One Holy Church!

1 Corinthians 6:11

But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

It is worth noting that today’s verse is written in the midst of a long letter by Paul in which he is scolding the Corinthians for such things as pride, factionalism, sexual license, getting drunk at Mass, and various other things one does not associate with the term “holy.”  Paul’s moral exhortation to the Corinthians is what the Catholic exhortation has ever been: “Become what you are!”  The curious thing about the Church is that, since it is the mystical Body of Christ, it exists before it has any members, since the animating life of the Church is not you or me, but the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ.  It is He, not we, who makes it holy.  That is why we can speak of the Church as holy, despite the sins of all — and we do mean all — its members here on earth.  The Lord is our holiness.  Without Him, we’re just a bunch of schleps.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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  • aquinas74

    Amen! Thank you, Mr. Shea, for capatilizing the pronoun when referring to Jesus: Him, His, et al. So many don’t; perhaps an unintended – or intended – dumming down our Creator.


    Phil Ferguson, O.P.L.