Skip to comments.Is the Church a Cruise Ship or a Battleship?
Posted on 05/18/2018 7:48:24 AM PDT by Salvation
Some years ago, Fr. Patrick Smith, a friend of mine and a priest of this archdiocese, preached a sermon in which he asked if the Church was a clubhouse or a lighthouse.
It seems that many people want the Church just to be a friendly place where people can gather. Many of these same people get angry when the Church shines the light of truth on something. They declare that the Church should just be open and inviting. They object when She is challenging or points to the demands of the gospel.
The Church must be more than just a clubhouse; otherwise, She is no different than a bowling league or the Moose Lodge. She is most certainly meant to be a lighthouse, warning of danger and giving light to those in darkness, but She also must risk that some who are accustomed to the darkness will complain of the Light of Christ She reflects.
It was indeed a fine sermon, and its message is essential and profound. I was mindful of that sermon when I ran across the video below from Ignitermedia.com, which asks if the Church is a cruise ship or a battleship.
Many people surely think of the Church as a cruise ship, existing to provide pleasure and entertainment. Peel me a grape! seems to be the attitude that some bring to Church. The video does a good job making its point by listing the questions often asked when evaluating a luxury cruise ship:
Our parishes ought to work very hard to ensure that the faithful are effectively served and are helped to find God. Good sermons, reverent liturgy, good music, a beautiful church building, and dedicated clergy and lay staff are all important. God deserves the very best and so do His people.
However, it the world does not exist merely to please us. No parish we attend will ever be exactly the way we want it. No priest preaches perfectly every Sunday. The choir does not always sing our favorites.
Some people stay away from Church, calling it boring or saying they arent being fed. But in the end its not about you! We go to Mass to worship God because He is worthy, because He deserves our praise, and because He has commanded us to do so. God has something important to say to us whether we want to hear it or not. He directs us to eat His flesh and drink His blood, whether we like it or not. We must eat or else we will die. Holy Mass is about God and what He is saying and doing.
The video goes on to suggest that a better image for the Church is a battleship. I was less impressed with the way they compared the Church and a battleship, so I have added my some of my own questions as well:
Some dislike any military imagery in reference to the faith. One person angrily told me that the Church is not a battleship; She is a fishing vessel. Perhaps, but one image does not preclude another. Pugna spiritalis (spiritual battle) is simply a fact. We are besieged by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are called to engage the battle and by Gods grace win through to victory. Our weapons are the Word of God, the teachings of the Church, the Sacraments, and prayer. We cannot win on our own but must work together under the authority of the Church, which is herself under Gods care and authority. We are rooted in the wisdom of tradition and guided by it. A certain pontiff emeritus suggested that the Church is taking on water lately but will not go under because the Lord is sleeping in the back quarters.
The Barque of St. Peter has endured many storms yet has never sunk. She is a sure a steady ship on a clear and noble mission. She is a well-armed battleship, armed with grace and truth.
Monsignor Pope Ping!
When Jesus returns again he comes as the lion and not the lamb.
A church is analogous to a hospital ship.
Neither. It’s a fishing trawler..................
No. It’s a lighthouse, shining the light of eternal truth to guide man through the darkness.
That was covered above on the battleship:
**Does the ship have adequate first aid and medical help?**
Covered with these words:
**Our weapons are the Word of God, the teachings of the Church, the Sacraments, and prayer.**
Think about the saints with that description of duty weapons.
I always pictured an aircraft carrier, myself.
Somebody needs to stop the Captain from putting holes in the hull.
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. “And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”
I love that image!
Misleading title, I thought you were talking about the true church, the body of Christ, not some organization.
Just as an aside, is anyone else as annoyed as I am when the mainstream press refers to any warship as a “battleship”? I’ve seen the term used to describe ships as small as frigates.
Is there a "Onward Christian Soldiers"....?
It is going to be the greatest sight in history.
It’s a mixed bag. There are those in hit who are battleships, those who are cruise ship and those who are tramp steamers.
Actually, the post-vatican 2 ship is the Titanic.
**Is there a “Onward Christian Soldiers”....? **
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