Thursday, August 10, 2017

Problem of Criticizing the Church

“I appeal to you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

Why did the Lord say this? Do you ever hear any dissension in our community? Are their doubters about various aspects of our faith? Are their some who are disgruntled by our clergy or some other member?

Of course there are and the next question is what is the consequence of this dissension? Isn't it a distraction from what we all seek? We seek to become united with Christ yet we too often focus on our disagreements with one another. When we expend our energy in this way we are unable to do what it is needed to do to be united with Christ.

The Church is the Body of Christ and we are His Body. When our body's parts are not in harmony, we do not feel well. We are unable to function properly. The same is true with The Church, Christ. It is not able to perform what do it is supposed to very well. When we realize who we are in the Church we can have nothing but joy of love, of being one with everyone. We love each other and pray for each other, desiring that not one soul be lost, that we all together will be with Christ in Paradise when the time comes. This is the truth about the Church. Whoever becomes Baptized and Chrismated is on the path to be saved and have life eternal. For this to be realized we need to support each other in our struggles. 

Saint Porphyrios says, 
“ If we do not become one with the earthly Church here and now, we are in danger of losing the heavenly Church too.”
The saint says. 
“We should not give credence to those who make accusations against the clergy… The same is true for lay members. We are all the Church… We love the Church when we embrace with our prayers each of her members… We need to take care of ourselves as well by observing the formal aspects: to participate in the sacraments, especially the sacrament of Holy Communion.” 
This is what the Church is all about. Christ offers Himself in the sacraments and above all in Holy Communion. We should never voluntarily turn away from this gift.

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