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One Flesh Union - Christ and the Church

De Maria's picture

What is the One Flesh Union concerning Christ and the Church?

I have posted a version of this question in the Biblical Studies because I believe it is a beautiful question to ponder. And another version in the interdenominational Discussions to see how we view this mystery as expressed in the Sacrament of Matrimony differently.

But I have really been waiting patiently and anxiously for quite a long time to post this particular question on this forum because in another discussion here, the Catholic view of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church was called blasphemous. Specifically this teaching from the Catechism.

795 Christ and his Church thus together make up the "whole Christ" (Christus totus). The Church is one with Christ. The saints are acutely aware of this unity:

Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church.

Our redeemer has shown himself to be one person with the holy Church whom he has taken to himself.

Head and members form as it were one and the same mystical person.

A reply of St. Joan of Arc to her judges sums up the faith of the holy doctors and the good sense of the believer: "About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter."

Our understanding of the One Flesh Union between Christ and the Church is based upon this verse.
Ephesians 5:
30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Now, it seems to me that our understanding lines up pretty well with Scripture.

And so, I posted this particular thread to see how your views contrast with the Catholic view of this greatest and most wonderful of mysteries.


De Maria

De Maria's picture

re: re: re: Can Christ be lost?

Dm said,

On the contrary, Scripture teaches that Christians can be lost:
Hebrews 2:2-4 (King James Version)
2For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Mike says,

That passage only ensures that we will be disciplined for neglecting our birthright as children of the King.

You must have forgotten that the original Hebrews did not enter the promised land. But only their children.
Numbers 14:29-31 (King James Version)

29Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. 30Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
31But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.

This is to what is made reference here. And therefore, we Christians should take care to show fidelity to God always. Or we also can be lost on the way to the Promised Land.

Taught in Hebrews 12 as well

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

Therefore, discipline is another form of assurance of salvation.

That is true. But not "absolute" assurance.
Romans 2 5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

As the reprobate will also be punished.

DM quoted,

Hebrews 6

4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Mike says,

I agree that this is a difficult passage to understand. It does seem "meaty" as hebrews 5:14 suggests.

I dont identify with "them", "those" or "they".

I identify with Paul who said a few verses later in verse 9 ....

9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.


DM quoted item 837,

Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"

Mike says,

Is this suggesting that an unsaved person can be part of the body spoken of in item 795?

The Protestant understanding of saved and unsaved is totally foreign to Scripture and the Catholic Church.

Scripture and the Catholic Church understand saved to mean "set apart" for God. Not as absolutely saved in eternity, which is the Protestant understanding which is self contradictory since so many claim they are saved and their own brethren judge them reprobate based upon their behaviour.

Further more ... to remove any confusion about item 795 ...
is De Maria one of the saints in item 795
The saints are acutely aware of this unity:
or are you distinct somehow from that group ?????

The Saints to which 795 refers are the teachings of the Canonized Saints whose lessons we study as examples to follow. So, no, I am not one of the canonized Saints.

I am, however, one of the Saints Battling. A member of the Body of Christ who is still being perfected by God.

And I do believe that I am a member of the Body of Christ as the Church teaches we are incorporated into that Body at Baptism.

De Maria