Three Minutes with Newman
Three Minutes with Newman
What is the Church and can we Trust it?
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The present crisis in the Church is a crisis of the Church, that is, its members. Some have left or are leaving, and some remain but with little trust. And many are returning to the foundations of the faith and asking the simple but essential questions we all need to revisit, like, “what is the Church and can we trust it?”
The Church is too profound to be captured in a single image, but the word “church”  itself translates “to call out of“ and means “a convocation or an assembly. It designates the assemblies of the people, usually for a religious purpose” (Catechism). The Church is the people of God, as foreshadowed in the children of Israel, and now fully expressed as the Body of Christ. The Church is the sheepfold, the cultivated field, the building of God, of which Christ is the cornerstone.  She is mater et magistra – our mother and teacher – who cares for us.  She is also the Bride of the Christ: “It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly ‘nourishes and cherishes’” (Catechism).
The Church is not an inanimate institution, nor is she a clerical service organization; she is the community of believers who are incorporated into Christ through Baptism  When we say she is the people of God, we see that she is us – ordinary men and women trying to sanctify ourselves through our work; sinners in need of daily forgiveness. Moreover, the Church administers the sacraments, the visible signs that communicate an invisible grace, by which Christ gives supernatural life to men and heals their sins. Christ is truly present in the Holy Sacrament, and before this mystery of faith and love, Blessed Newman exclaims: “O my God, holiness becometh Thy House, and yet Thou dost make Thy abode in my breast. My Lord, my Saviour, to me Thou comest, hidden under the semblance of earthly things, yet in that very flesh and blood which Thou didst take from Mary.”
When we say she is our mother and teacher,  we see that she is the men and women the Holy Spirit has chosen to be a conduit for His words, words that never fail even when the voices speaking do.  In these uncertain times, when shepherds have failed to protect their sheep, many wonder if they can trust the Church. While individuals will fail, Christ has promised us that the Church will not fail. St. Matthew quotes our Lord as saying that He will build his Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (16:19).  This indefectibility (inability to fail) He ensures especially to the Seat of Peter, the See of

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