Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

30 July 2014

Calling Out

I particularly enjoyed the second reading from today's Office of Readings (, from a catechetical instruction by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem. He spoke about the catholicity, or universality that the Church exemplifies in several ways: Teach all the doctrines! Subject all the peoples! Forgive all the sins! Possess all the virtues!
The word church in Greek is ἐκκλησία (ekklesía), from the verb kalein, "to call" and the preposition ek, "out of." In the most basic sense, the Church is an assembly (Latin ad, "to, near" + simul, "together") Those who are called forth, come together. Saint Cyril notes a connection with Deuteronomy 4:10--"Assemble the people before me, and let them hear my words." Also with Psalm 22: "I will offer praise in the great assembly; my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him."

The assembly, then, is the place for hearing God's Word and for offering Him promised praise.

If I hear one more person say, "God is everywhere. Why should I have to go to church, to any building, to pray to Him?" I will be able to restore all the pipe organs.

As the "pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim 3:15), the Church is charged to call people out from the hinterlands of deception and denial, into Reality.

Sure, we can and should pray wherever we are; but God calls us from the security of our inner room, our echo chamber, into His sacred assembly. He calls us out of our self-constructed prisons into "the glorious freedom of the children of God" (Rom 8:21).

At heart the Church is a reconciled and reconciling communion of believers. At times I may fail to act as a member of that communion, so I need to be called out for those failures to act. When I'm by myself, I don't get that kind of caring accountability. Chances are, I don't really want it.

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