Thursday, April 18, 2013

More on the Church

While, at least since my previous post, I am on the subject of the Church, I came across these words in G.K. Chesterton's fascinating novel The Ball and the Cross (you can obtain it for free for your Kindle), which he puts into the mouth of Evan MacIan, a devout Catholic from the Scottish Highlands who, after arriving in London, assaults a Scot from the lowlands by the name of Turnbull, who is the editor and publisher of The Atheist, for insulting the Blessed Virgin Mary:
The Church is not a thing like Athenaeum Club... If the Athenaeum Club lost all its members, the Athenaeum Club would dissolve and cease to exist. But when we belong to the Church we belong to something which is outside all of us; which is outside everything you talk about, outside the Cardinals and the Pope. They belong to it, but it does not belong to them. If we all fell dead suddenly, the Church would still somehow exist in God. Confound it all, don't you see that I am more sure of its existence than I am of my own existence?

This passage drew my mind to this majestic and magisterial passage written by St. Paul: "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven" (Col. 1:17-20).

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