We're making big changes. Please try out the beta site at beta.ccel.org and send us feedback. Thank you!

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

jwmcmac's picture

Jeff posted: "re: De Maria

Jeff posted:

"re: De Maria wrote, "If you sin
Submitted by De Maria on Fri, 2010-01-15 05:06."


some of which says:

De Maria wrote, "But the Church has the remedy for your sin. The Sacrament of reconciliation with God and the Sacrament of the Union with God. Confession and Holy Eucharist."

Jeff writes, De Maria, if those sacraments were the remedy for sin then men would not be obligated to repeat them at least once a year.

De Maria replied:

Are you without sin? Is anyone?

Jeff replied:

The remedy for sin is the cross of Christ and that occurred but once because it was efficacious.

It is the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross which released the graces which are bestowed upon us in the Sacraments.

Jwmcmac jumps in:

Jeff, how do you miss Sacramental things so entirely? . . .

We 'wash' every day our bodies, because these get dirty . . . and Spiritually the same . . . in Confession . . . confessing our sins one to another in this Sacrament by which we 'Spiritually' wash the feet of one another, that part of us which gets dirty in sin . . . that part of our soul which gets dirty while in contact with this Life on earth . . . our sins dirty our soul . . . which requires that we 'wash' in order to be clean, Spiritually . . . or CHRIST would not have told us to do it . . . giving the authority to 'forgive' men's sins to men whom HE empowered to do so.

There you go again missing and negating man's part in all things CHRIST.

We 'eat' every day to feed our bodies . . . and Spiritually the same . . . we 'eat' our Daily Super-Substantial Bread, the Eucharistic Sacrificial Bread . . . to Sacramentally feed our Bodies and Souls.

Jeff quotes:

Heb 10:11-18 (KJV)
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
17 ...their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Jeff continues:

Yet, the sacraments are repeated daily.

De Maria replies:

Yes. And if you had read further, you would see that this verse would make no sense unless the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ were re-presented at every Mass.

29How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

How can one trample the Son of God underfoot if He is not Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist? How can one treat the Blood of the Covenant as unholy if it is not truly present in the Cup of Blessing?

I think Jeff said:

And why are they repeated daily?

De Maria said:

In accordance with the Word of God:
Matthew 6:11
Give us today our daily bread."

jwmcmac comments:

We eat and wash and breathe daily or as needed . . . because it is necessary to do so both physically and Spiritually . . . and CHRIST knew this of our Body and Soul Nature . . . or HE would not have become our Sacramental and Spiritual Food . . . becoming our Sacramental Bread of Life . . . becoming our Eternal Food, Real Meat and Real Drink.


continuing . . .


Jeff said:

As Scripture has said, "11 every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:"

jwmcmac comments:

Here you go again . . . not seeing the difference in the old Law and the New Covenant.

The Jews offered animals . . . which cannot take away sins.

The Catholics daily offer CHRIST . . . WHO is Sacramentally and fully Made Present on each and every Catholic Altar of Sacrifice in every age and every place and time . . . offering HIMSELF through HIS Sacramental Priesthood . . . and WHO is simultaneously fully Present in Heaven on the Altar of GOD's Sacrifice . . . offering HIMSELF as the High Priest . . . offering HIMSELF as the Lamb Slain before the foundation of the World in Heaven and WHO was Slain once, Historically, at Calvary . . . HE becoming the Eternal Transubstantiated Bread and Wine of Sacrifice . . . just as CHRIST told HIS Church to do . . . in this Commemoration and Memorial which is really HIMSELF offering HIMSELF to HIS FATHER . . . but HE doing this through us and us doing this with and through HIM.

I think De Maria or Jeff said:

Do you claim that Jesus' sacrifice can't take away sin?

Jeff said:

The sacraments prove themselves ineffective by their very nature. If they were the remedy for sin then they would not need to be repeated continually.

De Maria said:

Christ said that the Church remits sin. We believe Christ.

Why should we believe you?

Jeff said:

Perhaps what you meant to say was that the sacraments are rituals the church uses as a way of forgetting God which pass as a way of remembering Him because they put to silence the conscience without the humiliation of confessing before the all-knowing, heart-searching God.

jwmcmac comments:


There is not much 'outward' humiliation in conversing with oneself directly to GOD . . . as you imply . . . this type of confession is very easy to do, privately . . . and this does not address the Nature of man as a visible Creation.

But there is very much humiliation in saying one's sins 'out-loud' to a Priest appointed with the power to forgive in JESUS Name and by HIS given Authority . . . and this addresses our Sacramental Nature as body and Soul Creations . . . this is a Sacramental Instrument which addresses our Nature fully.

We do not bypass our Nature as man in this Sacrament.

We outwardly and inwardly confess and are forgiven.

De Maria said:

Most people would prefer to pretend to confess directly to God as you propose. The reason being that they consider it humiliating to confess to a man.

But God has authorized men to forgive the sins of men in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You don't obey because YOU don't like it.

We obey whether we like it or not, because we love God and have faith in Him.

Jeff said:

A sinner can confess his sins before another faulty human being and thereby he is taught to believe it unnecessary to come humbly before God and submit his will to His Creator.

De Maria replies:

On the contrary. Anyone who confesses his sins must come humbly before God represented by His Priest.

Jeff misquoted:

What did jwmcmac say recently? "You see, man has ever chafed at God's laws. Adam and Eve preferred the Serpent's suggestions to God's commands. The Jews preferred a human King to the presence of God between the Cherubim, and today, people prefer secular government to the instrument which God is now using to unite all to Himself, the Catholic Church." He could have also said, And today men prefer to confess to a priest than to humble themselves before God.

jwmcmac comments:

I never said that quote . . . I do not know from whence you got that one . . .

De Maria said (in reply to the misquote by Jeff):

On the contrary. Those who claim that they need not humble themselves before men, consider themselves greater than God's own Son. Who humbled Himself before all men, unto death on the Cross.

But those who won't humble themselves before men echo the words of the Enemy who said, "I will not serve".

jwmcmac comments:

De Maria speaks the Truth . . . but Jeff misses it.

Jeff said:

I realize you have your set up scriptures you repeatedly bring up to convince yourself the church is able to forgive sins. But scripture also says that only God can forgive sins. "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Luke 5:21 (KJV) But of course, Jesus is God and can forgive sins. And this He taught them next. But He did not correct them and say, "No, but the priest can also forgive sins."

jwmcmac comments:

No. CHRIST set up the Scriptures to do this.

Your complaint is the same that the Scribes and Pharisees leveled at CHRIST . . . that a man can't forgive sins . . . but the Scribes and Pharisees were wrong . . . JESUS being fully man and fully GOD . . . forgave men's sins . . . and HE clearly in Scripture gives this ability to HIS Priests whom HE sent into the world to do these things in HIS Name and by HIS Authority.

Jeff or De Maria said:

But He did say,
John 20:23
If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

jwmcmac comments:

See what I told you.

Jeff said:

Rather He proved His divinity by healing the man whom He had just forgiven. And so He reinforced their belief, "who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Jesus used the truth they uttered to prove He was God, first by forgiving the man's sins, and then by healing him.

De Maria said:

And then He gave to men the ability to forgive sins.

jwmcmac comments:

The three monkeys come to mind.

I see how you twist this, Jeff . . . but what I don't see . . . is Why? . . . is How? . . . when you must ignore and twist so many other things of Scripture to come up with this twist . . . and you must . . . at least in this temporary twisting moment . . . you must be very narrow and short in sight to not see this twisting and contradicting that you are doing here.

Jeff said:

I wish that we could get past this because there is so much more to tell you about Hebrews and Christ's ministry in heaven. That is why I mention you in my prayers. I want everyone to have a direct and intimate relationship with Jesus. And that requires that we set aside all the middle men. Sure, let the church or preaching introduce you to Christ but then tell them to hand you the phone you want to talk to Him yourself.

jwmcmac comments:

Tell us where your 'meandering' mind is at . . . but don't expect us to agree with you.

We agree with the Church.

You have 'centered' your Faith on 'yourself' in doing what you are doing in ignoring the Church . . . centering on whatever 'you' interpret to be CHRIST . . . at any given moment . . . centering on your version of all things CHRIST.

I'm getting the picture . . . that if I center on myself . . . I will soon have your perspective . . . which would then be my own personal version of CHRIST and . . . of Scripture . . . and in doing this . . . like you . . . in doing this I will have 'some version' of the Church to my liking . . . somewhere in the ether of my mind.

At least I am beginning to 'get' your 'perspective' . . . and I leave it up to you to 'inform' me where you are going and I am beginning to 'understand' why you go around and around and around without getting to any Doctrinal Beliefs.

Jeff said:

And I continue praying for all who claim to have a direct line to God. God Himself has spoken about them:
Matthew 23:12
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, ...."

jwmcmac said:

Thanks! Jeff . . . you have a good intention and heart . . . I think . . . or . . . was that a shot? Ha! Ha!

It is you who are the one who claims to have the direct line . . . that you do not similarly allow the Church to have this . . . but only yourself . . . so who is exalting themselves? . . . and who will be humbled? . . . room in there for everyone . . .

We only claim that the Church is actually the Church and if we Hear Her then we are Hearing CHRIST . . . just exactly as Scripture says.

GOD Bless us all.