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The Church and the World

The Church is the invisible body of the Lord Jesus Christ and the struggling Church lives in this world by the power of her head, Christ the Lord. The Church, in this world, is like a ship whose sail is the Holy Cross, and whose captain is the Lord Jesus. While this ship sails the seas of this world, the waters of the sea do not enter into the ship. The ship sails the seas of this world against its current, and continually sails by the power of the Holy Spirit against the strong currents of the world. This sailing is the real evidence of both her activity and strength. The Church is extremely useful to the world because it is light, and light dissipates darkness. She has the Prince of this life, and life dissipates the corruption of death. The Church tends to the dwellers of this world in order to lift up the souls slapped by the strong and drowning waves of the world. The Church is the lifeboat that saves and does the work of the Good Samaritan. She does the work of the Lord and Savior.

The Church is not of this world. She is an alien. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own." (John 15:19) The Church does not belong to the world. Her Prince was born on a manger, was chased by the king of this world, and had to run away into Egypt and became Himself an alien. He then went about doing good. Finally, He was accused of blasphemy and plotting against Caesar. They crucified Him because He witnessed for the truth and against evil, which is the world. The Church does not live according to the ways of the world. The Church does not worry about the outside of the cup, but rather worries about the inside. The Church does not run after the latest fashion, but rather keeps the internal beauty of every person through purity. The means of this world are cunning, deceitful, full of lies, hypocritical, full of flattery, and advocating what belongs to Caesar. If this way of life enters into the Church, it would be like a leak into her body from the waters of this world. Solving family problems using sexual and psychological theories is like a ship that runs aground and runs into the rocks of this world. The Church has her own principles: her voluntary socialism, her spiritual peace, her love for everyone, her submittal to the superiors, her humility, her reliance on God and her self-denial. The Church has emptied her heart from the glory of this world. Her heart is full with the love of Christ and the heavenly home. The love of the world is an enmity with God: "Do not love the world or the things in the world." (1st John 2:15) The Church is passing through the world, and uses this world but is not attached to this world. She does not love the world. Her love is concentrated in Christ and does everything for His glory.

The Church is mightier than the world. The Church is against the world but mightier than the world. "But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:23) "I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one." (1st John 2:13) The Church is strong because of her God, shining because of her purity, beautiful because of her reflection of the light of Christ on her, frightening to evil because of her prayers and her sacraments. "Who is she who looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?" (Song of songs 6:10) The Church is rich with Christ. She does not murmur or complain "as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." (2nd Corinthians 6:10) She has no gold or silver but has the name of Jesus that raised the lame (Acts 3)
The Church is strong. She has defeated emperors by her love. She has turned wolves into lambs. She has defeated the lusts of this world by her love of the crucified and the power of His cross.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009