I’m physically drained this week, so not only is my assignment for my online class late, but it is also a little cheap. And since my recent posts have been my class assignments, this post is likewise late, cheap, and a bit repetitive, probably confusing. God is merciful and we are created as images of God, so I pray that you will be merciful too!
Continuing the love story of our lives, I answered this assignment question: Why does Lumen Gentium call the Church “the universal sacrament of salvation”?
“Sacraments are outward signs of inward grace, instituted by Christ for our sanctification.” (New Advent Encyclopedia.) The Church is instituted by Christ for humankind’s sanctification, for our salvation, and that is why Lumen Gentium describes the Church as “the universal sacrament of salvation.” For the Church makes visible the mystery of God’s love for us, gathering people all over the world in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is because of God’s love for humankind that God wills us to be united to Him, and to one another, intimately participating in the eternal life of God, which is love, in blessed goodness. Humans have turned away from God’s will, have sinned, and have become disordered, and the world disordered with us. God the Father’s plan to save us was to send God the Son to dwell among us, as one of us, so that, in Christ, the Father could “reestablish all things.” The mission of Jesus Christ, fully divine and fully human, was to make manifest God’s love for humankind by giving His life on the Cross and, in rising from the dead, drawing all things to Himself so that we may be conformed to His likeness and fully live in the divine life of love. “He sent His life-giving Spirit upon His disciples and through Him has established His Body which is the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation” (Lumen Gentium 48.) The Holy Spirit animates us in loving union with God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — and with one another and with the whole world in need of salvation, so that we may be able, by the grace of God, to carry out Christ’s mission.
The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ: to save human beings from falling away from the eternal reality of God’s love. The Church is not only a sign of humankind’s unity with God and one another, but also God’s way of effecting that unity. “In her [the Church], this unity is already begun, since she gathers men “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues”; at the same time, the Church is the “sign and instrument” of the full realization of the unity yet to come” (CCC 775.)
© 2019 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.