Faith is Necessarily Ecclesial

Our age is often called the ‘me-generation’ because of the emphasis on privatized spirituality/practice of faith. Hence, we have to constantly remind ourselves that Christian life does not grow in isolation. We draw the energy we need to grow into mature Christians not only from Christ but also from his Church, the community of believers. This has to be so, for the Church is the Body of Christ (Eph 1: 23) which treasures in its bosom the eternal truths about Jesus Christ.

Those who have been born into the Church through baptism, will have to learn to appreciate their privilege in belonging to the Church and resist the temptation to break with it for insubstantial reasons. Deploring those who had left the Church St. John wrote, “They went out from us but they were not of us” (1 Jn 2:19).

In the past few decades, some have left the Church because our post-modern humanity glorifies reason and looks down on faith as a dimension of the past, something insufficient for modern ways of living and irrelevant to society (Ref. Pope Francis, Light of Faith, # 1-3). Some have switched over to non-denominational churches because they are not comfortable with the well-structured liturgy in the Catholic Church; perhaps they look for some novel way of worship and entertainment.  In other cases, people leave the Church because God is not a priority in their lives; some also might have family issues which lead them to a crisis of faith.

Those who leave the Church or don’t attend Church on Sundays fail to understand the fact that when the flames of faith die out, all other lights begin to dim. Those who go in search of ‘quenching their thirsts’ through some allurements only receive temporary satisfaction; they need to realize that they ultimately lose their path and end up in chaos.

Let me reiterate: Faith is necessarily ecclesial; it is professed from within the body of Christ as a concrete communion of believers.

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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