RELATION NOT RELIGION?: A Quick Response
The belief “Relation not religion” is wrong. Religion is relation! Religion, from the Latin “re + ligare”, means to tie back or to reconnect. St. Thomas Aquinas says, “However, whether religion take its name from frequent reading, or from a repeated choice of what has been lost through negligence, or from being a bond, it denotes properly a relation to God” (Summa Theologiae IIa-IIae, Q. 81, a. 1).
Points to remember:
1. Because of sin man was separated from God (Is. 59: 2, Rom. 11: 17, Eph. 2: 12)
2. But reconciled by Our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5: 10-11, 2 Cor. 5: 18-19, Col. 1: 20)
3. In the Church (Eph. 2: 12-16, Col. 3: 15)
Christ is the head of His body the church (Col. 1: 18), and we are the members ( Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 12: 13). This imagery connotes a very intimate relationship as intimate as the body is connected to the head — whole, integral. True and intimate relationship with Jesus is in the church. Others are platitudes. Pope Francis reminds us, “Remember this well: to be Christian means belonging to the Church. The first name is “Christian”, the last name is “belonging to the Church” (General Audience, 03/ 24/ 14).
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