Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Church Shall Triumph

While surfing the other day I came across an entry at The Brussels Journal which suprised me.

It shows a late 17th century pulpit in the Church of Our Lady in Dendermonde, Flanders (Belgium).

The pulpit shows two Angels trampling a man who appears to be Mohammed.

It reminds me of one of the statues in "Il Gesu" in Rome, the church where Saint Ignatius of Loyola is buried. The statue shows the Holy Mother Church throwing down who I believe are Luther and Calvin. Even a cherub is tearing the pages out of one of Luther's writings.

(click picuture for bigger version)
I've never had problems with a little triumphalism now and then. Fr. John Hardon defines it in his "Modern Catholic Dictionary" as, "A term of reproach leveled at the Catholic Church for the claim that she has the fullness of divine revelation and the right ot pass judgement on the personal and social obligations of humankind."

Certainly a triumphalistic approach is not going to work in certain situations of evangelization, but I often find that many Catholics are anti-triumphalistic to the point that they really don't believe that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of revelation. I find many Catholics who think that being Catholic is just one religion among equals. Other religious certainly participate in the Truth to some degree, ie the Orthodox have many of the same principles of faith and have valid Sacraments, many Protestants believe Jesus is Lord, Jews believe in God, etc. But none of these contain the fullness of God's revelation as the Catholic Church does.

I like to use a quote from Fr. Bill Casey, who is a Father of Mercy, when he was speaking about the struggle of the Church against the Devil. "I have read the Bible. I read the end ... and we win!"
Sounds triumphalistic, but if you believe in Christ and His Church, then you have to believe it is true. "The gates of Hell shall not prevail."


Denise said...

I didn't know all this. Thanks for the information! Nice blog

God bless


Jeffrey Smith said...

I think we could use a bit of triumphalism.