Saturday, April 21, 2007

Quotation from Dom Marmion

D. Columba Marmion, (ed 1925)


SUMMARY. The mystery of the Church inseparable from the Mystery of Christ: they form only one mystery.

According to the beautiful words of St. Augustine, we cannot have a full conception of Christ considered apart from the Church: Totus Christus caput et corpus est: caput unigenitus Dei Filius, et corpus ejus Ecclesia.(2)


How does the Church continue Christ by her doctrine and jurisdiction?

When Christ came into this world, the only means of going to the Father was to submit oneself entirely to His Son Jesus: Hic est filius meus dilectus, ipsum audite. In the beginning of the public life of the Savior, the Eternal Father showed His Son to the Jews, and said to them: Hear Him because He is My Only Son; I send Him to reveal to you the secrets of My Divine life and My will: Ipse enarravit … ipsum audite.

But since His Ascension, Christ has left His Church on earth, and this Church is like the extension of the Incarnation amongst us. The Church-that is to say, the Sovereign Pontiff, and the Bishops, with the pastors who are subject to them-speaks to us with all the infallible authority of Jesus Christ Himself.

While He was upon earth, Christ contained infallibility in Himself: Ego sum veritas. “I am the Truth; I am the Life; he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”(6) Before leaving us, He confided these powers to His Church: Sicut misit Me Pater, et ego mitto vos. “As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you;(7) he that heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you, despiseth Him that sent Me.” Qui vos audit, Me audit: et qui vos spernit, Me spernit. Qui autem Me spernit, spernit eum qui misit Me.”(8) “In the same way that I hold My doctrine from My Father, so the doctrine that you teach, you hold from Me; whosoever receives this doctrine, receives My doctrine, which is that of My Father; whosoever despises it, in whatever degree or measure it may be, despises My doctrine, despises Me, and despises My Father.”

Consider then this Church, possessing all the power, all the infallible authority of Christ, and understand that the absolute submission to the Church of all your being, intellect, will, and energies is the only means of going to the Father. Christianity in its true expression, only exists by means of this absolute submission to the doctrine and laws of the Church.

Properly speaking, this submission to the Church distinguishes the Catholic from the Protestant. For example, the latter may believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, but if he believes in it, it is because he has found this doctrine in the Scriptures and tradition, by his own efforts and personal lights; the Catholic believes it because the Church, which holds the place of Christ, teaches him this doctrine. Both hold the same truth, but the manner of holding is different. The Protestant does not submit to any authority; he depends only on himself; the Catholic receives Christ with all that He has taught and founded. Christianity is, in practice, submission to Christ in the person of the Sovereign Pontiff and the pastors united to him: submission of the intellect to their teaching, submission of the will to their commandments. This way is safe, for Our Lord is with His Apostles until the consummation of the world, and He has prayed for Peter and his successors that their faith shall not fail.(9)

(2) De Unitate Eccles.
(6) John 14:6, 8:12
(7) ibid 20:21
(8) Luke 10:16
(9) ibid 22:32


  1. That is a wonderful book as is all off his writings.

  2. Jeff,

    I did a search, and didn't find an online edition, so I pounded the keys for this quote. If there's an online edition I'd like to know...

  3. S'funny, I just recommended this today in blog-land.

  4. I'm reading it because you recommended it to me a few months ago. Very glad you did!

    The post is a rebuke to subscribers of the "Winnipeg Statement" of the CCCB.

    It's interesting that St. John says that the sign of the antichrist is one who divides christ; one certainly does this by attempting to remove the head from the body. Marmion reminds us that this cannot be done.

  5. LOL! I thought you recommended it to ME so I was passing on the favour to others. Now, you see, that *is* funny.

  6. I liked your reading list. I think Boylan's book has a list of the top 10 spiritual classics, but a 20th century list is a good list too.