“THERE CAN NO BE FAITH IN THE HOLY SPIRIT IF THERE IS NO FAITH IN CHRIST, IN HIS SACRAMENTS, IN HIS CHURCH (ST. JOSEMARIA).”

“THERE CAN NO BE FAITH IN THE HOLY SPIRIT IF THERE IS NO FAITH IN CHRIST, IN HIS SACRAMENTS, IN HIS CHURCH (ST. JOSEMARIA).”

Dear brethren in Christ, as we commemorate the Solemnity of the Pentecost, during which God the Holy Spirit publicly revealed Christ’s Church, let us meditate on the following words, taken from St. Josemaria’s homily, “The Great Unknown,” and ask God to fill us with a theological and operative faith and love for His Mystical Body, the Church.

+++EXCERPT BEGINS HERE. EMPHASIS MINE.+++

[O]ur faith in the Holy Spirit must be complete. It is not a vague belief in his presence in the world, but a grateful acceptance of the signs and realities into which he has poured forth his power in a special way. When the Spirit of truth comes, our Lord tells us, “he will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you.” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit sent by Christ to carry out in us the work of holiness that our Lord merited for us on earth.

And so, there cannot be faith in the Holy Spirit if there is not faith in Christ, in his sacraments, in his Church. A man cannot act in accordance with his Christian faith, cannot truly believe in the Holy Spirit, unless he loves the Church and trusts it. He cannot be a coherent Christian if he limits himself to pointing out the deficiencies and limitations of some who represent the Church, judging her from the outside, as though he were not her son. Moreover, consider the extraordinary importance and abundance of the Paraclete when the priest renews the sacrifice of Calvary by celebrating Mass on our altars.

131 We Christians carry the great treasures of grace in vessels of clay. God has entrusted his gifts to the weakness and fragility of human freedom. We can be certain of the help of God’s power, but our lust, our love of comfort and our pride sometimes cause us to reject his grace and to fall into sin. For more than twenty-five years when I have recited the creed and asserted my faith in the divine origin of the Church: “One, holy, catholic and apostolic,” I have frequently added, “in spite of everything.” When I mention this custom of mine and someone asks me what I mean, I answer, “I mean your sins and mine.”

All this is true, but it does not authorize us in any way to judge the Church in a human manner, without theological faith. We cannot consider only the greater or lesser merits of certain churchmen or of some Christians. To do this would be to limit ourselves to the surface of things. What is most important in the Church is not how we humans react but how God acts. This is what the Church is: Christ present in our midst, God coming toward men in order to save them, calling us with his revelation, sanctifying us with his grace, maintaining us with his constant help, in the great and small battles of our daily life.

We might come to mistrust other men, and each one of us should mistrust himself and end each of his days with a mea culpa, an act of contrition that is profound and sincere. But we have no right to doubt God. And to doubt the Church, its divine origin and its effectiveness for our salvation through its doctrine and its sacraments, would be the same as doubting God himself, the same as not fully believing in the reality of the coming of the Holy Spirit.”

St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, nn. 130-131. Entire homily could be read in http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/christ_is_passing_by-chapter-13.htm

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