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Archive for the ‘Jesus Christ’ Category
At a recent address on the liturgy, Pope Benedict said the following:
The liturgy, … lives a proper and constant relationship between sound ‘traditio’ and legitimate ‘progressio’, clearly seen by the conciliar constitution Sancrosanctum Concilium at paragraph 23. … Not infrequently are tradition and progress in awkward opposition. Actually though, the two concepts are interwoven: tradition is a living reality that, in itself, includes the principle of development, of progress.
This idea of the relationship – and tension – between tradition and progress has been a theme of Pope Benedict’s for his whole ecclesiastical career. We see it in his most recent book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, in which BXVI notes that Jesus himself was also a progressive traditionalist – adhering to the Law (“I have not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it”), yet also taking no issue with going beyond calcified ideas of how to follow God.
This has been the great internal struggle of the past 100 years in the Church. The first half of the 20th century saw the end of an era in which the practice of the Catholic Faith had become stale and even ritualistic. Then Vatican II unleashed a host of forces which wanted “progress” simply for the sake of progress. Throughout his life, however, Pope Benedict has consistently urged a progressive traditionalism, in which we stay in continuity with the faith of our spiritual forefathers, yet develop it more deeply to address the issues of modern man. To the world, this makes him appear inconsistent: he was a “progressive” before Vatican II, and then a “traditionalist” after the Council. Yet it is BXVI who has been consistent while the world around him sways to the latest fad.
We too must strive to be progressive traditionalists. We do not want change simply because the world demands it, yet we also should not be reactionaries who simply reject change because some want it. Instead, like Pope Benedict (and like Jesus), we embrace our traditions, yet realize that they develop over time so that we can more deeply draw closer to our Lord.
For years I have been a fan of alternative history – those fictional books which start with a premise such as “What if the South had won the Civil War?” or “What if Hitler had been assassinated in the 1920′s?” and then projects the “future” after that event. One of the values of these exercises is that it allows us to see how pivotal certain events in history are. So what about the most pivotal event in all of human history? What if Christ had not risen from the dead? What would the world look like?
- Most obviously, with no Resurrection, there is no Christian religion. Jesus is rejected as a failed Jewish prophet, for his most famous prophecy – that he would be raised on the third day – never came to pass.
- The Jewish Temple is still destroyed in 70A.D., and the Jewish people – God’s chosen people – are a small, persecuted minority with little influence in the world.
- The Roman Empire falls, but there are no Christian monasteries to keep Western civilization alive and we are living in a post-Barbarian, pagan, world.
- The calendar does not read “2011,” but instead is based on the foundation of the barbarian conquest. It is currently the year 1560.
- Concepts such as care for the poor, tolerance of other beliefs and mercy to criminals are absolutely foreign concepts to us all. Rule by the strongest is all that matters. There are no hospitals or soup kitchens or food pantries.
- There has been no scientific revolution, as no one in the West sees the world as the one God’s creation. Technology today is still at the level of a millennium ago. The “new world” has yet to be discovered.
- The whole world has no hope of escaping from their sins. Most people have no concept of an afterlife in which their bodies will be gloriously raised and in which they will be united to a loving God for all eternity. Darkness reigns.
Praise be to God that, in the real world, His Son defeated death and raised gloriously to life on the third day. He is risen!
The Lord’s descent into hell
What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.
Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.
The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.
‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.
‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.
‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.
‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.
‘See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.
`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.
‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.
“The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages.”
One of the most profound insights from Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is his meditation on the words of the crowd when they condemned Jesus to crucifixion: “His blood be upon us and upon our children” (Matthew 27:25). This passage has famously been used throughout history to condemn the Jewish race for the crime of deicide, but Benedict sees something far deeper at work here. Unlike the blood of other innocent men, it does not condemn, it redeems. The truth is that we all have his blood on upon us, for every time we sin, we crucify our Lord. But this is the blood of mercy, which cleanses us of our sins. This is the blood which Christ tells us we must drink or we do not have eternal life. This is the life-giving blood which pours out from the pierced side of Christ and forms the Church. This is the blood which is our salvation.
May it be upon us and upon our children.
(The following is from Who is Jesus Christ? Unlocking the Mystery in the Gospel of Matthew, pp. 133-134.)
In Acts, Luke relates that the Church in its earliest days was united in purpose and action:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
— Acts 2:42
This description shows the vital relationship between the “breaking of the bread” and achieving true fellowship. As the Shepherd of the Church, Jesus has remained with his sheep, keeping them united in one flock, primarily through the sacrament of the Eucharist — the “breaking of the bread,” which is the sacrament of unity. The Eucharist binds the Church into a mystical communion that is impossible through any human means. Simply put, without the Eucharist, there is no Church: “The Eucharist makes the Church” (CCC 1395). Examining the history of the Church, one cannot but marvel that it still even exists today; the attacks from both within and without have been constant and, at times, brutal. From heresies arising from the bosom of the Church to persecutions launched by the state, the gates of hell have not relented in their assaults (cf. Mt 16:18). How could a purely human institution survive through the centuries against such opposition? But the Church has the benefit of a divine Shepherd who not only watches over his flock but gives his body as the very food by which it can remain united and strong.
From the very origins of the Church, her Eucharistic unity is clearly visible. St. Paul writes to the church in Corinth:
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
—1 Cor 10:16-18
It is through participation in the Eucharist that Christ’s followers become more than just a likeminded group of people — they become one body. The Eucharist unites the Church to the saving act of Jesus on the cross, making her part of the world’s redemption.
The Eucharist binds its recipients not only to the Lord but also to each other. In a very real way, the bond a partaker of the Eucharist has with his fellow communicants is deeper than that of flesh and blood. Biological unity is of the flesh, but Eucharistic unity is of the Spirit of God. Christ said in his Eucharistic discourse, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail” (Jn 6:63). Each member of the Church is a true brother and sister in the Lord, and the Church is the family of God. A family may have arguments or disagreements, but nothing can make two of its members cease to be part of the same family. Likewise, the Church cannot be divided as long as it is united in the Eucharist.
My OSV article for Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is now available online:
New ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ book is pope’s opus
In the second volume of his series on Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI shows himself a master theologian, pastor and mystic
The greatness of a great man is not always recognized in his own time. Although some figures are so incredible that everyone immediately realizes their significance, others are only later recognized for their full import. This is true for popes as well. When Pope John Paul II reigned from the chair of Peter, almost everyone realized what a world-changing man he was. But when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became pope, few considered him as much more than a “place-holder” pontiff. Now that he has been pope for almost six years, most pundits would still dismiss his achievements on the stage of Church history.
Yet Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — is one of the greatest theologians to ever hold the office of the papacy, and his impact on the life of the Church — especially in theological studies — can hardly be overstated. Centuries from now, his works will still be studied and examined, and will be impacting Catholic theology in ways we cannot today imagine. He is one of the great minds of our day, despite the fact that the unthinking still paint him as a hard-line “conservative” Catholic.
I was honored to receive an advanced copy of Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week last month, so although it is just being released today, I have already completed it. I have written an article about the book for OSV which should appear shortly, but I also hope to write a few blog posts about it here as well.
It is hard to write anything about this book without sounding like a teenage girl gushing about Justin Bieber. Like the first Jesus of Nazareth book, this volume was outstanding, combining the Pope’s immense talents as a scholar, pastor and mystic. The Pope is able to stand toe-to-toe with any scholar, yet he always keeps a single-minded focus on directing his readers to a personal encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ.
I found many deep insights in this book, but perhaps the most stunning statement made by Pope Benedict is found on the very first page of the Foreword. Our Holy Father writes,
One thing is clear to me: in two hundred years of exegetical work, historical-critical exegesis has already yielded its essential fruit. (Emphasis added)
I had to read that sentence two and three times before I accepted that the Pope really wrote that. In this statement the Pope is challenging the very foundations of the biblical scholarship world. For two hundred years, there has been a race by academics to come up with the “latest” theory about Jesus, resulting in a plethora of contradictory and often ludicrous ideas about “who Jesus really was.” Yet behind this race is not a desire to really know the identity of Jesus, but to create the latest sensation in the academic world, which leads to book contracts and better jobs. If you write that Jesus is who the Church claims him to be, then your academic career will become sidetracked. But if you write (with scholarly authority) that he was a transvestite Muslim, then you are surely on your way to academic fame.
The Pope undercuts all of this. He sees the Historical-Critical Method as a tool with limited applications – and those applications have now yielded their “essential fruit.” In other words, the focus of studies of Jesus should no longer be driven by the Historical-Critical Method, but instead should be driven by a desire to know the Jesus confessed and proclaimed by the Church: the eternal Son of God who saves us from our sins.
And this is the Jesus presented to us in Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week. He is not a figment of some scholar’s imagination, but instead the God-man who millions throughout history have lived and died for. The pope is urging us to encounter this God-man in our own lives today.
Who said the following?
Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I’m not saying I’m a teacher, don’t call me teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet. I’m saying: “I’m the Messiah.” I’m saying: “I am God incarnate.” And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You’re a bit eccentric. We’ve had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don’t mention the “M” word! Because, you know, we’re gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you’re expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he’s gonna keep saying this. So what you’re left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we’re talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we’ve been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had “King of the Jews” on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I’m not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that’s farfetched.
Is it a theologian? A Scripture scholar? A powerful preacher? Nope – it’s Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2.
What is amazing is that Bono really hits the nail on the head. Over the past 200 years there has been a concerted effort to make Jesus “safe” for consumption. He is a nice guy, a great moral teacher, even a prophet. But nothing more. By relegating him to such categories we can handle him – we don’t need to change our lives because of him. But the life and teaching of Jesus doesn’t allow such a cop-out. A nice guy doesn’t get brutally killed at the instigation of a mob like Jesus did. Jesus claimed to be so much more than a simple prophet or moral teacher. He claimed, in ways both subtle and explicit, that he is the divine Son of God and the Savior of the world. Such a declaration demands a response from us. We cannot simply wave him off and go about our lives after encountering Jesus; we must act, either for him or against him.
What will be our response?
Throughout all her history, Israel had been more often defeated than victorious. Whether it was the Babylonians or the Romans, Israel had been unable to overcome her enemies. Even when Israel tasted brief success — during the reign of Solomon, for instance — her unfaithfulness to the Lord had led to disaster. But through all of that history, the faithful had at least the hope of the future Christ, who would exalt God’s people above all nations and restore the covenant with God.
Hope is one of the most powerful forces in human existence. Without hope, it’s almost impossible to accept the hardships of life and overcome even the smallest of obstacles; with it, the fate of entire nations can change. The Church has defined hope as one of the “theological” virtues, along with faith and love, because hope’s ultimate object is God. Hope is always directed toward a better future, and man’s ultimate future of true happiness is union with God himself. This is a primary reason why Jesus was misunderstood and rejected by many of his co-religionists: their hopes were directed toward an earthly resolution, but the mission of Christ was to fulfill the greatest hope of all, fellowship with God. (Who is Jesus Christ, pp. 111-112)
No matter our struggles or sufferings in this world, we have a sure reason to hope – Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior, is coming! Since the Fall God has promised that He will send One who will defeat sin, death and the devil. We celebrate the birth of that One tomorrow – our hope is fulfilled!
In today’s Gospel we read about the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary arrives, “the infant leaped in [Elizabeth's] womb” and Elizabeth proclaims,
Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 1:42-43)
What does Elizabeth mean by “the mother of my Lord?” We cannot automatically assume that she means “God” when she says “Lord”, for the word “Lord” had multiple meanings in the 1st century. As I wrote in Who is Jesus Christ?:
In the Greek-speaking Roman Empire, one term — “kyrios,” translated “Lord” — was used to address anyone of superior status. The term could have a variety of meanings: from the equivalent of the English word “sir” to the title a slave used to address his master or a woman her husband. It was also a term used to address the emperor, and as Caesar-worship developed throughout the Empire, the term “Lord” began to have divine connotations as well. Fundamentally, “Lord” means one “having power,” and more specifically, it was used of those who had power over others.
Greek-speaking Jews of the Empire used the term “Lord” as well, often in the same fashion as their Gentile neighbors. But there was one exception. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, the word “Lord” was used in place of the divine name, which was unutterable. No Jew would say the name of God, so “Lord” was used as a substitute for that name. Thus, because they assigned the term “Lord” to the Almighty, Jews would never use it to refer to the emperor. (pp. 117-118)
Although Elizabeth was most likely Aramaic-speaking, the same general rules applied to her use of the term “Lord” – so Elizabeth could have used “Lord” to refer to anyone who ranked above her in society (such as her husband) or she could have used it to refer to the one true God of the Jews. So which did she mean in the context of Mary’s Visitation?
There can only be one possibility. In no way would the unborn child of her younger cousin rank above Elizabeth in society – who would call their cousin once removed “sir” or “master” before he is even born? And in the context of Elizabeth calling Mary the most blessed among women and declaring that Mary’s very womb was blessed, the only meaning that Elizabeth could have meant by “Lord” was that in some mysterious fashion (which I’m sure Elizabeth herself could not comprehend), Mary was carrying God Himself. As the Council of Ephesus would solemnly declare over 400 years later, Mary truly is theotokos – the Mother of God.
As we prepare for the coming of God made man this Christmas, let us join in Elizabeth’s praise of the mother of her Lord and ours.
In a few days we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a good time to remind ourselves why the Word became flesh, and the Church today in the opening prayer at Mass gives us the reason for this wondrous miracle:
creator and redeemer of mankind,
you decreed, and your Word became man,
born of the Virgin Mary.
May we come to share the divinity of Christ,
who humbled himself to share our human nature,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
The Son of God shares in our human nature so that we can share in his divine nature. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, drawing from Scripture and the Catholic Tradition, emphasizes this connection between God becoming man and our being made like God:
The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pt 1:4): “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 19, 1: PG 7/1, 939) “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” (St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B) “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Opusc. 57, 1-4) (CCC 460)
Too often we look at Heaven as just a really great earth: we eat whatever we want, we hang out with whoever we want and we never get sick or hurt. But Heaven is less about what we do and more about what we become. When we enter into Heaven we are transformed into a new creation: while keeping our human nature we participate in the divine nature. In the scandalous words of St. Athanasius, we “become God” – we are deified. We of course must be careful not to confuse the Christian doctrine of deification with Eastern conceptions which confuse divinity and humanity. But we must also not minimize the great transformation that will take place: we become by grace what God is by nature, all while retaining our human nature and individuality. It might seem impossible to see how this could happen, but we have a model already: Jesus Christ, who is true God and true man. By his incarnation he showed us the path which unites divinity and humanity. In his bountiful love he gives us as a gift what he has by right.
The full name of this blog is “Divine Life: Why We Were Created”. Our deification – being made like God – is the very reason we were created by God; it is the final goal for each and every one of us. The plans God has in store for those who love Him are so much more than just simple happiness and contentment. They include becoming like Him and having our human natures transformed so that they participate in the very divine life of God. This is what we celebrate at this time of year – this is the purpose of Christmas.
During this time of Advent, we prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ by contemplating how God prepared the world for the coming of His Son. We read from the Old Testament prophets, especially Isaiah, who prepared Israel for the Messiah. We put up the Jesse Tree, which details the Davidic lineage of Jesus. And we focus on John the Baptist, the last and greatest Jewish prophet, who pointed to Jesus as the One who would fulfill all the hopes and dreams of the Chosen People.
But God did not only prepare Israel for the coming of His Son; He prepared the whole world. St. Paul tells us that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son” (Galatians 4:4). This “fullness of time” represents more than just the readiness of the Jewish people, but the readiness of all peoples, so that every nation, tribe and race might come to know and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are two primary ways in which God prepared the Gentile world for His Son’s coming: through the Roman Empire and Greek philosophy.
When Jesus was born, the Roman Empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Asia. It was the most efficient government ever seen, and its infrastructure was second-to-none. Travel was relatively easy and safe, and the Pax Romana allowed ideas to spread quickly throughout the land. Imagine if Jesus had been born in southern Africa or North America during the 1st century – can you really imagine his message being spread over so much area in such a short amount of time? The Roman Empire in the 1st century was the perfect time for a new faith to spread far and wide.
And if the Roman Empire provided the physical infrastructure for the spread of the Gospel, Greek philosophy supplied the intellectual infrastructure for its acceptance in the pagan mind. The Jewish people were not philosophers – they were story-tellers. They did not contemplate what God was, but instead focused on what God did for them. There is nothing wrong with this (and in fact, it is the foundation of the only divinely inspired writings in the world), but in order to be embraced by all peoples, Christianity also needed to answer questions related to the nature of God and man. Greek philosophy supplied the means to do that. The early Church Fathers did not unquestioningly accept everything about Greek philosophy, but they did use the truths the Greeks had discovered as the basis for their proclamations about the Trinity and the person of Jesus Christ. Because of Greek philosophy we are able to better understand not only what God does for us, but who He is.
So this Advent, while we are reading the stories of Israel being prepared for the coming of the Son of God, let us also remember that God was working outside of Israel as well to prepare every nation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the most common refrains of modern Evangelical preaching is that “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship.” By this, Evangelicals emphasize that following Christ is not simply following a set of rules and rituals, but is a deep personal relationship – even friendship – with Jesus Christ.
And Pope Benedict agrees with them – to a point. Speaking recently about St. Gertrude, the pope said that “the center of a happy life, a true life, is friendship with Jesus.” In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Benedict wrote that friendship with Jesus is that “on which everything depends.” Someone who claims to be Christian yet does not have a deep friendship with the Lord is either lying or self-deceived.
Yet many Evangelicals take this concept too far. For example, a pastor of a megachurch in California is currently preaching a series of sermons called “Why Jesus Hates Religion.” This pastor states that Jesus believed religion to be worthless and that it “contaminates everything with hypocrisy”. Using the common example of the Pharisees, he preached that Jesus rejected religious practices completely.
So is Christianity a relationship and not a religion? The Catholic answer, in typical Catholic fashion, is “it is both”. If we look at the actions of Christ and his first disciples, we’ll see that there is no dichotomy between religion and relationship – they in fact each strengthen the other.
First we should note that Jesus himself followed the rituals of the Jewish religion. He was circumscribed, he was raised in a practicing Jewish home, and he attended synagogue services and made pilgrimages to the Temple – all “religious” activities. After his Ascension, his followers continued to follow the rituals of the Jewish faith. Over time, these followers did abandon those rituals, but only because they had replaced them with new rituals of Christianity, first and foremost among them the Eucharistic liturgy.
If Christ “hated religion”, then surely he and his closest followers would not have continued to follow religious ceremonies, would they?
But it is also important to remember that Christ emphasized the importance of keeping himself as the center of the Christian faith. When he declared himself as “Lord of the Sabbath”, for example, he was declaring that he was greater than the Sabbath regulations of the time and that they all must be subservient to him. His constant condemnation of the Pharisees were for being hypocritical, and the only way to be hypocritical is to live in a way that you proclaim is false – thus the problem is not in the proclamation, but in the life attached to it.
Man is essentially a religious creature – we are homo religiosus. We were created to be religious, and to deny that is to deny our very nature. The rituals and practices of the Catholic religion are wonderfully suited to lead us into a deep relationship with Christ, and a deep relationship with Christ strengthens our practice of those rituals. As just one example, take the practice of receiving communion. This is, after all, a religious ritual. But by receiving our Lord in the Eucharist, one can be more intimate with Christ than is possible any other way on this side of heaven. Yet if we receive the Eucharist coldly and without love, then we are in danger of making it a means of our condemnation. So again, religion and a loving relationship work together to foster a true devotion to our Lord.
Is Christianity a religion? You bet. Is it a relationship? Absolutely. Let’s move away from the false dichotomy put between them and love and serve our Lord faithfully in the Catholic Church!