To possess and live the sense of the Church means first and foremost to believe in the God revealed byJesus Christ and proclaimed by the church. In order to believe and, as disciples, to follow Jesus of Nazareth - the Son of God, the Lord, the Messiah, the Redeemer of the human race - we must first come to know him by continual meditation on Holy Scripture, and especially on the Gospel, where he speaks to us in the first person to present us with his personality, his message, his claims, his miracles, his passion, death and resurrection - that is, 'the mystery
of his identity'.
To possess and live the sense of the Church means to know and love, the Church and sentire cum Ecclesia; to know and love the Church who is lin Christ, in the nature of a sacrament - a sign and instrument of communion with God and of unity with the whole human race' (Lumen Gentium I ); who is the sheepfold, whose one and necessary door and whose Good Shepherd is Christ (J0hn 10:1-10); who is the estate, the field of God, where Christ is the true vine making us who are its branches fruitful (John 15:1-5); who is the Body of Christ, in whom Christ's life is poured forth into us believers by the sacraments of the Faith; who is the New People of God, a people who has 'as its head Christ ". and its state is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose heart the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple; its law, the new commandment to love as Christ loved US; its destiny, the kingdom of God' (Lumen gentium 9).
Of this Church we are members and children; by this Church we have been begotten to supernatural life in Baptism, which has grafted us into Christ. We should therefore love this Church as our Mother , because 'they cannot have God for Father who do not have the Church for Mother' (St Cyprian, De Catholicae Ecclesiae unitate 6; CSEL 3,1,214). The Church is our Mother and Teacher: we ought filially and docilely to listen to what she says to us, to what she passes on to us and teaches us by means of the magisterium of the Successor of Peter, the perpetual and visible principle and foundation-stone of the unity of the Faith and of ecclesial communion, and of the Bishops who by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the Apostles as pastors of the Church. Whoever listens to them, listens to Christ whoever despises them, despises Christ and the One who sent him (Luke 10:6). Genuine Christians are always in tune with the magisterium of the Church; they accept it and, with God's help, put it into practice in the manifold circumstances of daily life. This is the meaning of sentire cum Ecclesia.
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