The Church Visible, y’all. It’s right out in the open.
Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matt 16:16-19
“Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matt 18:18
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.” Luke 22:32
The above words, spoken by our Lord and Savior, are the divine promises of papal protection given to Peter and his successors. Remember, the papacy is conferred by Christ Himself, not by the Cardinals, not by the Church, nor through the Church, but DIRECTLY BY CHRIST. When He does this, he also confers the supernatural negative protection that binds the pope from teaching error, precisely because Christ binds himself to the pope and to canon law. Since it’s impossible for Christ to bind Himself to error, we have a DIVINE GUARANTEE that the outpouring of supernatural grace will be superabundant to point of… well, I think you get it.
Now surely at some point in your life, you have sensed moments of special grace. Perhaps these came at a specific point in time, or perhaps it was over an extended period of time. Anyone attempting to live their lives in conformity with the Gospels knows what I’m talking about here. It’s a powerful sensation, and yet it must be nothing compared to the outpouring of grace supplied to a true pontiff, wouldn’t you say?
So compare and contrast the scriptures and my short reflection with the following:
“The mere fact that I now dress all in white has not made me any less sinful or holier than before.”
“I guess my experience of God hasn’t fundamentally changed.”
“I speak to the Lord as before. I feel God gives me the grace I need for the present time. But the Lord gave it to me before.”
“My relationship with the Lord has not changed.”
All of the above are Bergoglio quotes from a few weeks ago, published yesterday by La Civilta Cattolica HERE.