Patriarchal Address on the Feast of Corpus Christi

7 June A.D. 2012
Rutherford Card. Johnson

To the Bishops, regular clergy, and faithful of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, greetings and Apostolic Blessings on this Commemoration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Year of Our Lord 2012. Through the worthy partaking of Christ's Body and Blood, we shall hunger no more. The corruptible becomes incorruptible. He who receives the Body and Blood of our Lord dwells in Christ, and Christ likewise dwells in him. By implication, however, if a person does not live in Christ, but nevertheless outwardly receives the Body and Blood of Christ, he receives unworthily and eats and drinks his own damnation. The reception of Holy Communion is not a mere symbolic act of commemoration. It not only represents a true and living Sacrifice, it is a true and living Sacrifice. Through the ministry of the priest, who shares in the supreme and eternal priesthood of Christ, the one perfect Sacrifice of our Lord on Calvary continues on the altar. The mysteries of the Lord, and indeed of His Holy Sacrifice cannot be understood or measured in human terms of time or space. Our Lord came to earth as a man at a specific time in history and place in the world. Yet, His Sacrifice was for all mankind over all time. It would be a fallacy to suggest that we will automatically be forgiven our sins because Christ died on the Cross without any spiritual work on our part. We cannot simply sin and casually dismiss it because of the crucifixion as so many protestants tend to do. In so doing, we not only fool ourselves, we insult our Lord and His Sacrifice. Never has the true Catholic Faith been considered passive, for there is no salvation if we do not take up our own cross and follow our Lord. In the Holy Mass, our Lord continues to offer Himself for us. We have the opportunity to attain salvation by joining ourselves to the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Only in this way can we truly dwell in Him and He in us. Only in this way can we truly receive the Body and Blood of our Lord.

Those who dwell in the Lord cannot help but put their faith into action in the world. Help the poor. Clothe the naked. Feed the hungry. Tend to the sick. These are all worthy and essential forms of ministry for all Christians. In doing all of this, though, we must not forget the most important aspect of human existence, and that is the spirit. We cannot neglect the soul while tending the body. Far too often we feel a need to help other people who are suffering in worldly ways, but ignore their spiritual needs. This has become far too common today as a result of the highly secularized modern society that is dominant in the world today. Those who dwell in the Lord must see this as a new crusade. This new crusade is one to renew Christianity in the souls of mankind. It is to turn weak faith into strong faith. It is to convert the cultural Christians into true Christians. It is to refuse to allow our Faith to be marginalized at the hands of those who wish to destroy souls. This is an essential mission of all faithful people of Christ's Church. We cannot ignore it. We cannot claim other people are on their own. We are responsible for the spiritual suffering and weakness of others when it was in our power to do something, no matter how small. Yes, this is an essential mission of all faithful Christians.

It is our pleasure to report that the mission of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church is growing and ever moving forward, spreading the Word of God and the true Catholic Faith. Most significantly, our number of clergy continues to increase. The interest in religious orders has increased, and we have now four expressions of institutes of spiritual perfection. These are the Oblates Regular of Saint Stephen for the Help of the Poor, the Dominican Friars of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Order of Franciscan Friars of Penance, and the Order of Franciscan Sisters of Penance. We especially give our blessing to those who are called to these orders for the greater glory of God. Through one person standing up and answering the call to a religious vocation, vowing to live openly according to a rule of religious discipline, the Faith is strengthened. Through even just one person standing up and answering the call to the clerical ministry, freely choosing to live openly and unapologetically before the world as a cleric, the Faith is strengthened. The courage of these religious and clerics, and indeed of all who choose to live in, by, and for Christ, works for the salvation of souls.

  Through the prayers and merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, may Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to everlasting life. R. Amen.

  The Almighty and merciful Lord grant you pardon, + absolution, and remission of all your sins, time for a true and fruitful penance, an always repentant heart and amendment of life, the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit, and final perseverance in good works. R. Amen.

  And the Blessing of Almighty God, + Father, + Son, and Holy + Ghost, be upon you and remain with you always. R. Amen.

 

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