Christ and His Church Are One

18 Nov

This past week, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York gave the opening address at the annual fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Naumann praised this address, noting that it set the tone for the meeting and refocused the bishops on the most important thing: namely, that “Love for Jesus and His Church must be the passion of our lives!”

At his archdiocesan blog, Archbishop Dolan provides the complete text of his address, but he especially invites us to consider the following excerpt:

You and I believe with all our heart and soul that Christ and His Church are one.

That truth has been passed on to us from our predecessors, the apostles, especially St. Paul, who learned that equation on the Road to Damascus, who teaches so tenderly that the Church is the bride of Christ, that the Church is the body of Christ, that Christ and His Church are one.

That truth has been defended by bishops before us, sometimes and yet even today, at the cost of “dungeon, fire, and sword.”

That truth–that He, Christ, and she, His Church, are one–moistens our eyes and puts a lump in our throat as we whisper with De Lubac, “For what would I ever know of Him, without her?”

Each year we return to this premier see of John Carroll to gather as brothers in service to Him and to her.  We do business, follow the agenda, vote on documents, renew priorities and hear information reports.

But, one thing we can’t help but remember, one lesson we knew before we got off the plane, train, or car, something we hardly needed to come to this venerable archdiocese to learn, is that “love for Jesus and His Church must be the passion of our lives!”

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