卷一信仰的宣認-「我信聖而公教會」/I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CHURCH

Chinese English

第九條

 

「我信聖而公教會」

748. 「基督為萬民之光,本屆神聖大公會議,因聖神而集合,切願向萬民宣布福音,使教會臉上所反映的基督之光,照耀到每一個人」。梵二大公會議的《教會》憲章是以這幾句話作為序幕。 大公會議藉此顯示,涉及教會的信仰條文,完全靠有關耶穌基督的信仰條文而定。除了基督之光以外,教會別無其他的光。按照教父們所喜愛的一種圖象:教會好像月亮,它的光完全由太陽反射過來。

749. 涉及教會的條文,也完全靠有關聖神的條文而定,此聖神的條文是在教會條文之先。「事實上,在指出聖神是一切聖德的泉源及賜予者之後,我們現在宣認是聖神以聖德裝飾了教會」。依照教父們的說法,教會是「聖神開花結果」的所在。

750. 相信教會是「至聖」、「至公」,她又是「唯一」和「從宗徒傳下來的」(如在尼西亞‧君士坦丁堡信經中所增添的),與對天主父、子及聖神 的 信 仰 是 不 可 分的 。 在 宗 徒 信 經 中, 我 們 宣 信 一 個 聖教 會 (Credo...Ecclesiam),而非把教會作為信仰的最終對象 (not believe in the Church),如此可避免把天主及其工程混淆,並可清楚地把天主賜予教會的一切恩惠歸於祂的仁慈。

第一節天主計劃中的教會

、教會的名稱和圖象

 

751. 「教會」一詞 («ekklesia»來自希臘語 «ek-kalein»「喚出來」),有「召集」的意義;是指民眾的集會,通常具有宗教的目的。它是一個多次在的會眾,以色列就在那裡接受了法律,並被天主立為自己聖潔的子民。初期的基督徒團體自稱為「教會」,承認自己是該會眾的繼承者。在教會內,天主從世界各地「召集」自己的子民。英文的 «Church»和德文的 «Kirche»皆來自另一個類似的希臘字 «Kyriake»,意指「屬於主的會眾」。

752. 在基督徒用語中,「教會」一詞,是指禮儀的集會,也指地方團體或整個的普世信友團體。事實上,這三種意義是不可分的。「教會」是天主在整個世界所聚集的子民。她存在於地方團體之中,並在禮儀的聚會中實現,尤以感恩祭的聚會為主。教會的生命源自聖言及基督聖體,且藉此而成為基督的奧體。

教會的各種象徵

753. 在聖經上,我們可以找到許多彼此相聯的圖象和預象,天主的啟示透過這些圖象,來表達教會取之不盡的奧跡。舊約的多種圖象,是一個基本概念的不同表達,就是「天主子民」。在新約裡,所有這些圖象有了一個新的中心,因為基督成了這個子民的「頭」,因此這子民就成了祂的「身體」。環繞著這中心的,有各種不同的圖象:「或取自羊棧、或取自農場、或取自建築物、甚或取自家庭及婚嫁」。

754. 「教會是一個羊棧羊棧,它的唯一必經之門就是基督。教會也是一個羊群,天主親口預言自己是它的牧人,祂的羊群雖由其他牧人管理,但始終由基督親自領往牧場餵養,祂是善牧和眾牧人之首,祂曾為羊群捨掉自己的性命。

755. 「教會是天主的莊田莊田莊田或農場(格前 3:9)。在這農場裡生長著古老的橄欖樹,古聖祖們就是它神聖的根;猶太人和外邦人,無論過去或將來,都在它內修好。教會也是天上農夫所栽培的特選葡萄園。基督是真葡萄樹,給樹枝帶來生命和繁殖力;我們就是樹枝,藉著教會留在祂內,沒有祂,我們便一無所能。

756. 「教會也多次被稱為天主的建築物建築物(格前 3:9)。主耶穌把自己比喻為匠人棄而不用的廢石,反而成了屋角的基石(瑪 21:42)。教會就在這基石上由宗徒們所建立(格前 3:11),並在它身上取得團結和合一。這座建築物有各種不同的名稱:如天主的家庭家庭所居之屋 (弟前 3:15);天主在聖神內的寓所(弗 2:19-22);『天主與人共居的帳幕』(默 21:3)。尤其被稱為聖殿,教父們稱它為石砌的聖所。在禮儀中,此聖殿亦喻之為「聖城」,即新的耶路撒冷。我們就是它的活石,要在此世形成一個屬神的殿宇(伯前 2:5)。聖若望在欣賞新天新地時,看見這聖城從天上由天主那裡降下,『就像一位裝飾好迎接自己丈夫的新娘』(默 21:1-2)。

757. 「教會又稱為『天上的耶路撒冷』和『我們的母親』(迦 4:26),也被描繪為無玷羔羊的無玷淨配(默 19:7; 21:2,9; 22:17),基督『愛了她,並為她捨棄了自己,為使她成為聖潔的』(弗 5:25-26),又和她訂下不毀之約,不斷地『養育照顧她』 (弗 5:29)」。


二、教會的起源教會的起源、、創立和使命


758.為探討教會的奧跡,我們首先默想她如何在天主聖三的計劃中孕育,並在歷史中如何逐步具體實現。
父心中孕育的計劃

759. 「永生之父,按照祂的智慧、仁慈、自願而奧秘的計劃,創造了宇宙,並決定提拔人類,分享天主的生命」。祂在自己聖子內,召喚眾人分享這生命:「凡信奉基督的,祂願召集他們在聖教會內」。這個「天主的家庭」,按照天父的安排,在人類歷史各階段逐步建立和實現。因為教會「在創世之初已有預象,在以色列的民族史和舊約裡,她已被奇妙地準備好了,並在這末期內建立,藉聖神的恩賜顯示出來,且於世界末日光榮地完成」。

自創世之始就已預示的教會

760. 初期的基督徒曾說:「世界是為了教會而創造的」。天主創造世界,是為使人與祂的生命共融,這共融是透過在基督內的「召集」實現, 而這「召集」就是教會。教會是一切事物的目標,連慘痛的事,如天使墮落和人犯罪等為天主所許,只是當作機會和媒介,展示出祂全部的力量和要賜給世人的無限慈愛:

克來孟•亞力山卓,《導師》:正如天主的意願指向創造,而有世界﹔同樣天主的意願指向救人,而有教會。

舊約中準備的教會

761. 當罪惡破壞人與神,以及人與人之間共融的那一刻,天主便開始聚集祂的子民。教會的聚集可說是天主對罪惡所造成的混亂的反應。這種聚集已秘密地在各民族中進行:「凡在各民族中,敬畏祂而又履行正義的人,都是祂所中悅的」(宗 10:35)。

762. 聚集天主子民的遠程預備是由亞巴郎的蒙召開始,天主許下他要成為「一個大民族」的父親(創 12:2)。而近程預備則由選擇以色列為天主的子民開始。藉著以民的被選,她將成為各民族未來合一的標記。然而先知們──早就控訴以色列毀了盟約及變得好像一個娼妓。他們預告將有一個新而永久的盟約。而「基督就建立了這個新的盟約」。

耶穌基督創立的教會

763. 聖子的任務是當時期一滿,履行父的救恩計劃;而這就是祂「使命」的動機。「主耶穌藉宣布喜訊開創了祂的教會,就是聖經上歷代所預許的天主之國業已來臨」。為奉行天父的旨意,基督在世上揭開了天國的序幕。教會是「已臨現於奧跡中的基督王國」。

764. 「這王國在基督的言、行和臨在上,已清楚地顯示於人了」。接受耶穌的話,就是接受「天主之國」。天國的幼芽和開端,就是耶穌前來召集在自己身邊的那「小小羊群」(路 12:32),祂就是這羊群的牧者。他們組人接物方式」,及他們專有的祈禱。

765. 主耶穌賦予自己的團體一個結構,它將持續到天國的圓滿完成。首先是簡選十二宗徒,以伯多祿為他們的首領。他們代表著以色列的十二支派,是新耶路撒冷的基礎。十二宗徒及其他門徒參與基督的使命和權力,同時也分擔祂的命運。基督透過所有這些行動,準備及建立祂的教會。

766. 教會主要是誕生於基督為我們的得救而完全的自我交付,這交付提前在建立聖體聖事時實行,後來在十字架上完成。「教會的開始和發展,由被釘十字架的耶穌敞開的肋旁所流出的血和水,作為象徵」。「因為從安眠於十字架的基督肋旁,產生了整個教會這奇妙聖事」。正如厄娃是由熟睡中亞當的肋骨所形成,同樣,教會是由死於十字架的基督被剌透的心誕生。

由聖神彰顯的教會

767. 「聖父委託給祂兒子的工程在世上完成後,就在五旬節那天,派遣聖神前來不斷地聖化教會」。從那時起,「教會公開呈現於民眾之前,並開始藉著宣講,向萬民傳播福音」。教會本質上是傳教的,為了救恩而「召集」一切人,被基督所派遣,使萬民成為門徒。

768. 為使教會能實現她的使命,聖神「用聖統和各種神恩,建設及督導教會」。「因此,教會擁有其創始者的恩寵,忠實地遵守祂仁愛、謙遜和刻苦的誡命,接受向萬民宣講和建立基督與天主王國的使命,而教會在世上是這天國的幼芽和開端」。

在榮耀中達到圓滿的教會

769. 「教會只有在天上的光榮中」,即當基督光榮地再來時,「才圓滿地實現」。直到那個日子,「教會要在世界的迫害與天主的安慰中,繼續自己的旅程」。此世,她自知是在充軍,遠離天主,「渴求完美的天國,並全力期望在光榮中與其君王結合」。教會的以及世界藉著教會要達到的圓滿境界,必須經過許多大考驗,才能在光榮中完成。只有那樣,「所有的義人,從亞當開始,『從義人亞伯爾直到最後一個被選者』,都將在天父面前,團聚在普世的教會內」。

三、教會的奧跡


770.教會置身於歷史,但同時又超越歷史。只有「用信德的眼光」,才能從她可見的事實中,察覺到一個精神的、帶有屬神生命的事實。


既是可見的又是精神的教會

771. 「唯一的中保基督,在世上創立了祂的聖教會,並不斷地支持她。她是一個信德、望德和愛德的團體,也是一個可見的組織。藉著教會,基督把真理與恩寵灌輸給眾人」。教會同時是:

──「由聖統組織建立的社團和基督的奧體;
──可見的會眾和精神的團體;
──地上的教會和富有天上神恩的教會」。
這些幅度「形成了一個由人性和神性成分組成的單一複合體」:

教會的特徵,是兼有人性與神性,是有形的與無形的,努力工作而又專心默禱,置身於世上,卻又邁向天鄉。不過這一切,凡是人性的,應從屬於神性的,有形的應從屬於無形的,工作應從屬於默禱,現世的事應從屬於我們所邁向的未來聖城。

聖伯納•克理弗,《論雅歌的講道》:多麼謙遜!何等崇高!香柏之幕,天主聖所;地上小築,天上華宮;土牆茅舍,皇家宅院;死者之體,光明殿堂;傲慢之徒,不屑一顧;信者尊敬,基督淨配!她雖憂鬱,卻實亮麗,耶京少女,疲憊蒼白,長期流亡,忍受痛傷,終有一日,苦盡甘來,佩戴華飾,天闕盛裝。

教會────天天主與人共融的奧跡

772. 基督是在教會內,完成並啟示祂的奧跡,作為天主計劃的目標:「使萬物總歸於基督」(弗 1:10)。聖保祿把基督與教會的聯婚稱為「偉大的奧跡」(弗 5:32)。由於她像新娘般的與新郎基督結合,教會本身也成了奧跡。聖保祿在默觀這奧跡時,寫道:「基督在你們中,作了你們得光榮的希望」 (哥 1:27)。

773. 在教會內,人類透過「永存不朽的愛」(格前 13:8)與天主共融,這是教會的目標。此目標支配教會內作為聖事工具的一切,這工具與要消逝的世界是相連的。「她的結構完全是為基督肢體的聖德而設,而聖德則按『偉大的奧跡』而衡量,在這奧跡內新娘以愛的禮物回報新郎的恩賜」。瑪利亞在「邁向聖德的路上」超越我們眾人,她是教會的奧跡,如同「沒有瑕疵、沒有皺紋之新娘」(弗 5:27)的教會奧跡。為此,「教會的瑪利亞面貌先於伯多祿面貌」。

教會────普世救恩的聖事

774. 希臘語 «mysterion»一詞,曾以 «mysterium» (奧跡)及 «sacramentum»聖事兩詞譯成拉丁文 。在以後的解釋中,聖事一詞進一步表達救恩的有形標記,而奧跡一詞指謂救恩的隱藏事實。在這意義下,基督本身就是救恩的奧跡:「除了基督外,別無其他天主的奧跡」。祂那聖善和具聖化能力的人性救贖工程就是救恩聖事,這聖事在教會諸聖事中自我顯示和運作(在東方教會中稱這些聖事為「神聖奧跡」)。七件聖事是聖神藉以她被稱為「聖事」。

775. 「教會在某種意義下是在基督內的聖事,就是說,她同時是與天主親密結合的、又是整個人類一體性的標記和工具」。成為人類與天主親密結合的聖事,就是教會的第一個目標。由於人類之間的共融植根於與天主的結合,教會也是人類一體性的聖事。在她內,這種一體性已經開始,因為她聚集「各邦國、各支派、各民族、各異語的人」(默 7:9);同時,教會也是這種尚未圓滿完成的一體性的「標記和工具」。

776. 作為聖事,教會是基督的工具。教會在基督手中是「救贖眾人的工具」,是「普世救恩的聖事」。藉此,基督「既顯露又實現天主愛人的奧跡」。教會是「天主愛護人類計劃的實現」,這計劃是要「使全人類成為天主的唯一子民,組成基督的唯一身體,建成聖神的唯一聖殿」。

撮要


777.「教會」一詞有「召集」的意義,是指天主聖言所召集的會眾,以組成天主的子民;他們受了基督聖體的滋養後,本身也成了基督的身體。

778. 教會既是天主計劃的途徑又是目標:曾在創世時預示、在舊約中準備、建基於耶穌基督的言行、憑著祂的贖世苦架和復活而實現,她藉著聖神的傾注顯示為救恩的奧跡。當世上所有被救贖者在天上的榮耀中成為一個會眾時,教會才圓滿地實現。

779. 教會是可見的又是精神的,既是有聖統組織的社團又是基督的奧體。她是「唯一的」,同時由人性和神性組成。教會的奧跡就在於此,只有憑信德才能接受。

780.教會是在此世界的救恩聖事,是天主與人共融的標記和工具。

 Article 9

"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

748 "Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacred Council, being gathered together in the Holy Spirit, that, by proclaiming his Gospel to every creature, it may bring to all men that light of Christ which shines out visibly from the Church."135 These words open the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. By choosing this starting point, the Council demonstrates that the article of faith about the Church depends entirely on the articles concerning Christ Jesus. the Church has no other light than Christ's; according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church is like the moon, all its light reflected from the sun.

749 The article concerning the Church also depends entirely on the article about the Holy Spirit, which immediately precedes it. "Indeed, having shown that the Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness, we now confess that it is he who has endowed the Church with holiness."136 The Church is, in a phrase used by the Fathers, the place "where the Spirit flourishes."137

750 To believe that the Church is "holy" and "catholic," and that she is "one" and "apostolic" (as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Apostles' Creed we profess "one Holy Church" (Credo . . . Ecclesiam), and not to believe in the Church, so as not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearly to God's goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on his Church.138

Paragraph 1. THE CHURCH IN GOD'S PLAN

I. NAMES AND IMAGES OF THE CHURCH

751 The word "Church" (Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-ka-lein, to "call out of") means a convocation or an assembly. It designates the assemblies of the people, usually for a religious purpose.139Ekklesia is used frequently in the Greek Old Testament for the assembly of the Chosen People before God, above all for their assembly on Mount Sinai where Israel received the Law and was established by God as his holy people.140 By calling itself "Church," the first community of Christian believers recognized itself as heir to that assembly. In the Church, God is "calling together" his people from all the ends of the earth. the equivalent Greek term Kyriake, from which the English word Church and the German Kirche are derived, means "what belongs to the Lord."

752 In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly,141 but also the local community142 or the whole universal community of believers.143 These three meanings are inseparable. "The Church" is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ's Body.

Symbols of the Church

753 In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church. the images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. In the New Testament, all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is his Body.144 Around this center are grouped images taken "from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage."145

754 "The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.146

755 "The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.147

756 "Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. the Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the comer-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.148

757 "The Church, further, which is called 'that Jerusalem which is above' and 'our mother', is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ 'loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.' It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly 'nourishes and cherishes.'"149

II. THE CHURCH'S ORIGIN, FOUNDATION AND MISSION

758 We begin our investigation of the Church's mystery by meditating on her origin in the Holy Trinity's plan and her progressive realization in history.

A plan born in the Father's heart

759 "The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life,"150to which he calls all men in his Son. "The Father . . . determined to call together in a holy Church those who should believe in Christ."151 This "family of God" is gradually formed and takes shape during the stages of human history, in keeping with the Father's plan. In fact, "already present in figure at the beginning of the world, this Church was prepared in marvellous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and the old Advance. Established in this last age of the world and made manifest in the outpouring of the Spirit, it will be brought to glorious completion at the end of time."152

The Church - foreshadowed from the world's beginning

760 Christians of the first centuries said, "The world was created for the sake of the Church."153 God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the "convocation" of men in Christ, and this "convocation" is the Church. the Church is the goal of all things,154 and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels' fall and man's sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of his arm and the whole measure of the love he wanted to give the world:

Just as God's will is creation and is called "the world," so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called "the Church."155

The Church - prepared for in the Old Covenant

761 The gathering together of the People of God began at the moment when sin destroyed the communion of men with God, and that of men among themselves. the gathering together of the Church is, as it were, God's reaction to the chaos provoked by sin. This reunification is achieved secretly in the heart of all peoples: "In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable" to God.156

762 The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when he calls Abraham and promises that he will become the father of a great people.157 Its immediate preparation begins with Israel's election as the People of God. By this election, Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of All nations.158 But the prophets accuse Israel of breaking the covenant and behaving like a prostitute. They announce a new and eternal covenant. "Christ instituted this New Covenant."159

The Church - instituted by Christ Jesus

763 It was the Son's task to accomplish the Father's plan of salvation in the fullness of time. Its accomplishment was the reason for his being sent.160 "The Lord Jesus inaugurated his Church by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Reign of God, promised over the ages in the scriptures."161 To fulfill the Father's will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth. the Church "is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery."162

764 "This Kingdom shines out before men in the word, in the works and in the presence of Christ."163 To welcome Jesus' word is to welcome "the Kingdom itself."164 The seed and beginning of the Kingdom are the "little flock" of those whom Jesus came to gather around him, the flock whose shepherd he is.165 They form Jesus' true family.166 To those whom he thus gathered around him, he taught a new "way of acting" and a prayer of their own.167

765 The Lord Jesus endowed his community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved. Before all else there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head.168 Representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they are the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem.169 The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ's mission and his power, but also in his lot.170 By all his actions, Christ prepares and builds his Church.

766 The Church is born primarily of Christ's total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross. "The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus."171 "For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the 'wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'"172 As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam's side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.173

The Church - revealed by the Holy Spirit

767 "When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church."174 Then "the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun."175 As the "convocation" of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.176

768 So that she can fulfill her mission, the Holy Spirit "bestows upon [the Church] varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her."177 "Henceforward the Church, endowed with the gifts of her founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom."178

The Church - perfected in glory

769 "The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,"179 at the time of Christ's glorious return. Until that day, "the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world's persecutions and God's consolations."180 Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord, and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will "be united in glory with her king."181 The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. Only then will "all the just from the time of Adam, 'from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,' . . . be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father's presence."182

III. THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

770 The Church is in history, but at the same time she transcends it. It is only "with the eyes of faith"183 that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of divine life.

The Church - both visible and spiritual

771 "The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men."184 The Church is at the same time: 
- a "society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ; 
- the visible society and the spiritual community; 
- the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches."185 
These dimensions together constitute "one complex reality which comes together from a human and a divine element":186

The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pilgrim, so constituted that in her the human is directed toward and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, the object of our quest.187

O humility! O sublimity! Both tabernacle of cedar and sanctuary of God; earthly dwelling and celestial palace; house of clay and royal hall; body of death and temple of light; and at last both object of scorn to the proud and bride of Christ! She is black but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, for even if the labor and pain of her long exile may have discolored her, yet heaven's beauty has adorned her.188

The Church - mystery of men's union with God

772 It is in the Church that Christ fulfills and reveals his own mystery as the purpose of God's plan: "to unite all things in him."189 St. Paul calls the nuptial union of Christ and the Church "a great mystery." Because she is united to Christ as to her bridegroom, she becomes a mystery in her turn.190 Contemplating this mystery in her, Paul exclaims: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."191

773 In the Church this communion of men with God, in the "love [that] never ends," is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to this passing world.192 
"[The Church's] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members. and holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom."193 Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as "the bride without spot or wrinkle."194 This is why the "Marian" dimension of the Church precedes the "Petrine."195

The universal Sacrament of Salvation

774 The Greek word mysterion was translated into Latin by two terms: mystenum and sacramentum. In later usage the term sacramentum emphasizes the visible sign of the hidden reality of salvation which was indicated by the term mystenum. In this sense, Christ himself is the mystery of salvation: "For there is no other mystery of God, except Christ."196 The saving work of his holy and sanctifying humanity is the sacrament of salvation, which is revealed and active in the Church's sacraments (which the Eastern Churches also call "the holy mysteries"). the seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body. the Church, then, both contains and communicates the invisible grace she signifies. It is in this analogical sense, that the Church is called a "sacrament."

775 "The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men."197 The Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men's communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues";198 at the same time, the Church is the "sign and instrument" of the full realization of the unity yet to come.

776 As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. "She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men."199 The Church "is the visible plan of God's love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit."200

IN BRIEF

777 The word "Church" means "convocation." It designates the assembly of those whom God's Word "convokes," i.e., gathers together to form the People of God, and who themselves, nourished with the Body of Christ, become the Body of Christ.

778 The Church is both the means and the goal of God's plan: prefigured in creation, prepared for in the Old Covenant, founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming cross and his Resurrection, the Church has been manifested as the mystery of salvation by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. She will be perfected in the glory of heaven as the assembly of all the redeemed of the earth (cf  Rev 14:4).

779 The Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ. She is one, yet formed of two components, human and divine. That is her mystery, which only faith can accept.

780 The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men.



第二節 教會──天主子民、 基督奧體、聖神宮殿 

一、教會──天主子民 


 781. 「在各時代各民族中,凡是敬畏天主、履行正義的人,都是天主所悅納 的。可是天主不願人們彼此毫無聯繫,個別地得到聖化和拯救,而要他 們組成一個民族,真實地認識祂,聖善地事奉祂。因此,祂為自己選擇 了以色列民族,與他們訂立盟約,並逐步地培育它……但這一切都是為 了準備及預示要在基督身上完成的那新而永久的盟約……就是以祂自己 的血所立的新約,從猶太人和其他民族號召人民,使他們不是因血肉、 而是因聖神組成一個天主的子民」。

天主子民的特徵

 
782. 天主子民有些特徵,使它有別於歷史上所有的宗教、種族、政治或文化 集團: ──是天主的子民:天主本身並不屬於任何民族。但祂從那些從前不是 一個民族的人中形成了一個民族:「特選的種族、王家的司祭、 聖潔的國民」(伯前 2:9)。 ──要成為這子民的成員,不是藉自然生育,而是「由水和聖神」「由 上而生」(若 3:3-5),就是要信仰基督和接受洗禮。 ──這個子民以耶穌基督 (受傅者、默西亞)為 元首 (頭):因為同樣的油 ──聖神,從頭流到身體,這身體就成為「默西亞的子民」。 ──「這子民的身分,就是做天主自由子女的尊嚴:天主聖神在他們心 中,有如住在殿堂裡。」 ── 「這子民的法律,是像耶穌愛了我們那樣的去愛別人的新誡 命」。這是聖神的「新」法律(羅 8:2; 迦 5:25)。 ──這子民的使命是要成為地上的鹽和世界的光,「形成全人類合一、 希望和得救的強勁種子」。 ──「最後,這子民的終向就是天主王國,即由天主親自在世上創立、 繼續擴展、並在世界末日由祂來完成的天主王國」。
 

司祭、先知和王者的子民 、先知和王者的子民 

 
783. 耶穌基督是父傅以聖神的那一位,並被立為「司祭、先知和君王」。整 個天主子民參與基督這三重職務,並承受由此產生的使命和服務的責 任。 
 
784. 人藉信仰和洗禮而加入天主子民的行列,即參與這子民的唯一聖召、司 祭的聖召:「主基督,這位由人間選拔的大司祭,把新的子民組成『一 個事奉天父的司祭之國』。因為,領洗的人因著重生和聖神的傅油,都 被祝聖為精神的聖殿和神聖的司祭」 
 
785. 當天主的神聖子民「不能失誤地依附那一次而永遠地傳給聖徒們的信 德」,並深入理解這信德而成為基督在此世的証人時,「也參與基督的 先知職務」。這參與特別是由於對信德的超性意識,此意識屬於全體子 民,包括平信徒及聖統。 
 
786. 最後,天主的子民也參與基督的王者職務。基督執行祂的王權,藉祂的 死亡和復活,吸引眾人到祂跟前。基督、宇宙的君王和主宰,成了眾人 的奴僕,因為祂「不是來受服事,而是服事人,並交出自己的生命,為 大眾作贖價」(瑪 20:28)。為基督徒,「為王」就是「服務」,尤其是 在「貧窮和受苦的人身上」,教會在他們身上,看到「她那貧窮和受苦 之創始者的肖象」。天主子民按照這種與基督一起服務的聖召去生活, 就能實現它「王者的尊嚴」。 聖大良一世,《講道集》:所有在基督內重生的人,都因十字架的記號而獲得王者的 尊嚴,藉聖神的傅油而被祝聖為司祭。因此並非只有我們職務的獨有服務,因為所有 的基督徒,有了屬神的神恩及運用他們的理智,就被認為是這王者種族的成員,參與 司祭的職務。一個靈魂管理它的身體,使它服從天主,難道不是王者的職務嗎?向天 主奉獻一顆純潔的良心,在自己的內心祭台上向祂呈上我們敬禮的無玷祭品,難道不 是司祭的職務嗎? 

二、教會──基督身體

教會是與耶穌的共融

787. 耶穌一開始就使自己的門徒們參與祂的生活;祂給他們啟示天國的奧秘;使他們分擔祂的使命,祂的喜樂和憂愁。耶穌還提及一種更親密的共融:「你們住在我內,我也住在你們內……我是葡萄樹,你們是枝條」(若 15:4-5)。此外,祂又宣布一種在祂與我們之間的神秘而真實的共融:「誰吃我的肉,並喝我的血,便住在我內,我也住在他內」 (若 6:56)。

788. 當耶穌的有形臨在在門徒前消失,並沒有留下他們為孤兒祂許下要與他們在一起,直到世界末日,祂又為他們派遣了聖神。在某種意義下,與耶穌的共融變得更為密切:「因為祂賦予聖神後,把從各民族所召集的兄弟組成了祂奧妙的身體」。

789. 以身體比喻教會,更能說明教會與基督之間的密切關係。教會並不只是 圍繞在祂的四周,而是在祂的身體內與祂結合為一。基督身體、教會的三種面貌應予以特別強調,就是:所有肢體因與基督結合而彼此團結一致;基督是奧體的頭;教會是基督的淨配。

「只有一個身體」

790. 凡回應天主聖言,成為基督身體的肢體的信徒們,都密切地結合於基督:「在這奧體內,基督的生命分施於信徒們。藉著聖事,他們以奧妙而真實的方式,與受難而榮耀的基督結合」。這在聖洗和聖體中顯得尤為真實。我們藉著聖洗,與基督的死亡及復活聯繫,藉著聖體,「我們實在分享主的身體,被提升至與祂共融並彼此共融」。

791. 身體的合一並不排除肢體的多元性:「在建立基督的身體時,肢體不同,職務也各異。聖神只有一個,祂為了教會的利益,按照祂的富裕和職務的需要,分施不同的恩惠」。奧體的一體性在信友間產生並激發愛德:「因此,一個肢體受苦,所有的肢體都同它一起受苦;一個肢體受到光榮,所有的肢體都感到快樂」。最後,奧體的一體性克服一切的人性分裂:「凡是領了洗歸於基督的,就是穿上了基督,不再分猶太人或希臘人,奴隸或自由人,男人或女人,因為你們眾人在基督耶穌內已成了一個」(迦 3:27-28)。

「這個身體的元首是基督這個身體的元首是基督」

792. 「基督是身體──教會──的頭」(哥 1:18),祂是創世和贖世的根源。祂被高舉到父的榮耀中,「在萬有之上」──主要在教會之上──「祂獨佔首位」(哥 1:18),藉著教會,把自己的王國伸展至萬事萬物。

793. 基督把我們融合在祂的逾越事件裡。所有肢體都該勉力效法祂,直到在他們身上「形成基督為止」(迦 4:19)。「為此,我們被納入祂生活的奧跡內……如同身體與頭連在一起那樣,我們與祂的苦難連在一起,同祂一起受苦,為能同祂一起享受光榮」。

794. 基督也照顧我們的成長。為使我們向著祂──我們的頭──成長,基督在其身體──教會內,安排了一些恩寵和職務,藉此使我們能在得救的路上互相幫助。

795.所以,基督與教會形成「整個的基督」(Christus totus)。教會與基督是一體。聖人們對這一體性有很強烈的意識:

聖奧思定,《論若望福音》:讓我們歡樂吧!讓我們感謝天主!因為祂不但使我們成為基督徒,而且也使我們成為基督自己。弟兄們,你們曾否留意,天主給了基督作為我們的元首,是賜給我們多大的恩典?你們踴躍喜樂吧!我們已成了基督。既然祂是頭,我們是肢體,祂和我們就成了完整的人……圓滿的基督:頭和肢體。而且是何等的頭,何等的肢體?是基督和教會。

聖大額我略,《約伯傳詮釋》:我們的救主把自己視為單一和相同的位格,因為祂跟聖教會融合為一。
聖多瑪斯,《神學大全》:頭與肢體可說是單一和相同的奧妙位格。


聖女貞德對其判官們所說的一句話,總結了聖師們的信仰並表達了信徒的常識:「依我的看法,耶穌基督與教會完全是一體,不該產生困難」。


教會是基督的淨配

796. 基督與教會、頭與身體的一體性,也涉及個人關係中兩者的區別。這種 情況多次以新郎和新娘的形象來表達。基督是教會的新郎,這題材早已 為先知所準備並由若翰宣告過。主也自比作「新郎」(谷 2:19)。聖保祿 宗徒把教會和每個信徒──基督身體的肢體,比作「許配於」主基督的 新娘,好能與祂具有同一的聖神。教會是無玷羔羊的無玷新娘;「基督 愛她,並為她捨棄了自己……為使她成為聖潔的」(弗 5:25-26)。基督以 永遠的盟約與教會結合,並像自己身體一般的不斷加以照顧。 聖奧思定,《聖詠漫談》:這就是完整的基督 (頭與身體),由眾多肢體形成一體…… 無論是頭或是肢體說話,總是基督在說話:或是以「頭」的角色發言,或是以「身 體」的角色說話。經上是怎樣寫的?「二人成為一體。這奧跡真是偉大,但我是指基 督和教會說的」(弗 5:31-32)。基督自己也在福音上說過:「他們不是兩個,而是一體 了」(瑪 19:6)。因為正如你們所知道的,他們雖然是兩個,但在婚姻結合中卻成了一 個……作為頭的稱為「新郎」,作為身體的稱為「新娘」。

三、教會──聖聖神宮殿

797. 「正如我們的心神,即我們的靈魂對我們肢體的關係,聖神對基督肢體、基督身體,即教會的關係也是一樣」。「身體各部分的彼此聯繫,以及各部分之與其至高元首的密切結合,應歸功於基督之神作為其隱藏的原動力。因為祂整個地存在於元首、存在於身體及存在於每個肢體內」。聖神使教會成為「生活的天主宮殿」(格後 6:16)。

聖依勒內•里昂,《駁斥異端》:「天主的恩寵」曾託付給教會……在她內存在著基督的共融,就是擁有聖神、不朽的保証、我們信仰的確定、上升到天主台前的梯子……因為,哪裡有教會,那裡就有天主聖神,哪裡有天主聖神,那裡就有教會和各樣恩寵。

798. 「聖神是一切生命活動的原動力,也確實是使每個不同肢體得救的原動力」。祂用許多方法,使整個身體在愛德中建立起來:藉著「有建設能力」(宗 20:32)的天主聖言,藉著賴以形成基督身體的洗禮,藉著能發展和治癒基督肢體的聖事,藉著在各種恩寵中「居於首位」的「宗徒之恩」,藉著使人行善的美德,最後,藉著稱為「神恩」的各項特殊恩寵,使信徒們「能適當地並爽快地承受對教會的各項革新和發展有益的工作和任務」。

神恩


799. 無論是特殊的或是單純微小的神恩都是聖神的恩寵,它們直接或間接地有益於教會,用來建設教會、造福人群,及滿足世界的需要。

800. 不但是那些領受的人,連教會的所有成員都要以感恩之心去接納神恩。因為它們為整個基督身體的宗徒活力和聖德,是一個奇妙的恩寵富源,只要它們實在是來自聖神的恩寵,而且完全依照聖神的真正策勵,即是依照愛德──神恩的真正標準去實施。

801. 根據這種意義,可見分辨神恩常是必需的。一切神恩必須請示並服從於教會的牧者,「他們的職責,並非在熄滅聖神,而是考驗一切,擇其善而取之」,務使一切不同而互補的神恩,都能合力謀求「公眾的利益」 (格前 12:7)。

撮要


802.「耶穌基督為我們捨棄了自己,是為救贖我們脫離一切罪惡,洗淨我們,使我們能成為祂的選民」(鐸 2:14)。


803.「你們是特選的種族,王家的司祭,聖潔的國民,屬於主的民族」(伯前 2:9)。


804.人透過信德和洗禮,加入天主的子民。「所有的人都奉召參加天主的子民」,為的是在基督內「人類共成一家,成為唯一的天主子民」。


805.教會是基督的身體。死而復活的基督藉著聖神和祂在聖事的行動,尤其在感恩祭中,把信友的團體建立為自己的身體。


806.在這同一的身體內,有不同的肢體和職務。所有肢體都彼此聯繫,尤其是那些受苦的、貧窮的及被人折磨的肢體。


807.教會就是這個身體,而基督是她的頭:教會藉著祂、在祂內、並為祂而生活,祂則偕同教會並在教會內生活。


808.教會是基督的淨配:基督愛她並為她交付了自己,並以自己的血潔淨她,基督使她成為所有天主子女多產的母親。


809.教會是聖神的宮殿。聖神有如奧體的靈魂,既是她生命的根源,又是一體多元性及各種豐富恩寵和神恩的源頭。


810.「這樣,普世教會就呈現出是『在父、子和聖神的結合中聚集而成的民族』」。

Paragraph 2. THE CHURCH - PEOPLE OF GOD, BODY OF CHRIST, TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

I. THE CHURCH - PEOPLE OF GOD

781 "At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been acceptable to him. He has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people who might acknowledge him and serve him in holiness. He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with it. He gradually instructed this people.... All these things, however, happened as a preparation for and figure of that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ . . . the New Covenant in his blood; he called together a race made up of Jews and Gentiles which would be one, not according to the flesh, but in the Spirit."201

Characteristics of the People of Got

782 The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history: 
- It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation."202 
- One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being "born anew," a birth "of water and the Spirit,"203 that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism. 
- This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is "the messianic people." 
- "The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple." 
- "Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us."204 This is the "new" law of the Holy Spirit.205 
- Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world.206 This people is "a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race." 
-Its destiny, finally, "is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time."207

A priestly, prophetic, and royal people

783 Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. the whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.208

784 On entering the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in this people's unique, priestly vocation: "Christ the Lord, high priest taken from among men, has made this new people 'a kingdom of priests to God, his Father.' the baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood."209

785 "The holy People of God shares also in Christ's prophetic office," above all in the supernatural sense of faith that belongs to the whole People, lay and clergy, when it "unfailingly adheres to this faith . . . once for all delivered to the saints,"210 and when it deepens its understanding and becomes Christ's witness in the midst of this world.

786 Finally, the People of God shares in the royal office of Christ. He exercises his kingship by drawing all men to himself through his death and Resurrection.211 Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for he came "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."212 For the Christian, "to reign is to serve him," particularly when serving "the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder."213 The People of God fulfills its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ.

The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ's priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? and what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart?214

II. THE CHURCH - BODY OF CHRIST

The Church is communion with Jesus

787 From the beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings.215 Jesus spoke of a still more intimate communion between him and those who would follow him: "Abide in me, and I in you.... I am the vine, you are the branches."216 and he proclaimed a mysterious and real communion between his own body and ours: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."217

788 When his visible presence was taken from them, Jesus did not leave his disciples orphans. He promised to remain with them until the end of time; he sent them his Spirit.218 As a result communion with Jesus has become, in a way, more intense: "By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation."219

789 The comparison of the Church with the body casts light on the intimate bond between Christ and his Church. Not only is she gathered around him; she is united in him, in his body. Three aspects of the Church as the Body of Christ are to be more specifically noted: the unity of all her members with each other as a result of their union with Christ; Christ as head of the Body; and the Church as bride of Christ.

"One Body"

790 Believers who respond to God's word and become members of Christ's Body, become intimately united with him: "In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his Passion and glorification."220 This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ's death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which "really sharing in the body of the Lord, . . . we are taken up into communion with him and with one another."221

791 The body's unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: "In the building up of Christ's Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church."222 The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: "From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice."223 Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."224

"Christ is the Head of this Body"

792 Christ "is the head of the body, the Church."225 He is the principle of creation and redemption. Raised to the Father's glory, "in everything he (is) preeminent,"226 especially in the Church, through whom he extends his reign over all things.

793 Christ unites us with his Passover: all his members must strive to resemble him, "until Christ be formed" in them.227 "For this reason we . . . are taken up into the mysteries of his life, . . . associated with his sufferings as the body with its head, suffering with him, that with him we may be glorified."228

794 Christ provides for our growth: to make us grow toward him, our head,229 he provides in his Body, the Church, the gifts and assistance by which we help one another along the way of salvation.

795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ" (Christus totus). the Church is one with Christ. the saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man.... the fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church.230

Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.231

Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.232

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter."233

The Church is the Bride of Christ

796 The unity of Christ and the Church, head and members of one Body, also implies the distinction of the two within a personal relationship. This aspect is often expressed by the image of bridegroom and bride. the theme of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church was prepared for by the prophets and announced by John the Baptist.234 The Lord referred to himself as the "bridegroom."235 The Apostle speaks of the whole Church and of each of the faithful, members of his Body, as a bride "betrothed" to Christ the Lord so as to become but one spirit with him.236 The Church is the spotless bride of the spotless Lamb.237 "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her."238 He has joined her with himself in an everlasting covenant and never stops caring for her as for his own body:239

This is the whole Christ, head and body, one formed from many . . . whether the head or members speak, it is Christ who speaks. He speaks in his role as the head (ex persona capitis) and in his role as body (ex persona corporis). What does this mean? "The two will become one flesh. This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the Church."240 and the Lord himself says in the Gospel: "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."241 They are, in fact, two different persons, yet they are one in the conjugal union, . . . as head, he calls himself the bridegroom, as body, he calls himself "bride."242

III. THE CHURCH IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

797 "What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church."243 "To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the members."244 The Holy Spirit makes the Church "the temple of the living God":245

Indeed, it is to the Church herself that the "Gift of God" has been entrusted.... In it is in her that communion with Christ has been deposited, that is to say: the Holy Spirit, the pledge of incorruptibility, the strengthening of our faith and the ladder of our ascent to God.... For where the Church is, there also is God's Spirit; where God's Spirit is, there is the Church and every grace.246

798 The Holy Spirit is "the principle of every vital and truly saving action in each part of the Body."247 He works in many ways to build up the whole Body in charity:248 by God's Word "which is able to build you up";249 by Baptism, through which he forms Christ's Body;250 by the sacraments, which give growth and healing to Christ's members; by "the grace of the apostles, which holds first place among his gifts";251 by the virtues, which make us act according to what is good; finally, by the many special graces (called "charisms"), by which he makes the faithful "fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church."252

Charisms

799 Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world.

800 Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and by all members of the Church as well. They are a wonderfully rich grace for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ, provided they really are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit and are used in full conformity with authentic promptings of this same Spirit, that is, in keeping with charity, the true measure of all charisms.253

801 It is in this sense that discernment of charisms is always necessary. No charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Church's shepherds. "Their office (is) not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to what is good,"254 so that all the diverse and complementary charisms work together "for the common good."255

IN BRIEF

802 Christ Jesus "gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own" ( Titus 2:14).

803 "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" ( 1 Pet 2:9).

804 One enters into the People of God by faith and Baptism. "All men are called to belong to the new People of God" (LG 13), so that, in Christ, "men may form one family and one People of God" (AG 1).

805 The Church is the Body of Christ. Through the Spirit and his action in the sacraments, above all the Eucharist, Christ, who once was dead and is now risen, establishes the community of believers as his own Body.

806 In the unity of this Body, there is a diversity of members and functions. All members are linked to one another, especially to those who are suffering, to the poor and persecuted.

807 The Church is this Body of which Christ is the head: she lives from him, in him, and for him; he lives with her and in her.

808 The Church is the Bride of Christ: he loved her and handed himself over for her. He has purified her by his blood and made her the fruitful mother of all God's children.

809 The Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. the Spirit is the soul, as it were, of the Mystical Body, the source of its life, of its unity in diversity, and of the riches of its gifts and charisms.

810 "Hence the universal Church is seen to be 'a people brought into unity from the unity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit'" (LG 4 citing St. Cyprian, De Dom. orat. 23: PL 4, 553).

 
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