Papa Collins (Dan, Sr.) has instructed that while “compromise in matters of prudence are permissible. Compromise in matters of Principle are not.”
This has been of no small amount of value in my own formation. And nowhere perhaps is this rule to be exemplified more clearly than in the Catholic Church and Her commitment to living out Her Teachings.
A quick history of the Church established by the Christ (and one with the Christ) reveals that from its very origins the Divine Nature of the Church, as God, is one of Timelessness.
To quell the objections some may have over the reality that the Church is Christ as Christ is the Church, one must comprehend a central tenet of Catholic Theology. And the definitive source for “What we Believe” as non-Schismatic Christians is the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
787 From the beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings.215 Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him: “Abide in me, and I in you. . . . I am the vine, you are the branches.”216 And he proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between his own body and ours: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”217
788 When his visible presence was taken from them, Jesus did not leave his disciples orphans. He promised to remain with them until the end of time; he sent them his Spirit.218 As a result communion with Jesus has become, in a way, more intense: “By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation.”219
789 The comparison of the Church with the body casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and his Church. Not only is she gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body. Three aspects of the Church as the Body of Christ are to be more specifically noted: the unity of all her members with each other as a result of their union with Christ; Christ as head of the Body; and the Church as bride of Christ.
790 Believers who respond to God’s word and become members of Christ’s Body, become intimately united with him: “In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his Passion and glorification.”220 This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ’s death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which “really sharing in the body of the Lord, . . . we are taken up into communion with him and with one another.”221
791 The body’s unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: “In the building up of Christ’s Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church.”222 The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: “From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice.”223 Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”224
Before I get hate-comments, please note that the Body macro includes baptized schismatics, but the Body particular is the Roman Church Herself.
Borrowing from a piece entitled, Jesus and His Church are One, written by His Grace, Cardinal-Elect Timothy M Dolan, we are instructed:
It’s one of my favorite works of art: The Conversion of Saul by Caravaggio. There it is, meekly on display in the corner of the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Saul, the raging persecutor of the followers of Jesus, literally “knocked off his high horse” by the radiance of Jesus, the “light of the world,” transformed into a passionate apostle of Christ and His new Church, whom we now venerate as St. Paul.
And what question does Jesus bellow out to the shocked Saul?
“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Parse that very carefully. Saul, of course, has been harassing the Church, killing the followers of Jesus.
Yet, note well: Jesus does not inquire, “Why are you persecuting my Church” or “my people” or “my followers.”
No! The Lord asks, “Why are you persecuting me?”
Get it? The Lord is saying, “You hurt my Church, you hurt me. The Church and I are one.”
A fact that we can all agree and that lends credence to these claims is the very scientific fact that the Church is the oldest LIVING organ-ization the planet has ever hosted. If one wants for a more negative proof of the same, one need only ask how long the Jews have been waiting for another Jewish Prophet to appear.
But I really digress…
The Church survives precisely because it is timeless. It is Timeless because Truth is timeless. It is at once popular and unpopular, and here embraced, and there crucified. This has everything to do with what is popular in a given place and/or a given time.
We know from art history that tastes change. Preferences change. From place to place. From era to era.
Societal sensibilities are as steam. Cultural trends as gulf currents, popular tastes like the weather.
Truth is Static. So these complaints and rebellions against Her are neither unique in time (history) nor unexpected. These are as Judas, with us from the very beginning of Church History.
The relative offense finite secularists and bigots claim Her Teachings represent to them is inconsequential. Truly.
So, when the President suggests that he will seek compromise with the Church and Her position on the new, unconstitutional overstep of the HHS, he reveals himself arrogant (old news), ignorant of Church Teaching… and, perhaps most problematic, possessing no real appreciation about the very nature of the Immortal Church – Her Stubborn Proclivities.
You can crucify the Christ, Rome… but the Christ’s Body will not die. Martyrs’ Blood courses through the Body, Nero.
Let the Dead bury the dead. Prudent advice. And if that confuses you… you’re about to get a free lesson in nuance. This is a real, honest-to-goodness Teachable Moment. Embrace it.