Thursday, July 1, 2010

Keep this with you when you go looking for that perfect church...

"For what is meant by the Ark if not Holy Church, which is wide below and narrow above? ... wide amid her many worldly members and narrow in her few spiritual ones... we see that many within the bosom of this same Church are raised up in pride, destroyed by the delight of the flesh, yearn for the acquisition of worldly goods, cross seas at the bidding of avarice, are enslaved to wrath, indulge in altercations, injure their weaker neighbors. But because Holy Church still tolerates them that she may convert them, beasts, as it were, linger below in the width of the Ark. We already see that some do not seek others' goods, bear with equanimity the injury inflicted, are content with what they have, and lead a life of humility. But because those are yet few, the Ark narrows. Then we see others relinquishing their possessions, paying no heed to earthly matters, loving their enemies, breaking the flesh from all delights, suppressing all emotions beneath the judgment of reason, and spreading the wings of contemplation through heavenly desire... such people are exceedingly rare... Yet if we ask who among them avails to be without sin, none is found... Therefore the Ark is finished in one cubit because the One Author and Savior of Holy Church is without sin, He to Whom and through Whom advance all who know themselves to be sinners."
Gregory the Great


COHara said...

As I've often heard it said, If you find a perfect church, you should leave, because you'll ruin it!" Why do we in our sinful humanity expect the church, made up of sinful humanity to be any different? But there is hope of redemption through Christ - that even cracked vessels will display the glory of God - So, "seek first the Kingdom" and "Let the dead bury their own dead, but YOU go proclaim the Kingdom of God!"

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that in our heart of hearts we want to be in paradise and this desire leads us to think paradise will be found in the Church. It is but not in the way we think.

The people in the time of Jesus were looking for a messiah. And from what I gather one who would reform society on earth, not one who would save them from their sin.

We want the perfect society without relinquishing our sin. Won't happen.