The State Were In
Lately, I seem to be asked a lot about what I think of the state of the Church. I suppose, because I have produced some writing which is quite critical of certain ideas and behavior in vogue among segments of churchmen and women, its presumed that I will have a pessimistic analysis. And its true: My feelings about heresy and scandal are intense. I cant pretend that I dont suffer over every article I write that deals with these matters. I ache for the faithful; I ache for the perpetrators; I ache for myself.
Is the Church in our century more troubled than in any previous? One can argue the point both ways. The truth is that the Church Militant has always had a pretty rough time of it. The truth is, were in pretty rough times right now.
Within that thought of the pain and failure and persecution which the Church has borne and continues to bear is the answer to what I think about the state of the Church: The state of the Church on earth is to struggle; The state of the Church in purgatory is to suffer; The state of the Church Triumphant is to rejoice. We experience all three at different moments but mostly, we struggle.
The great thing is where we fall in the midst of that struggle. Are we the sinners bringing shame and sorrow to the body of Christ. Sadly, yes. Are we the penitent supplicants afraid to so much as lift our eyes to God? Hopefully, so. Are we the defenders of the True Faith, prepared to place our time, energy, money, and perhaps even our lives at the Lords service? Pray God for the grace that it may be. There are terrible mysteries at work here.
We are privileged to participate in the great drama of our own salvation or perdition. We battle and suffer and pray to triumph. Its both an exhilarating and a frightening position to be in, as souls can be lost or gained ones own, included.
But the Church itself, betrayed from within and crucified from without, beloved of Her faithful and nourished by Her Lover, is always a glorious Bride. The truth is, being a Christian was never an easy state to be in.