God has put me on the bench in terms of carrying the flag in such arguments.
However, folks who fail to understand that
HE HIMSELF will be dealing with such wholesale balderdash
are in for some serious surprises.
The feet are adequate, thank you.
So, lissen, is it the possibility of a kind of "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord," self-delusion that cranks you up the most about this kind of thing, or what?
Certainly there is the risk or threat or somesuch of a kind of institutional arrogance and presumption. I would say that wasn't so much the problem with the idea of the institution itself but the sinfulness of the d00d with the idea.
That is, I can say, "I'm Catholic; I'm cool," OR I can say, "I'm Catholic. I have been given this awesome institutional gift as part of my allotment of talents. Woe is me if I bury this talent! Woe is me if I think having this talent I can leave it where it lies and, as long as I get my ticket punched, I am among the blessed."
It's not, to go further, a matter of earning my salvation. Far from it! But, well we used to distinguish between "free grace" and "cheap grace" in seminary. If I think God's grace a precious gift, I will think of it more and have recourse to it more and more. In my case extremely little by extremely little, the joy of having been given such a gift will penetrate my rough skin and even my stony heart and maybe, around the edges, little hints of vivification might be spotted, if the person looking were very alert and discerning. But, to be as clear as I can, that would be Christ's life, not mine, operating.
But we are clinging and posturing creatures. Given glorious robes because of the mercy of the King, we immediately put on airs as if the robes were earned, as if the King had finally realized OUR worth!
So we believe that the "plene esse of the Church subsists among those who are in communion with the See of Rome. If we say that as a boast, we are in peril -- I quite see that. If we view it as an entirely unmerited and bountiful gift, and one which not so much obliges but is itself also an obligation to appreciate more and more the splendor and grace of the gift, I think we are maybe not in such peril.
Let me put it another way. Being Catholic is to be poor. Any Catholic who thinks he's rich is poor indeed, while any Catholic who sees his poverty has all he needs.
Something like that anyway.
***God has put me on the bench in terms of carrying the flag in such arguments.***
Has He? Do you have a copy of that email so that the rest of us can do a St. Thomas.