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Veni Creator
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Thoughts for the Week


Low Sunday

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
27th April 2014

Cardinal Newman on Christ and His Empire

Our Lord came to form a kingdom all over the earth unto the end of time. And to this end the commission to preach the Gospel, etc. (Mark xvi. 15.) - Now observe what a great problem is this. It had never been done before; it has never been done since, except in the instance of that kingdom. Why, a large empire extending over many countries! Even the Jews, small as they were, could not keep together in one. Divisions of Reuben - Benjamin slaughtered; ten tribes; various sects, Pharisees, etc. And likewise the same is the case with the Protestant sects, but the Catholic Church has lasted through all time, and is as much or more one now than ever she has been.

Today's Mass tells us in the epistle and gospel how it is, and what means God took. It was by means of faith, which is not only the beginning of all acceptable service, but is the binding principle of the Church. 'This is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.' Now consider this attentively. It is a problem which has never been solved before. He did not take self-interest, worldly benefit, etc., because they would not last; and it is what the world proposes to mankind. When He would make a universal empire, He did not take a book or law for the basis. Some would have said the Bible, but the event, the divisions of Protestants show it would not do.

Not a law, nor politics, nor episcopacy (as Anglo-Catholics say). Nor reason (as Liberals and Latitudinarians will say), for it only arrives at opinion. Nor love (as religious persons may think), quoting: 'By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, because you have love one for another'; for concupiscence overcomes love, and the good will never be the many. Some principle must be taken which all can have. Therefore He took faith - a supernatural gift. Faith may be possessed by good and bad, and is most influential; even the bad are made to serve His glory and praise. And it is the bond, for thus all have common objects. Faith is not easily lost. They obey because they believe. It is not the Church enforces on them faith, but faith obliges them to take the Church (to the ends of the earth) (1 John ii. 20). This is our consolation at all times. Our very sins do not overcome the Church, for faith is independent of sin.

'O Lord grant that I may see you in all the actions of your Church, your mystical body and proclaim it throughout the world!'