Letters to Jesus (Church, Religion, and Sacraments)-5
By the work of the church You are made present. The work of the church perpetuates what You taught and what You stood for. Our faith is formed by the church. Organizations to perpetuate the memory of great and good human beings abound. They come and they go. None have endured like the church. Yet, in one sense, the church is like training-wheels on a bicycle. It is there to support us and keep the goal present to us. Nonetheless its very purpose is to get us to the point where we can go farther and more proficiently on our own. It’s true that we never stop needing support. We never stop needing new manifestations of Your presence in the world and in our lives. The church constantly offers us points of departure by which we can “fly” on our own.
To really understand and appreciate the instrumental presence of God in the Mass and sacraments is, by itself, the greatest treasure distributed constantly by the church. Once the spiritual pilgrim finds his/her point of departure, once the training-wheels are removed, the doctrines, dogmas, and church law matter so much less than the Mass and the sacraments. The things needed by the church to deal with its flock on a human level like doctrines, dogmas and church law fade, as they should, when we grasp the spiritual supremacy of the Mass and sacraments. To bring us to that level of Your presence in our lives is the purpose of the church and she must design, measure, and construct the steps by which she can best get us there. This is her reason for existence.
The elements that link humanity with our spiritual history and with the divine in the Mass (as well as the signs and symbols of the action of Your love through the sacraments), are the entities taught, protected, and nourished by the people of God called the church. Yet, lofty as a full grasp of this may be, in a transcendent, mystical sense these entities themselves become another step, another set of training-wheels in our spiritual journey.
You so love us that You provide many ways for us to love You depending on our growth and circumstances. Spiritual evolution does not only take place cosmically but, first, individually.
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