Friday, September 16, 2011
Blog # 178 The Body of Christ
Blog # 178 The Body of Christ Today Almost totally before Vatican II, and still in some areas of our Catholic experience, priests and Sisters were identified as those who were especially holy or close to God and Jesus in the Church. No banquet under Catholic auspices,, graduation, or wedding reception was begun without the prayer of the priest if he were in the room. In many instances we would wait for him to come to lead us in prayer. He knew the Bible. He aswered all religious questions without hesitation and with authority. That was the expectation of the 'faithful', the word we commonly used for lay members of the Church. The priest was trained for this through a minimum of four years of post graduate study in theology and in the experience of a specially focused daily regimen of prayer meditation and discipline. There were leaders. There were followers. It was what you would naturally expect. The Church was at peace. Then a new era of history began to appear. Change was everywhere. Old textbooks that seemed to be up to date before World War II were now just the story of what used to be. This was true of medicine physics chemistry social sciences and theology all the way up and down the line. It is important to know where we have come from in all of these fields in order to know more fully where we are at the present. But there is a differendce between being a teacher of the history of medicine and being a current neurosurgeon. So there is a difference between knowing the Beatitudes and being blessed by them today. And between knowing that Pentecost happened for Peter James and John and between letting it happen for us today. What was it for them, yes. Bus also what is it for us today. As members of the Church we do have different functions in a way similar to the different functions of hands feet and head in the life of our bodies. But we, the Church, are one Body. We are not related to one another as shoes on the feet of a walker, going along the same path, but not sharing a common life and love, a common desired goal. We belong to one another. We grow or diminish, are healthy or sick, together. We can injure or help one another. We are called to this in the love of Jesus we are given to share in the one life we receive in Baptism. But because it is love it must be done in freedom. In other words the first question is not do you understand, but rather do you desire. Come, Holy Spirit, is our daily prayer.