Lesson 43: . . . _

The holy Catholick Church.

The Church, God’s Kingdom, The Society of God’s People, is not only fighting and militant in earth, waiting and expectant in purgatory. It is also triumphant and victorious in heaven. There, as here, it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. St. John, whom our Lord called his best friend (St. John 13, 23), to whom at his death he entrusted his mother (St. John 19, 25 to 27), saw it before he left this world. His book, Revelation, is a description of it; you will especially like Chapter 21.

In The Church Victorious are the Saints (French, “holy”; Latin, “sanctus”). They once lived in this world; were men, women and children exactly like us (Hebrews 11, 37 and 38).

They were baptised into the same Church Militant; and had to fight throughout life here against the same three enemies. Many of them sinned and failed often; but none of them ever gave up trying. They had the same seven sacraments to help them; had no more, and no less, of the same grace of God that you and I have; loved the same Blessed Sacrament; were led and strengthened by the same Holy Ghost.

In fact they really were people exactly like us.

I shouldn’t be surprised if some lived in Haggerston. Now they have passed through purgatory and are in heaven, victorious over all temptations, triumphant over every difficulty, eternally happy, seeing God’s lovely face (Revelation 22, 1 to 5).

It is in the power of each one of us to be with them one day, if - however often we fall and fail - we always get up and start again, never give up trying. The Way of The One Church runs from Haggerston, or anywhere else, through the dark gate of death (though, because of our Lord’s cross, it is not so dark as it was), and through the hidden place of purgatory, to The Church Victorious. It is not an easy way (St. Matthew 7,13 and 14); but it is a possible way, because of God the Holy Ghost. At baptism there was set apart for you in heaven a Saint’s crown: so (Revelation 2, 10).