Developing love for the Church
Nowadays, with love itself being distorted by detaching it from its true source, pattern and end, this duty to love the Church is getting urgent. We should love the Church by knowing more about its nature and purpose, and the implications and consequences that such knowledge naturally brings about. We should try our best to have the very mind of the Church and to learn how to engage it with our worldly and temporal affairs.
The Church is nothing other than the people of the God, gathered together at the cost of his own life on the cross by Christ. This is because we from the beginning are meant to be God’s people, members of his family, partakers of his divine life.
We have to understand that this gathering of the people of God is not achieved merely by some political, social or economic maneuverings. It is a gathering that is described as “communion,” where our heart and mind work in sync with the mind and will of God.
As members of the Church, living members of Christ’s mystical body and God’s people, we need to enter the mind of the Church to be vitally connected with the mind of Christ. The mind of the Church is none other than the mind of Christ, the mind of God himself, as it is lived out in minds of each one of us. The mind of the Church therefore is dynamically lived in history, with the full complement of our human condition.
The mind of the Church has to contend with the different factors that condition our human existence and our effort to live with God. There’s our culture, our physical, emotional, geographical, social and political conditions that can be as varied as can be, etc.
To acquire the mind of the Church has endless ways and possibilities, since it never means doing it in a uniform way, identical, rigid, monolithic. It simply flows and streams, open to anything, adapting to the lay of the land, yet tending toward its proper destination.
We need to look at Christ for the proper way to do the Church-world engagement. While it is a divine institution, the Church is also human, subject to all other human factors—social, historical, cultural, political, etc.
The Church leaders who are supposed to orchestrate Church-world engagement should have a good understanding of how to do things in this regard. The organic link between these two aspects of Christian life should be lived and clearly expressed in all the pertinent public pronouncements and actuations. We should avoid giving the impression, no matter how slight, of interventions by Church leaders in temporal affairs as being purely social or economic or political in nature only.