Sunday, September 10, 2006

To Love The Church Is To Love Christ

Since the Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ, to love the Church is to love Christ. For Christ left His Father in Heaven and his mother on Earth and cleaving to his wife, they became one flesh. Christ and His Church are inseparable.

Likewise, the inverse is also true. To despise the Church (Christ's Bride) is to despise Christ Himself! This is something that holds grave consequences.

Think about it.

Christ gave his life for His spouse, the Church. Christ loves the Church and wants all to love it as well. To reject the bride is to reject the bridegroom.

To call the Church "a work of the Devil" as some Protestants do, is tantamount to declaring Christ to be Satan.

Christ promised to be with His Church forever and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against Her.

Then Luther came along and dishonored the Bride by leading many to reject Her, and thereby dishonoring the Bridegroom that is Christ by leading many out of the marital union between the Bridegroom and the Bride.

The Catholic Church is also the Mystical Body of Christ with Christ as its Head. To hate the Church is to break Christ's Body apart and sever the Head from the Body. It is no wonder that some have said that Luther has left Europe orphaned. With the Body separated from the Head (leaving the Catholic Church), souls are left without their spiritual parents wondering aimlessly in the desert of Protestantism! Which is why there is over 50,000 different Protestant denominations today. Do they realize what they are protesting? They are protesting the very Body of Christ, His Bride, and ultimately Christ Himself!

If we love Christ, we should love His Bride, the Church! All Christians need to develop a love-affair for the Bride of Christ. For when we love the Bride, and only then, will we love the Bridegroom.

"[The spiritual man] shall also judge those who give rise to schisms, who are destitute of the love of God, and who look to their own special advantage rather than to the unity of the Church; and who for trifling reasons, or any kind of reason which occurs to them, cut in pieces and divide the great and glorious body of Christ, and so far as in them lies, destroy it -men who prate of peace while they give rise to war, and do in truth strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel. For they can bring about no 'reformation' of enough importance to compensate for the evil arising from their schism. . . . True knowledge is that which consists in the doctrine of the apostles, and the ancient constitution of the Church throughout all the world, and the distinctive manifestation of the body of Christ according to the successions of the bishops, by which they have handed down that Church which exists in every place [i.e., the Catholic Church]"


"If someone from this people wants to be saved, let him come into this house so that he may be able to attain his salvation. . . . Let no one, then, be persuaded otherwise, nor let anyone deceive himself: Outside of this house, that is, outside of the Church, no one is saved; for, if anyone should go out of it, he is guilty of his own death."


"Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress [a schismatic church] is separated from the promises of the Church, nor will he that forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is an alien, a worldling, and an enemy. He cannot have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother."

-Cyprian of Carthage

"It is, therefore, the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth; this, the domicile of faith; this, the temple of God. Whoever does not enter there or whoever does not go out from there, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. . . . Because, however, all the various groups of heretics are confident that they are the Christians and think that theirs is the Catholic Church, let it be known that this is the true Church, in which there is confession and penance and which takes a health-promoting care of the sins and wounds to which the weak flesh is subject."


"Anyone who receives the sacrament of baptism, whether in the Catholic Church or in a heretical or schismatic one, receives the whole sacrament; but salvation, which is the strength of the sacrament, he will not have, if he has had the sacrament outside the Catholic Church [and remains in deliberate schism]. He must therefore return to the Church, not so that he might receive again the sacrament of baptism, which no one dare repeat in any baptized person, but so that he may receive eternal life in Catholic society, for the obtaining of which no one is suited who, even with the sacrament of baptism, remains estranged from the Catholic Church."

-Fulgentius of Ruspe

"The apostle Paul said, 'As for a man that is a heretic, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him' [Titus 3:10]. But those who maintain their own opinion, however false and perverted, without obstinate ill will, especially those who have not originated the error of bold presumption, but have received it from parents who had been led astray and had lapsed . . . those who seek the truth with careful industry and are ready to be corrected when they have found it, are not to be rated among heretics." [emphasis added]


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