In God’s time, He chose to make Himself known through a mystery, revealed through His own construct for revelation, the Church.  His divine plan, taken up freely by His son, Jesus, who though known as fully man and fully God, is still a mystery, but known to us through sacramental mysteries provided only by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and known only by faith.  This Church, a universal entity open to all exists so that God can be with His creation; so that all might draw closer to their creator.  This divine wish was blocked by sin for a time, but God’s only son became man that this divide might be repaired.  Mankind struggled in the darkness until God’s light once again shone.  Faced with such a Holy light, man can see his own insignificance.  Moses walked barefoot and veiled his face at the presence of God, Isaiah cries out “woe is me” at the sight of the eternal throne, Peter declared himself a sinful man at the feet of Jesus; man was lost and fearful in the presence of their loving creator.  Even a century after the Christ event, the Cure of Ars would still be teaching mankind how to rest at the feet of Christ saying while he sat at adoration, “I look at Him and He looks at me”.  Such a simple practice, so desired by God, and yet we still act like Adam hiding in the garden knowing that we are naked before God.

So deep in the confusion of the mystery of God becoming man we were that the first heresies of the Church all revolved around the erroneous belief that God did not truly become man, posed through the Gnostic and Donatist heresies, first among many.  Beginning with the first council of Nicaea and continuing through the Second Vatican council, the Church clearly began putting theologians right by first proclaiming the “homoousios” of Christ.

As mankind began to see Jesus as the Christ, they very quickly found the cost of discipleship.  St. Paul correctly told the Philippians “Whoever is called “to teach Christ” must first seek “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus”; he must suffer “the loss of all things …” in order to “gain Christ and be found in him….”[1]  So we must sacrifice all, and this seems folly to many, to paraphrase St. Paul.  But we must remember always it was God who sacrificed first; He does not ask anything of us that He has not already done.  What is more the mystery is that we are compelled to make this sacrifice, to give our lives to God.  Natural law tells us that God’s Word is written on our heart, we are drawn to such truth as the moth to the flame.  That same heartfelt Word brought Peter to his proclamation that indeed Jesus was the Christ, the son of the living God.  Jesus rewards this faith with the founding of His Church, with Peter as the head.

The Spirit was present at creation, present at the infancy of the Church, and certainly present with Christ as He would begin His earthly ministry.  Likewise, the Spirit in the form of a dove marked the end of the flood, the cleansing of the world from evil. Again that same Spirit came upon Mary that she might conceive the Son of God, and again at Jesus’ baptism that same dove marked the purification of all creation.

At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol of the most perfect realization of the Church.[2]  Mary, pure and Holy is the architype of the Church.  She gave her life completely to the Father, keeping herself pure and holy, and God, through the blessed virgin gave to man His most complete and clear revelation of love.  This is the Church, the font of God’s revelation and love.  We come to her doors to partake in worship and sacraments, receiving mysteries that we might understand the unknowable Father and His plan for our life.

Thus, the Church has been planned since creation, with Jesus as it’s priest, prophet and king.  All in the Church look to Christ for our sole source of salvation, and to Peter and the successors of the apostles as our sole source of the sacraments.  Jesus would give His life for the Church, making the total and complete sacrifice, and in doing so leaves two more mysteries of the faith, His redemptive death and His resurrection which opens for us everlasting life.  These final mysteries are available freely to all through the Church.

Though a mystery to us, the time of salvation, the means of salvation, and the conduit of revelation, were not mysterious to God, they were all found in God’s only Son, brought to us through a virgin.  The mystery of salvation is solved in the reality of Jesus through the sacraments of the Church He founded.  He left these mysteries that we might all enjoy life with God; as was His plan from the moment of creation.


[1] Catholic Church. (2000). Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed., p. 108). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference.

[2] CCC 507

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