Cardinal's Network Archive
Monday, June 1, 2009
The Church was born global; it’s what we mean when we speak of the universal Church or when we confess in the creed that the Church is catholic.
On Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came to be the soul of the Church, the source of her inner unity, there were no parishes or youth groups or schools or universities or hospitals or any other of the institutions that are now so necessary for forming Catholics and handing on the faith. On Pentecost, there was the risen Christ, who had told the apostles they were to teach and govern in his name and who then sent the Holy Spirit. In the end, what lasts forever is the relation to Christ, in the power of the Spirit, mediated by the apostles and their successors. The relations make us part of the universal family of God.
At the end of the canon of the Mass, the priest lifts the host and chalice and proclaims that we praise the Father “through, with and in” Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. “Through, with and in” are all words that speak of relations, and the relations make us who we are. We are part of a universal network that extends not only over the globe but also backward in time to all those who ever called Jesus “Lord” in the Catholic Church. It’s a big family and, like all families, it makes demands on us as we move through this life to the next.
Francis Cardinal George, OMI