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The Profession of Faith

203

III.

T

he

M

ystery of

the

C

hurch

770

The Church is in history, but at the same time she tran-

scends it. It is only “with the eyes of faith”

183

that one can see her

in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as

bearer of divine life.

The Church—both visible and spiritual

771

“The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains

here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and

charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates

truth and grace to all men.”

184

The Church is at the same time:

— a “society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical

body of Christ;

— the visible society and the spiritual community;

— the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly

riches.”

185

These dimensions together constitute “one complex real-

ity which comes together from a human and a divine element”:

186

The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but

endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedi-

cated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pil-

grim, so constituted that in her the human is directed toward

and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible,

action to contemplation, and this present world to that city

yet to come, the object of our quest.

187

O humility! O sublimity! Both tabernacle of cedar and sanc-

tuary of God; earthly dwelling and celestial palace; house of

clay and royal hall; body of death and temple of light; and

at last both object of scorn to the proud and bride of Christ!

She is black but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, for

even if the labor and pain of her long exilemay have discolored

her, yet heaven’s beauty has adorned her.

188

183

Roman Catechism

I, 10, 20.

184

LG

8 § 1.

185

LG

8.

186

LG

8.

187

SC

2; cf.

Heb

13:14.

188 St. Bernard of Clairvaux,

In Cant. Sermo

27:14: PL 183:920D.

812

827

1880

954