From the comment section on Home to Rome Jim writes:
“In the United Church of Christ we say that “No Matter who you are or where you are on the Faith Journey, you are welcome here.” This guy is clearly in an important time in his faith journey. It is my hope that this is good for him and draws him closer to Christ and the fullness of living the faith. The greatest commandment is about love and not truth. Each person must find their way to live in the fullness of God’s love. I agree that you can’t be a Christian without a community of faith. The Roman Catholic Church offers a very structured community for those whose faith journey needs that kind of support to sort out the many questions of faith and life. I will pray for David on this next chapter in his faith journey. I celebrate the many communities of faith that support people in living the fullness of their Christian faith. I have found that community of faith in the United Church of Christ that has helped me on my faith journey.”
Catholics share much with our separated brothers and sisters; many are good and holy people. But Jim, as you know, we believe that the fullness of the Christian faith is found in the Catholic Church. She is the Church established by Jesus Christ. The only one (except for the Orthodox schism—which is different) until the 16th century.
It is tragic that Jesus prayed that we all be one, but we are a more and more divided people. The Body of Christ is fractured.
And all are indeed welcome in the Catholic Church. If you attended Mass on a typical Sunday you will find rich, middle class, poor, homeless people; black, brown, white; Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, the young, the old, the well, the sick, the weary etc.
I for one will always move down the pew for one more sinner. We are all unfinished Christians.
Please don’t try to reduce my faith to a matter of needing support. I am a Catholic, because I believe, after nearly twenty years of studying, that the Church is true. As for support, every human being is utterly dependent on God whether we know it or not.
All, faith, all grace, all hope comes from God as a free and unearned gift.
The greatest commandment is love. The vocation of every Christian is to love God and our neighbor. Absolutely.
But Christian love is more than a feeling or a sentiment. It involves the head as well as the heart. It involves Orthodoxy (right thinking); Orthopraxy (right doing); and Orthopathy (right feeling).
The kind of love that we are called to is self-giving, sacrificial love. Jesus, by dying on the cross modeled perfect love for us. That is what real love is. You know the kind of love that resulted in all but one of the Apostles being martyred. It is the kind of love that resulted in many martyrs in the early Church until the Edict of Milan in 313.
Martyrs die for the truth, because they love.
Pope Benedict in his first encyclical, God is love, said:
…..Love embraces the whole of existence in each of its dimensions, including the dimension of time. It could hardly be otherwise, since its promise looks towards its definitive goal: love looks to the eternal. Love is indeed “ecstasy”, not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus towards authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God: “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it” (Lk 17:33), as Jesus says throughout the Gospels (cf. Mt 10:39; 16:25; MkLk 9:24; Jn 12:25). In these words, Jesus portrays his own path, which leads through the Cross to the Resurrection: the path of the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, and in this way bears much fruit. Starting from the depths of his own sacrifice and of the love that reaches fulfillment therein, he also portrays in these words the essence of love and indeed of human life itself. 8:35;
We are called to love in truth. It is not an either or choice. We are called to bear witness to the truth. Remember that Jesus revealed to us that he is the Truth. The CCC states.
2465 The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His “faithfulness endures to all generations.” Since God is “true,” the members of his people are called to live in the truth.
2466 In Jesus Christ, the whole of God’s truth has been made manifest. “Full of grace and truth,” he came as the “light of the world,” he is the Truth. “Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know “the truth [that] will make you free” and that sanctifies. To follow Jesus is to live in “the Spirit of truth,” whom the Father sends in his name and who leads “into all the truth.“To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes or No.'”
Love comes from Jesus. Love comes from Truth. The pierced side of Christ is where we can begin to understand truth. It is where we learn the definition of love. To love is to die to self and become another Christ. Period
We simply cannot love if we do not live in truth. As Christians we cannot resort to Pilot’s question, which is also an answer, What is Truth?
Jesus is the answer to the question.