Philip F. Lawler
Phil is the editor of, which brings you daily news headlines from a Catholic perspective. He is the author of The Faithful Departed, a history of the Church in Boston and the scandal of the abuse of children by priests.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Analogy between the Church and the Individual

The thing that troubles, scares or warns me is the analogy that exists between the Church and the individual. Just as the churchmen lose focus and wreck the train when they are overly busy with the affairs of the world, so it is with us individuals. The worldly activities are counterfeits for the pure action that is required of us, complete surrender.

The surgery that is required to correct the imbalance is embarrassing, humbling, humiliating, and searingly painful. I think we have to get over not liking it -- and I don't like that either! Nonetheless, lest we lose heart, there is an up-note and that is blessedness just around the corner, and in the end, it will be in plain sight. So it is not just about the Church; it is about us - as individuals.

1 comment:

Leila said...

Ted, that's so true! We see so many, for instance in Voice of the Faithful, externalizing their faith, blaming the bishops for their ills, and residing in that place of comfort that we are told is not a good place!

And we -- orthodox Catholics, not VOF types -- are not immune from all this and more -- pride, anyone?

At the same time, the surgery -- God's grace -- is, by His holy will, mediated through the Church and her sacraments. So the betrayal of the bishops is one that cuts to the heart -- cuts out the heart.

I have never had my faith tested as much as in the past few years as I have realized, through Phil's writing of this book, how deep their betrayal has gone.

Why? Because it seems clear -- and this is what the book is about -- that they, the bishops, are willing to sell off precisely my hope of sanctification. They can't do it, of course, and that's my only ray of light. But they are willing.