MEDITATION OF THE DAY
Christ and His Church
Other religious, social, political organizations may arouse opposition, but the incurable disquiet of those who fear the Catholic Church is due to the fact that while all the others are systems, the Church is a Person, an incalculable Person, a Person with infinite power and a Child’s values: the Person of Jesus Christ.
We know perfectly well that there are often scandals in the Church, that despite her pure heart, her children sometimes grow worldly and base and dress her up with tawdry golden garments which they have woven with black and cunning fingers; sometimes we see nothing but ugliness in her. Yet, even so, she is the refuge and hope of all sinners, the joy and hope of all saints, the life and hope of every living creature; and this is because, under this aspect the Church is still Christ, Christ in his Passion, Christ crowned with thorns, his face covered in blood and dirt and the dust of the road on which we flung him down. He still remains the one ultimately irresistible Person. This is why the Church is sometimes hated—Wonder not if the world hates you—sometimes feared; it is the mystery of utter love which is recognized, if not by the head, at least by the heart, and which no wounding and no disfiguring can hide. He has no comeliness whereby we shall know him. But we know him without comeliness.
Saint Peter walked on the stormy sea, but when his faith wavered he began to sink; and Christ rebuked him: Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt? What courage it would take to try to walk on the sea, even if we could see the face of Christ; but it takes much more courage to leave our false securities, our leaking boats of materialism, and to walk towards him on the churned-up, angry sea of our civilization. It would be a heroic thing to do even if we could see him, but when the face of Christ is hidden in the darkness of our heart, then it requires all the heroism of Our Lady’s fiat.
Caryll Houselander († 1954) was a British author, poet, and spiritual teacher. [From The Reed of God. © 1944, Caryll Houselander, Christian Classics, a Division of Thomas More Publishing, Allen, TX.]