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The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana


 
 
 

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THE CHURCH


 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

"COME, FOLLOW ME.

Holiness, without which no one can see God, consists in the following of Christ. And the following of Christ consists in obedience to the commands He has given. These commands are summarized in the Beatitudes.

The first step in the following of Christ is humility, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." This is the first Beatitude, to be "poor in spirit." "If I, then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

In words and in action, Christ showed humility through obedience. . .even obedience unto death. The perfection in the following of Christ is when you have love for one another as Christ has loved you.

"Come, follow Me." How shall we do this? "Let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me." This seems impossible. So the young man left Christ, unable to do so; and the disciples became perplexed: "Then, who can be saved?"

To follow Christ, we must keep His commandments, which is only possible if God first pours His love in us.  "We love God because He first loved us." Only he who loves God will keep His commands. He who does not love God has no reason for keeping His commands (St. Augustine). That's why God loved us first. He has poured out His love in us. Now, we have no reason NOT to obey His commands.

In the Old Testament, the law was given to prepare us to receive grace; in the New Testament, grace was given that we may fulfill the commands of Christ.

God loves us. This love enables us to obey the commands of Christ. Obedience to Christ's commands makes us abide in the love of God. "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love."

The WORK OF THE CHURCH is to bring to remembrance and teach to understanding ALL the commands of Christ. And these commands have been fully taught and explained and demonstrated in the early Church. Nothing more can be added to them nor subtracted from them. And this is the role of the Pope as head of the Church. "He who hears you, hears Me."

The way of life described as the following of Christ is first found in the oral Divine Tradition and then later on outlined in Scriptures for the first Christians' easy recall. So there was a time when there was no 'Scriptures', just 'Tradition'. And it was Tradition which later dictated what must be the books that should make up the New Testament.

And so Christians must judge the true way in the following of Christ, firstly, on the Tradition of the Fathers of the Church and, secondly, on Scriptures. Everything else can be judged as right or wrong in the same way. 

 

 

 

 

 

(09-01-03)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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