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Friday, December 02, 2005

It's Not About Who Doesn't Get In

Mark Shea, fave author/blogger/sometimes-mentor, makes the case that the Church and the sacraments are not about keeping people out. It is perfectly true that many Catholics might entertain such a mistaken notion. I suppose it's human nature to extend "who gets in" to "therefore, so and so won't get in because ...." But wasn't it St. Paul who left room for people who don't get to hear the gospel but have should be able to discern God through his creation and through natural law that is discernable even to them? There will always be some who are "invincibly ignorant" of the Lord. Why focus on where they will go? Focus instead on inviting everyone into the kingdom! The Church militant is the city built on top of a hill, a sign to the nations (which requires visible unity, I might add, not visible division), a key instrument of the Lord to reach out to the world, inviting them into his family, his kingdom. They should be enticed to "taste and see the goodness of the Lord" for themselves, in the sacraments, in the written Word of God, in the mostly Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ himself. What the nations should first notice about this city is its light, not the height and impossible strength of its walls. Drawing near, they should marvel at the joy and love evident among its citizens, not their shrill arguments. Like pagan Rome of old, they should marvel and say "See how these Christians love each other!"

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