Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 18.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.

Q. These are facts that cannot be called in question, as being supported by the same historical credit, which gives testimony of the propagation of Christianity during the first three hundred years.

A. And if this be so, there cannot be a stronger proof of the truth of a religion, and that they who were employed in the work, were the instruments of heaven. And that on the contrary, all those sects, who are divided from the Church of Rome, not being able to show, or even pretending to lay claim to the conversion of any one heathenish nation, are entirely destitute of the divine assistance; they cannot complain of want of opportunities, being daily conversant in the way of trade with the infidel nations. They have learned men among them, capable enough to instruct them in Christianity, and of late have made little subscriptions to carry on that work, but without any effect. God will not concur with such instruments, who are more zealous to fill their warehouses, than propagate the gospel.

Q. What is meant by the last words of this article, the communion of saints ?

A. By saints are to be understood, all the blessed in heaven, all the faithful on earth, and all the suffering souls in purgatory; between whom there is a communion or correspondence, conformable to their stations. The blessed in heaven pray for the faithful on earth; and the faithful on earth give thanks to God for their glory, and honor them, and beg their prayers. The faithful on earth pray for one another, by being united under the same invisible head, Christ Jesus, and under the same visible head to avoid schism, in the same faith to avoid heresy, and in the same sacraments and sacrifice, and bonds of love, whereby they partake of each other's merits, and the prayers of the Church.

Q. Does not the communion of saints reach to infidels, heretics, schismatics, etc.?

A. No more than the branches are nourished by the tree from whence they are cut off; they may pretend a communion with Christ, but by not submitting to the superiors he has appointed by rejecting the true faith, b}' not making use of the sacraments, the communion is broke; all they partake of are prayers for their conversion.