Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

One Body In Christ, One in Christ's Body

In chapter 11 of 1 Corinthians, St Paul rebukes the church  for improperly celebrating the Eucharist and not discerning the Lord's body. Just a bit later in his letter he pleads with the church for unity. The Eucharist is indeed about being one with Christ but also one with each other through the correct reception of his body and blood.

For as the body is one, and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body, so also is Christ.    For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free; and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink.
   For the body also is not one member, but many.
    If the foot should say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body ?
    And if the ear should say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
    If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
    But now God hath set the members every one of them in the body as it hath pleased him.
    And if they all were one member, where would be the body?
    But now there are many members indeed, yet one body.
    And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help; nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you.
    Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body, are more necessary.
    And such as we think to be the less honorable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honor; and those that are our uncomely parts, have more abundant comeliness.
    But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honor,
   That there might be no schism in the body; but the members might be mutually careful one for another.
   And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it.
    Now you are the body of Christ, and members of member.

The body of Christ was never meant to be divided.  Christ prayed against schism* as one of his last prayers recorded in the gospel of John:

"I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me."

The Eucharist ensures that all who partake of it remain literally in Christ, one with Him and one with eachother. This alone is reason enough to seek communion with the Church Jesus started. For most of my adult Christian life, I never sensed how the multiplication of sects in Christianity actually stand in opposition to Jesus prayer.  Jesus gave us his body in the Eucharist so we could become a part of him and abide with him, but also remain in unity with each other. When I separated myself from the Eucharist as a young person, I may have told myself "we are all one", but scripture and tradition would suggest the opposite.

*What is schism:
1)A split or division between strongly opposed sections or parties, caused by differences in opinion or belief.
2)The formal separation of a church into two churches or the secession of a group owing to doctrinal and other differences.


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