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

JeffLogan's picture

A reply to: re: De Maria

A reply to:

re: De Maria wrote, I
Submitted by De Maria on Mon, 2010-01-18 20:29.

De Maria writes, "Please, show me where St. Paul cast aside the Church:"

You have already answered your own question when you said, "He cast aside the Jewish faith and clung to the Church of Christ." I don't believe they let him continue in his office when he became Christian? And I don't think it concerned him.

But after trying to see the cause for our confusion I think I do. Because I am suggesting you cast off the Catholic Church, since it appears to be a hindrance to your knowing your Father in a personal way, you are perhaps thinking I am suggesting that Paul also cast off the apostolic church. But that would make no sense since he was helping to establish it and grow it.

I should not have used the word church. I think that is what confused you because you cited the correct scripture and arrived at the correct conclusion. I should have said Paul cast off his Jewish faith.

Now, in light of that clarification concerning my misuse of the word church, do you still ask, "Please, show me where St. Paul cast aside the Church:"

But I don't believe I said Paul cast off the church. I think I said, "Paul cast aside his church laws and his obedience to them to gain Christ." But still I should have made it clearer that I was speaking of his Jewish church laws or Pharisee-ism. Still, I think you yourself would classify your challenge as a straw man argument.

    “The path of true piety is so plain as to require
    but little political direction.” --George Washington,
    re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. -Proverbs 18:2 NIV