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In Communion

Ebeth posts a wonderful essay by Deacon Keith Fournier on the inseparable nature of Christ and His Church.

How many Catholic Christians truly understand the implications of their own Baptism? How many have experienced the grace of identification with the Church as a “mother”, or the interior dimension of living in the Church as a “communion” of persons, flowing from the Communion of the Trinity? Is this all supposed to only be the experience of the “mystics”, the talk of the Saints and Fathers, or, is it supposed to be the truly common experience of every Christian? I believe it is supposed to be the common experience of all who bear the name Christian. In Catholic theology and practice, we teach -and we are called to practice - the truth that the early fathers, Saints and Councils throughout the ages have affirmed; to belong to Jesus is to belong to His Body. Our membership in the Church is a very real participation in the very life of God; what the Apostle Peter referred to as a “participation in the Divine nature”. (2 Peter 1:4) This kind of real, tangible experience of life in the Church is meant to be the lived experience of every Baptized Christian…

There is a movement toward a dynamically orthodox Catholic faith and life taking deep root among the young. I choose to not refer to any of this as a “re-covery” or even a “re-storation”, although it is both. The reason I avoid the “re” words is that such a language makes it sound as though we are going back to something. If we are, it is “back to the future”. The Church and the message that she proclaims is always about the future. Christians believe in and are following a linear timeline of God’s plan in human history. This is all going somewhere; and that somewhere is into the fullness of some One, who is Jesus Christ. In Him we are all invited into a participation in the very life of the Trinitarian communion. Every man, woman and child on the face of the earth are invited into that communion of love. Proclaiming that and demonstrating it are the mission and the message of the Church. In Him we participate in the re-creation of the world, through the work of the Church. The Church is to be both the witness of - and the means to - the fulfillment of the mission of Redemptive Love revealed in the Paschal mystery of the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Do read the whole thing. As we approach Easter, many catechumens and candidates are readying to enter full communion with the Church. It is important for each of us to reflect on the implications of that communion.

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