Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

In these seemingly dark days, it is perhaps too easy to lose faith, lose focus, lose ourselves in the madness. But God sees all, and God in in control. He already built a mechanism to deal with this crisis, you are a participant in this mechanism whether you know it or not. It is called the Mystical Body of Christ. If you are familiar with the term, but you’ve never done much study or meditation on this concept, pull up a chair!

We are all united in Christ. We are the body, He is the Head. Being united in Christ means being in union with Him as Head, but we are also in union with other members of the body, as one body. Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers are all over this. The supernatural union is more real and far superior to any physical union.

Being in union with one another means we can share things. The actual operator of this union is the Holy Ghost, so we are talking infinite power. Those of us with the privilege of having access to open churches, access to Adoration, access to the Mass… we have a grave duty toward our brethren with whom we are united, though physically separated. We have a duty to increase our presence, our worship, and our prayers, in accordance with our state in life and with proper considerations for vulnerable individuals (if you are sick or elderly, you shouldn’t be going to church).

Those of us with access, through divine worship and the communion of saints, can be vectors of grace for those who cannot attend. For those with no good options, don’t be angry, but instead unite yourselves to the body, and to Christ your Head. If you know when the private Masses are being offered, unite yourself in prayer during those times. Go to http://Latinmass.live and meditate on the reality of the supernatural union you enjoy with every person in that church on your screen. Your brethren are fighting for you, and the Holy Ghost holds us all in mystical union. We know you are there, and we are offering all of your needs to your Father in Heaven. And lo, those at home can also be a vector for grace, through Spiritual Communions and additional acts of piety. Our mutual participation in the Mystical Body can be elevated, and our current ordeal is most likely the single greatest opportunity for fraternal charity in the history of the human race. So take heart! Anything about the current situation that lends itself toward bitterness or envy, or even worse, sloth or despair, is not of God. Although a little righteous anger toward your government overlords is probably okay.

Tremendous graces are being offered at this time. Mind your bearing. If you are able-bodied and have access the the Holy and August Sacrifice, even if you have been dispensed from it, understand what you are reading here and the incredible mission you have been invited to execute. If you don’t have access, tremendous graces are also being offered to you at this time. Mind your bearing. You can come through this with a step change in your spiritual life.

Here is a taste of the fantastic encyclical from Pope Pius XII on the subject of the mystical union. These paragraphs introduce the basic concept, which is then developed into its various fruits. Link at the end to go read the whole thing:

MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI, Pope Pius XII, 29 June 1943

11. After pondering all this long and seriously before God We consider it part of Our pastoral duty to explain to the entire flock of Christ through this Encyclical Letter the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ and of the union in this Body of the faithful with the divine Redeemer; and then, from this consoling doctrine, to draw certain lessons that will make a deeper study of this mystery bear yet richer fruits of perfection and holiness. Our purpose is to throw an added ray of glory on the supreme beauty of the Church; to bring out into fuller light the exalted supernatural nobility of the faithful who in the Body of Christ are united with their Head; and finally, to exclude definitely the many current errors with regard to this matter.

12. When one reflects on the origin of this doctrine, there come to mind at once the words of the Apostle: “Where sin abounded, grace did more abound.”[6] All know that the father of the whole human race was constituted by God in so exalted a state that he was to hand on to his posterity, together with earthly existence, the heavenly life of divine grace. But after the unhappy fall of Adam, the whole human race, infected by the hereditary stain, lost their participation in the divine nature,[7] and we were all “children of wrath.”[8] … As He hung upon the Cross, Christ Jesus not only appeased the justice of the Eternal Father which had been violated, but He also won for us, His brethren, an ineffable flow of graces. It was possible for Him of Himself to impart these graces to mankind directly; but He willed to do so only through a visible Church made up of men, so that through her all might cooperate with Him in dispensing the graces of Redemption. As the Word of God willed to make use of our nature, when in excruciating agony He would redeem mankind, so in the same way throughout the centuries He makes use of the Church that the work begun might endure. [11]

13. If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ – which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church [12] – we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression “the Mystical Body of Christ” – an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the Holy Fathers.

14. That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures. “Christ,” says the Apostle, “is the Head of the Body of the Church.”[13] If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: “Though many we are one body in Christ.”[14] But it is not enough that the Body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: “the Church is visible because she is a body.[15] Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are untied by an invisible bond.

15. But a body calls also for a multiplicity of members, which are linked together in such a way as to help one another. And as in the body when one member suffers, all the other members share its pain, and the healthy members come to the assistance of the ailing, so in the Church the individual members do not live for themselves alone, but also help their fellows, and all work in mutual collaboration for the common comfort and for the more perfect building up of the whole Body.

16. Again, as in nature a body is not formed by any haphazard grouping of members but must be constituted of organs, that is of members, that have not the same function and are arranged in due order; so for this reason above all the Church is called a body, that it is constituted by the coalescence of structurally untied parts, and that it has a variety of members reciprocally dependent. It is thus the Apostle describes the Church when he writes: “As in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office: so we being many are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.”

http://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_29061943_mystici-corporis-christi.html

3 thoughts on “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

  1. Thanks Mark. Most excellent and needed thoughts at this trying time in particular.

    To me the Corvid-19 virus is a metaphor for the sinful state of the world and the sad state of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

    We truly need a Pope like Pius XII once again—-and soon.

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