Why We Have A Church
There’s a common belief these days that while God might exist, and while we might worship him in our own way and according to our own concept of who he is, we nevertheless do not need to belong to “organized religion.” Religion, they say, is the cause of so much controversy, warfare and inhumanity throughout history, that it isn’t worth the trouble of having. That’s the opinion of a growing number of people.
Even we are in danger of falling into this trap. We make the mistake of agreeing with our enemies, that we have somehow abandoned the Catholic Church which has been destroyed by the modernists, and so now we don’t need to belong to the Catholic Church. So we just come to St. Margaret Mary’s and assume we’re part of a separate “religion” that follows the old ways of the Church. Such ideas are a fallacy, and we must be very careful not to think such things.
The fact is, we are members of the Catholic Church. I’m not going to bring up right now all the arguments why and how this is—it’s outside the scope of what I’d like to focus on. Let me just repeat to you what you already know, that it is we who are faithful to the Catholic Church, and that it is the modernist clergy who have betrayed their role as keepers of the Faith. So long as we practice that Faith, there is, still, a Catholic Church.
But the objection of so many today that we don’t need an organized religion is one that needs to be addressed. And we have an easy answer for them… We simply don’t care that you don’t think we need an organized religion, a Church! We don’t care because God begs to differ with you, and we follow God. His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, went to the trouble of founding a Church with St. Peter as its head. This is a fact, easily provable by Holy Scripture, so for anyone to deny the usefulness of having a Church is to attack the wisdom of Almighty God himself for having built one.
Sometimes though, if only for the sake of charity it’s necessary to explain things in human terms. After all, these people who question God’s wisdom are hardly likely to accept the argument of Scriptural evidence or even Divine Authority. They want to know why. And while such an insistence may smack of arrogance, we must overcome their pride with our humble simplicity and explain with charity the reason why God founded an organized religion.
It boils down to a conflict between time and eternity. For our Everlasting God to save mankind from all our sins, he promised our forefather Abraham that he would send a Saviour. He first demanded that Abraham should sacrifice his son Isaac to him, a demand that Abraham was reluctant but willing to meet. At the last moment, as we know, God sent an angel to prevent Isaac being sacrificed by his father. God did this to show that the usual animal sacrifices were not enough, and that not even human sacrifices were sufficient, let alone appropriate, to make reparation for the infinite nature of mankind’s offences against their God. The sacrifice must be of a divine nature.
But how can God be sacrificed, how can God die? It’s impossible. It cannot happen. And so God deigned to send his Son to be born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, God and yet a man. He took human form, and as a man he could die. Meanwhile, his divine nature allowed his death to be sufficient to make up for our sins against an infinite God.
Hence, the conflict between time and eternity. The Sacrifice of Christ as a man had to take place in time, within the framework of history, it had to “happen” at a particular moment of that history. It’s easy to understand that by his death, Christ could save all those who lived before him in time. But how were they to be saved who should live after him? How could man be saved hundreds, even thousands of years, after Christ died on the Cross? How was God going to give his grace to them? How were they going to know about him, or know his teachings? All this was to be accomplished by the foundation of a “Church.”
“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” With these words, Christ instituted the Church to continue his work and teachings that his short human life would not permit. The Church’s mission was to continue his work of teaching the ignorant, visiting the sick, helping the poor, forgiving sins—all the things our Lord accomplished during his 33 years of life. He commanded that all men should hear and obey the Church’s teaching, which was essentially the teaching he himself revealed. If we do so hear and obey, we are loyal children of the Church. If we disobey or revolt against those teachings, we are traitors not only to our Church, but to God himself whose teachings they are, and of whose Church we are all called to be faithful members.
So I ask you, who are the traitors today? Is it we who cling to those teachings, to those same sacraments and sources of grace that God so lovingly gave us? Or are the traitors those popes and bishops who have followed the likes of Martin Luther and Henry VIII to deny the supremacy and unique ark of salvation which is the Catholic Church? When the current pope of Rome enshrines the statue of the pagan goddess Pachamama for us to worship, while at the same time excommunicating those who continue to assist at the true Mass, do we even need to think twice about who the traitor is?
So when we stand to say the Nicene Creed now, let us enthusiastically and without reservation cry out within our hearts the words of the priest, that “I believe in one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.” Because so many who claim to members of that Church don’t.