"Who is the Church?"

By Paul Dion, STL

We are staying with the Apostles' Creed for this week's Burning Question.

The bishops who gathered in Rome for the Ecumenical Council of Vatican II, the only such event of the 20th century, had a lot to say about the Church. In fact that actually spoke from a position of collegial infallibilty about the Church in what is called "DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH."

This question then has a telling difference in its formulation, so be careful how you consider it before you answer.

Here is the question: "WHO IS THE CHURCH?"

It's all yours. Tell us what you think. Post a comment today.

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  1. Anonymous8:16 AM

    The Church is us people coming together to profess our faith in God and live our lives according to the examples of Jesus.

  2. Anonymous12:56 PM

    I think, from a layman's point of view, and perhaps, "historical", if you are asking, "who makes Church Law", who, or what lays down the rules of the Church, I would "think" that, perhaps, it is College of Cardinals. After all it falls on them to pick a Pope, how much more "Churchish" can you get?

  3. Anonymous12:57 PM

    If you are asking the question on an emotional level, I would think that the make-up of the Church is its members, the people, parishioners. After all, if there are no members, or parishioners, there would be no Church

  4. Anonymous12:57 PM

    My first thought for an answer is, God is the Church, and of course those who believe in Him, the faithful make up the Church. I knew there must be more, so I asked my "faithful" Google "Who is the Church?" and the
    EWTN web site @ entitled "Questions About the Origins and Nature of the Church,"provided me with lots of information. The more I read it, the more interesting facts I found, so I recommend this site to anyone who's interested. It's like a book you can't put down. I apologize for the length of this response, but I thought the excerpts below were relevant to our question, so I'll include them, and thank you for helping me to learn more. Our profession of our faith, The Apostles' Creed, is really, vital to us!
    ...Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men to eternal salvation...Christ gave the Church the means whereby man can be sanctified (made holy and pure) and saved....Christ completed the founding of His Church just before His ascension, when He commissioned the apostles to make disciples of all nations.
    ...Baptism, according to...Christ, is the gateway to the Church, a person becomes a member of the Church on receiving this sacrament...a person must profess the one true faith and must not withdraw from the unity of the body of the Church. So when we recite "The Apostles' Creed," whether in His Church during Mass, our perhaps during our daily Rosary we are helping to maintain our membership within His Church.His Church is vital to our "everlasting lives," as our lives are vital to His everlasting Church.

  5. Anonymous12:59 PM

    The People of God are the Church. The people of God are not only those who "confess with (their) lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in (their) hearts that God raised him from the dead" but also those whose prayers (however addressed) and lives manifest their desire to know, love and serve God. If, as St. Paul says in Romans, the existence and nature of God are discernable in His creation then the identity of His servants, His people, must be discoverable in their actions. As C. S. Lewis put it, "You can't do the deeds of Aslan in the service of Tashban. If you do the deeds of Aslan you are serving Aslan. Nor, however well-intentioned, can base deeds be done in the service of the Lord who is Love.

  6. Anonymous11:41 PM

    As I started to say the other morning before my pinkie went wild on me... I love the world too, however, there is so much in it that is negative. For instance, several years ago I gave up tv for Lent. It was the best thing I ever gave up. I don't watch it daily now, I only watch 3 channels and if there is not an old movie on, ( I mean B&W,) I generally give over the control to my husband. I have hated it all these years BECAUSE it takes people away from one another. My mother hated it too for the same reason. we have to compete with it for attention. In my case, my husband. He has always preferred it to real communication with me. But in retrospect, because he couldn't read, it was his only way of getting information about the world. I didn't understand that till VERY recently. It has turned me into a shrew at times, and no wonder he didn't want to talk to me. I treated him like a child watching too much tv. So, now I keep myself very busy, and since we bought a swing for our front porch, he voluntarily sits out there with me and many times without me, ( when the babies are yowling or the parents are yelling). That is one example of 'the world'. TV keeps people from communicating. Not really thinking just vegetating. I guess I am just a needy kind of gal and I don't need the tv, I need people.

    But I have my church activities, my work, my friends, my garden, my brothers and sisters and God has blessed me abundantly with all these. My husband and I have become closer again because we finally agree on what our kids need. They only think they need us, but they cut the apron string a long time ago, I kept tying it back up. I have turned to Jesus more and more and the more I study the Word and pray and reflect, the easier it becomes to do His will in almost everything. I really do believe now that God won't give me more than I can handle, but it sure seems like it is too much sometimes, doesn't it? I strive to be a saint, but fail daily. The good thing is, there is reconciliation with God and I dust myself off, after I kick myself in the fanny, (try that one) and start all over again.

    On the other hand, where would I be without my music, old B&W movies from the 30's and 40's, sunsets and sunrises, rain and thunder, and of course babies and grandchilren, just to name a few. God is really awesome isn't he?

  7. Anonymous11:41 PM

    By Paul Dion, STL

    You have grown into the meaning of he "world"...being in it, but not of it, "working" in it as a "pro-creating" right hand of God.

    I have always had a hard time when I read spiritual comments that give "world" a negative meaning, but the older I get and the more I find biblical hints about this meaning, even in Hebrew Scripture, the more I struggle to bring a deeper appreciation of difference into my own life.

    For me, this is not easy because I love the "world" and I consider it to be my playground as well as my challenge, not always spiritual.

    I have for many decades now been adverse to the spiritual saying, "Every time I go into the world I return less a man." Maybe that's why I'm not dead yet. God is still trying to get the lemondade recipe for Paul Dion right.

    I have saved the best for last. It does not come from me. It comes from a team member, Mr. Dennis Sheahan. It is the best short description of the "world" that I have read. I am placing Dennis' contribution before you so that you can appreciate its depth and blessings just as I do.

    In James' letter "the world" is set in opposition to "the Kingdom" even though the latter term is never mentioned.

    In the Kingdom all centered on the King and His service and all good things are provided in abundance in HIs love. We are never confused about the center or about the order of things as they should be.

    In the world there is an inescapable tendency to place ourselves at the center of things and to use our perceived needs (wants) and their gratification as the standard and measure of goodness. James warns that this confusion can be avoided only by a clear apprehension (grasp) of the centrality of God and His will and our joyful acceptance thereof as the standard and measure of goodness.

    God wants us to be happy, joyous and free and He provides us with the concepts, methods, and tools we need to achieve His desire for us. God's will, to the extent that we seek it out and follow (do) it, contains our happiness: God's love, to the extent that we recognize and accept it, provides all our joy in every moment: rendering service onto God is our perfect freedom (i.e. the freedom to do that which is most conducive to the good order of creation and our own best interests).

    To keep unstained by the world is very tricky business which is why we are afforded the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Eh? Dennis

    Thank you, Dennis