Church as Ark

It has been attributed to the early Christian writer and theologian, Origen.  Bishop Fulton Sheen used to say it too.  Bishop Robert Baron is mentioning it now (with proper credit given to his spiritual predecessors, of course).

The idea is that the Catholic Church is much like Noah’s Ark.  Using your imagination, it’s not difficult to envision a crowded, loud, smelly floating structure filled with everything associated with animals.  There must have been treacherous storms.  It was probably a dangerous, miserable and foul place.  But, it was still humanity’s best hope.

The Catholic Church has taken a few black eyes recently.  For good reason.  But any kind of superficial survey across the centuries will reveal that black eyes are the norm.  In fact, the greatest scandals and darkest periods have never been enough to silence or quell it.  It perseveres in a way nothing else has throughout all of history.  It continues onward and for good reason.  That’s because it’s also filled with beauty, light, hope and truth.

This topic came up at a morning prayer group meeting in my parish over the past weekend and I thought I’d share it here.  With appreciation to Bishop Baron… and my Saturday morning friends.


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