Monday, February 21, 2011

The Church Militant

In starting this blog, I'd like to explain its purpose and how its name represents that purpose.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 954 reads as follows:

954 The three states of the Church. "When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating 'in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is"':
All of us, however, in varying degrees and in different ways share in the same charity towards God and our neighbors, and we all sing the one hymn of glory to our God. All, indeed, who are of Christ and who have his Spirit form one Church and in Christ cleave together.

In Catholic theology, the Church Universal is traditionally divided into:
the Church Militant (Ecclesia Militans), made up of Christians on earth who are living and who struggle against sin, devil and "..the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).
the Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Triumphans), those who are in Heaven, and
the Church Suffering (Ecclesia Penitens), consisting of those Christians presently in Purgatory**.

**Purgatory is brought up here only to outline the understanding of the Catholic Church (my church) of the Communion of the Saints. It is not meant to be a barrier to my non-Catholic friends as I am endeavoring to be ecumenical in my presentation. That is not to say that you won't see good old fashioned apologetic discussions about the differences in Catholic and Protestant exegesis, you will. But debate is healthy.

These terms explain the three states in which Christians exist within the Communion of the Saints. Although we may be physically separated from each other by the barrier of death, we nonetheless remain united to each other in one Church, through Christ, and support each other in prayer.

Thus the name of the blog. The Body of Christ on Earth is the Ecclesia Militans and we are called to holiness in Him. Our mission here on Earth is summed up nicely by St. Paul in Philippians 2:12-18:

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. 

I hope to bring to this blog commentary on news of the day from my perspective in the light of Church teaching; examples of God working in us for His own good pleasure for the betterment of our brothers and sisters; and anything else that happens to pop into my head. :-)

Thank you for your time. Hopefully you'll enjoy it. If you feel it to be edifying, I would appreciate it if you would follow the blog and share it with others. God Bless.


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