Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Church Triumphant

A very nice reflection reminding us of our history, from The American Catholic blog.

An excerpt.

“One of the swear words common since Vatican II in the Catholic Church is triumphalism. We are to avoid it at all costs, and it is a bad, bad thing. In a small way this makes sense. The Church is both a divine and a human institution. As a divine institution the Church is always victorious and triumphant as result of the Triumph of the Cross, and proceeds serenely through time and eternity. As a human institution the Church consists of we sinful individuals here on Earth, and meets with victories and defeats as she seeks to spread the message of Christ, often on very stony fields indeed. To view the Church here on Earth through rose colored glasses and to assume that simply because the ultimate victory will be claimed by the Church against the Gates of Hell that all is well within the Church is to mistake the Church Triumphant for the Church Militant.

“However, in the place of triumphalism too many Catholics have embraced defeatism, either by assuming that the mission of the Church to all of humanity is hopeless or, much worse, thinking that spreading the Gospel isn’t important because everyone is saved anyway, and the religion they follow is unimportant. Hand in hand with this is the thrusting firmly down the memory hole of most of Church history, teaching and practice before Vatican II. The “fruits” of two generations of Catholics ignorant of the teachings and history of the Catholic Church are plain and dismaying.

“We Catholics have a grand history and we should learn it and teach it to our children. We should teach to them the victories and the defeats of the Church here on Earth, and also teach them that whenever they have reason to thank God, to remember the Te Deum.”