The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Rudy's Fantasy

What is missing from these two statements?

"The Kingdom of God comes in the degree in which it comes to specific men, finds an opening into the soul and is accepted by them. The Kingdom of God is the 'lordship' of God, that is to say, the dominion of the Holy God in each different heart." - liberal theologian Adolf von Harnack c. 1930

"Issues like that for me are between me and my confessor. ... I'm a Catholic and that's the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately," he said. "That's what religion is all about -- it's something that's between you and your conscience and God and then whoever your spiritual advisers are." - Former New York City Mayor and Presidential Candidate Rudolph Giuliani speaking about his pro-choice position.

What is missing? The entire concept of communion. Both the wayward theologian and politician have attempted to put mortal limits on the infinite Divine by reducing God to a personal choice. The Almighty becomes no greater than what one can accommodate in one's conscience. Feelings become the overriding influencer in decision making since in essence one has equated one's logic as the defining will of God. Nothing is absolute. All things are plausible. Relativism reigns.

Communion is one of those terms that many sort of understand, but do not fully grasp. They might define communion as simply that host and sip of wine one receives on Sunday. In simplest terms communion is the full participation in something that one realizes is part of something that goes beyond oneself. Far from a loss of individuality, communion is a total contribution of self to the benefit of the whole while the whole reciprocates and gives back to the individual. The Mystical Body of Christ describes this continuous relationship between Christ and His Bride the Church. Obviously this is not a relationship of equal gifts as one could never give back to Him the salvation he offers; however, one can strive to give all of oneself to Our Lord in the way that He has given all of Himself to humanity.

Marx and Engles perverted this concept with their philosophy of communism. In their model, the individual mattered only as far as the individual was contributing to the benefit of the state. The state did not give back to the individual a full share of itself, only what was subjectively deemed necessary. Small wonder the system failed to stand the test of time.

In contrast many Protestant faiths who have separated themselves from being in communion with the The Bride in favor of an individual experience. The individualist Jesus is their Lord and personal savior. There is not room for communion with others in that intimate relationship. Christ becomes a kind of polygamist having many brides who share a common husband. Mr. Giulini's own words quoted above confirm his being counted in their ranks.

Yet Christ did not call for each person to establish a relationship with Him that was seperate from His Bride, the Church. He did not design a relationship intended to be outside of His Mystical Body. Pope Benedict XVI described in his March 15th, 2006 Wednesday address that Christ's entire mission of coming to man in the flesh as one of communitarian finality. As the Holy Father stated in his address: "He came precisely to gather together a scattered humanity. He came precisely to gather together the People of God."

Continuing Pope Benedict's remarks:

In a certain sense, we could say that the Last Supper is precisely the act of founding his Church, because he gives himself and in this way creates a new community, a community united in the communion with himself. From this perspective, it is understood that the Risen One grants them, with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, the power to forgive sins (John 20:23). The Twelve Apostles are in this way the most evident sign of Jesus' will over the existence and mission of his Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition: They are inseparable, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church.

Therefore, there is no way to reconcile Christ's intentions with the slogan that was fashionable a few years ago, "Christ yes, the Church no." The individualist Jesus is a fantasy. We cannot find Jesus without the reality that he created and through which he communicates himself. Between the Son of God, made man and his Church, there is a profound, inseparable continuity, in virtue of which Christ is present today in his people.

He is always our contemporary -- our contemporary in the Church built upon the foundation of the Apostles. He is alive in the succession of the Apostles. And his presence in the community, in which he himself always gives himself, is the reason for our joy. Yes, Christ is with us, the Kingdom of God is coming.

With this in mind, there really cannot be such thing as a liberal or conservative Catholic. One is either in communion with Christ or one is not. Church teachings, precisely because they are of His Church, are not open to debate regarding their correctness in the light of the culture of the day or their political viability. They simply are, and one has the free will to choose to be in communion with Him or to step outside of that communion and be on one's own.

When pressed on how reconciled his beliefs with the Pope and the Church, the former New York City mayor simply stated,

"I don't get into debates with the Pope."

Perhaps somewhere in Rudy's heart, he knows where the truth lies instead of falling for the fantasy of lies that have become the mammon he and many other Catholic political leaders have chosen to serve.


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