Monday, October 1, 2007

The Church a Divine Witness

To the Protestant, history must be a record of the past gathered from documents by criticism, fallible as the judge who applies it. To the Catholic, history, though it be of the past, is of the present also. The Church is a living history of the past. It is the page of history still existing, open before his eyes. Antiquity to the Catholic is not a thing gone by; it is here, still present. If Christianity, then, be historical, Catholicism is Christianity.

What is the Church in the mouth from those separated from Catholic unity? Is it more than a human society? Is it not the religious organization of national life? If it be not, like the schools of Athens, collected round the voice of some potent and persuasive teacher, it is, at most, like the Jewish people, an organized government of men, as in temporal matters, so in ecclesiastical. This is the idea of the Church among those separated from unity. But what do you believe when you speak of the Church of God? ... We... believe that the Holy Spirit of God presides over the Church, illuminates it, guides and keeps it; that its voice is the voice of the Holy Spirit Himself; that when the Church speaks, God speaks; that the outward and the inward are one; that the exterior and the interior authority are identified; that what the Church outwardly testifies, the Spirit inwardly teaches; that the Church is the Body of Christ, so united to Christ its Head, that He and it are one...

The Glories of the Catholic Church, Vol. II

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