the day, the point of the Church is to turn us toward God and to enable God to enter into the world. The liturgy is the act in which we believe that he enters our lives and that we touch him. It is the act in which what is really essential takes place: we come into contact with God. He comes to us – and we are illumined by him.” Benedict XVI (LW)
“We need the Church in order to confirm our faith and in order to experience the gifts of God: his Word, the sacraments, the support of grace and the witness of love…
The faith calls us to be the people of God, to be Church, bearers of the love and communion of God for all mankind.”
Benedict XVI (TPF)
Christ has no body but yours,No hands, no feet on earth but yours,Yours are the eyes with which he looksCompassion on this world,Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,Yours are the eyes, you are his body.Christ has no body now but yours,No hands, no feet on earth but yours,Yours are the eyes with which he lookscompassion on this world.Christ has no body now on earth but yours.