It says in Revelation that the height, length, and width are of equal dimensions — as it was with the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle and First Temple — and they measure 12, furlongs which is approximately John writes that the wall is cubits , which is assumed to be the thickness since the length is mentioned previously. It is important to note that 12 is the square root of The number 12 was very important to early Jews and Christians, and represented the 12 tribes of Israel and 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ.
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In this way, New Jerusalem is thought of as an inclusive place, with the 12 gates accepting all of the 12 tribes of Israel from all corners of the earth. There is no temple building in the New Jerusalem. God and the Lamb are the city's temple, since they are worshiped everywhere. Revelation 22 goes on to describe a river of the water of life that flows down the middle of the great street of the city from the Throne of God.
The tree of life grows in the middle of the street and to both sides of the river. The tree bears twelve kinds of fruit and yields its fruit every month. According to John, "The leaves of the tree were for healing those of all nations. The fruit the tree bears may be the fruit of life. John states that the New Jerusalem will be free of sin. The servants of God will have theosis i. There are twelve 12 gates hanging from the wall of the New City of Jerusalem.
These 12 gates are oriented in groups of three and face the four cardinal directions of the compass needle: the north, south, east and west. There is an angel at each gate, residing in a gatehouse. The 12 gates are each made of a 'single' pearl , giving these the name " pearly gates ". The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on the 12 gates.
The New Jerusalem gates may bear some relation to the gates mentioned in Enoch , Chapters 33—35, where the prophet, Enoch reports that from each of the four "heavenly gates — opening in heaven — three new gates were seen distinctly separating off, as if the extremities of the whole earth" [were pulling apart each of the four gates into three new ones].
Thus, the four gates were each replaced by three new ones, totaling twelve [i. Laurence translation, Book of Enoch. In , the angel measures the city with a golden rod or reed, and records it as 12, stadia by 12, stadia at the base, and 12, stadia high. In the ancient Greek system of measurement, the base of the New Jerusalem would have been equal to million square stadia, 4.
If rested on the Earth, its ceiling would be inside the upper boundary of the exosphere but outside the lower boundary. The work is addressed to the "seven churches that are in Asia" Revelation is normally broken into three sections: the prologue , the visions , and the epilogue This study is principally concerned with chapter The author of Revelation was both a Jew by birth and a believing Christian. For the author and the addressees of Revelation, they are searching for the Lord to vindicate them and judge the "inhabitants of the earth," for their suffering The fall of Jerusalem coupled with the Neronian persecutions form the tension within the subtext of Revelation.
This Temple appears to be of heavenly origin. When the eschaton arrives in REV , the reader expects the temple to come down from heaven with the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21 even contains typical New Jerusalem terminology that accompanies a restored Temple. Specific measurements are given for the new city Ezekiel , 4Q , and the city is built with gold, sapphires, and emeralds Isaiah, Tobit. In addition, references the "twelve gates.
Verse 22 marks a sudden and remarkable shift in New Jerusalem apocalyptic rhetoric: "I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. Why has the Revelation suddenly denied an eschatological Temple? Verse 23 sheds light on this disparity. Verse 23 proclaims, "And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is the light, and its lamp is the lamb. Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.
The Temple is discarded in the eschaton because the Lord will provide illumination for the New Jerusalem, and Christ will be the glory for its residents. Henceforth, Christians believed that the New Jerusalem no longer required a Temple. For Christians, their Lord sufficiently replaced the Temple. Discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls near Qumran , Israel , were fragments of a scroll which describes New Jerusalem in minute detail.
The New Jerusalem Scroll as it is called appears to contain apocalyptic vision, although, being fragmented, it is hard to categorize. Written in Aramaic , the text describes a vast city, rectangular in shape, with twelve gates and encircled by a long wall. Similar descriptions appear in Ezekiel and Revelation and comparison to the Temple Scroll also found near Qumran shows many similarities despite no direct literary links between the two.
From the middle of the 2nd century CE to the middle of the 6th century CE, the ancient Christian sect of Montanism , which spread all over the Roman Empire, expected the New Jerusalem to descend to earth at the neighboring Phrygian towns of Pepuza and Tymion. In late antiquity , both places attracted crowds of pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire. Pepuza was the headquarters of the Montanist church. The Montanist patriarch resided at Pepuza. Women played an emancipated role in Montanism, serving as priests and also bishops.
In the 6th century CE, this church became extinct. Since , Peter Lampe of the University of Heidelberg has directed annual archaeological campaigns in Phrygia, Turkey. During these interdisciplinary campaigns, together with William Tabbernee of Tulsa, numerous unknown ancient settlements were discovered and archaeologically documented. Two of them are the best candidates so far in the search for the identification of the two holy centers of ancient Montanism, Pepuza and Tymion , the sites of the expected descent of the New Jerusalem.
Scholars had searched for these lost sites since the 19th century. The ancient settlement discovered and identified as Pepuza by William Tabbernee and Peter Lampe was settled continuously from Hellenistic times to Byzantine times. In Byzantine times, an important rock-cut monastery belonged to the town. For the Montanists, the high plane between Pepuza and Tymion was an ideal landing place for the heavenly New Jerusalem.
Catholicism also holds that the New Jerusalem already exists as a spiritual community in Heaven , the Church triumphant , with an outpost on earth, the Church militant. Together, the Church triumphant, Church militant, and Church suffering form the Church universal. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on "Heaven" states that Catholic. For the surroundings in the midst of which the blessed have their dwelling must be in accordance with their happy state; and the internal union of charity which joins them in affection must find its outward expression in community of habitation.
At the end of the world, the earth together with the celestial bodies will be gloriously transformed into a part of the dwelling-place of the blessed Revelation Hence there seems to be no sufficient reason for attributing a metaphorical sense to those numerous utterances of the Bible which suggest a definite dwelling-place of the blessed. Theologians, therefore, generally hold that the heaven of the blessed is a special place with definite limits.
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Naturally, this place is held to exist, not within the earth, but, in accordance with the expressions of Scripture, without and beyond its limits. All further details regarding its locality are quite uncertain. The Church has decided nothing on this subject. Emperor Lalibela of Ethiopia built the city of Lalibela as a new reconstructed Jerusalem in response to the Muslim capture of Jerusalem by Saladin 's forces in The Church is an icon of the heavenly Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem was an important theme in the Puritan colonization of New England in the 17th century.
The Puritans were inspired by the passages in Revelation about the New Jerusalem, which they interpreted as being a symbol for the New World. The Puritans saw themselves as the builders of the New Jerusalem on earth. This idea was foundational to American nationalism. Ecclesiastic Swedenborgians often refer to their organizations as part of or contributing to the New Jerusalem as explained by Emanuel Swedenborg in such books as New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine , Apocalypse Revealed , and Apocalypse Explained.
Also according to these books, this New Jerusalem began to be established around This stems from their belief that Jerusalem itself is a symbol of the Church, and so the New Jerusalem in the Bible is a prophetic description of a New Church. The movement's founder, Joseph Smith , attempted to establish this Zion in the early s, and drafted a detailed plat of Zion based on his view of the biblical description of the New Jerusalem, including plans for a temple. However, due to political and military rivalry with other Missouri settlers, members of the religion were expelled from Missouri in Subsequently, several Latter Day Saint denominations have established residence there, believing that it will be the center of God's Millennial kingdom.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that New Jerusalem is made up of anointed Christians serving in heaven as Kings and Priests over the earth. The number of these King-Priests will eventually number , This belief is based on New Jerusalem being described as "a bride adorned for her husband" REV , and this same "bride" then being described as "the Lamb's wife" REV REV is seen as depicting a wife-like relationship between the Lamb and the ,, therefore linking the identity of the , with the Lamb's wife and in-turn also that of New Jerusalem.
The religious community known collectively as the Society of Universal Friends that gathered around the Quaker evangelist Jemima Wilkinson in the late 18th century was one of religious righteousness and devotion to Christian ideals. In , Wilkinson founded a community called New Jerusalem, planned as a communal society where righteousness would prevail in the wilderness of New York's Finger Lakes region, in what is today the town of Jerusalem, New York. The society faded away after the death of their leader.
Richard Brothers , the originator of British Israelism , developed a viewpoint that the British are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel , and that the capital city of Britain should therefore be re-modeled as a New Jerusalem for the coming Age of Enlightenment. Supposedly this idea was already present in 6th Century England, and that it reached its height of influence during and just after the First World War ; certain buildings, such as St Paul's Cathedral , supposedly contain elements of the plan in their design.
Bedwardism , a Jamaican religious movement active between and , asserted that August Town a suburb of Kingston was the New Jerusalem for the western hemisphere, and that Union Camp, where Alexander Bedward 's Free Baptist Church was located, was Zion. This movement fell apart when Bedward was arrested in Kimbanguism , a Congolese sectarian church founded in by Simon Kimbangu , refers to Kimbangu's birthplace in Nkamba, Congo a village near Mbanza-Ngungu , as New Jerusalem, where he reputedly performed miracles.
Like Bedward, Kimbangu was imprisoned for life in the year , however his movement continues with many followers to the present. The Kimbanguist believe that people of the Nkamba village saw the New Jerusalem descending from heaven a building physically in , by which time Father Simon Kimbangu was in prison. The Kimbanguist has constructed this same design of the building, calling it Nkamba New Jerusalem, in reference to Revelation 21; it has a river with supposed healing power. Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein wrote the story " If This Goes On— " , depicting a charismatic preacher managing to be elected President of the United States and setting up a theocratic dictatorship.
Among other things, the capital is moved from Washington, D. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city centered on the rebuilt Holy Temple. This article is about the prophecy of the New Jerusalem. For other uses, see New Jerusalem disambiguation. John of Patmos watches the descent of New Jerusalem from God in a 14th century tapestry.
Contrasting beliefs. The Millennium. Biblical texts. Key terms. See also: Babylonian captivity. See also: Jewish Christianity and Jerusalem in Christianity. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. See also: Zion Latter Day Saints. Main article: The 'anointed' Jehovah's Witnesses and salvation. Judaism portal Christianity portal. Christian Century.
Archived from the original on Retrieved Seraphim Rose The Apocalypse in the Teachings of Ancient Christianity. Platina CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. Thief in the Night. London: George Ronald. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. Some Answered Questions. God Passes By. To Him all things are made subject until He subjects Himself and all created things to the Father that God may be all in all. In this kingdom creation itself will be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God.
The faithful, therefore, must learn the deepest meaning and the value of all creation, as well as its role in the harmonious praise of God. They must assist each other to live holier lives even in their daily occupations. In this way the world may be permeated by the spirit of Christ and it may more effectively fulfill its purpose in justice, charity and peace.
The laity have the principal role in the overall fulfillment of this duty. Therefore, by their competence in secular training and by their activity, elevated from within by the grace of Christ, let them vigorously contribute their effort, so that created goods may be perfected by human labor, technical skill and civic culture for the benefit of all men according to the design of the Creator and the light of His Word. May the goods of this world be more equitably distributed among all men, and may they in their own way be conducive to universal progress in human and Christian freedom.
In this manner, through the members of the Church, will Christ progressively illumine the whole of human society with His saving light. Moreover, let the laity also by their combined efforts remedy the customs and conditions of the world, if they are an inducement to sin, so that they all may be conformed to the norms of justice and may favor the practice of virtue rather than hinder it.
By so doing they will imbue culture and human activity with genuine moral values; they will better prepare the field of the world for the seed of the Word of God; and at the same time they will open wider the doors of the Church by which the message of peace may enter the world. Because of the very economy of salvation the faithful should learn how to distinguish carefully between those rights and duties which are theirs as members of the Church, and those which they have as members of human society. Let them strive to reconcile the two, remembering that in every temporal affair they must be guided by a Christian conscience, since even in secular business there is no human activity which can be withdrawn from God's dominion.
In our own time, however, it is most urgent that this distinction and also this harmony should shine forth more clearly than ever in the lives of the faithful, so that the mission of the Church may correspond more fully to the special conditions of the world today. For it must be admitted that the temporal sphere is governed by its own principles, since it is rightly concerned with the interests of this world.
They should openly reveal to them their needs and desires with that freedom and confidence which is fitting for children of God and brothers in Christ. When occasions arise, let this be done through the organs erected by the Church for this purpose. Let it always be done in truth, in courage and in prudence, with reverence and charity toward those who by reason of their sacred office represent the person of Christ.
The laity should, as all Christians, promptly accept in Christian obedience decisions of their spiritual shepherds, since they are representatives of Christ as well as teachers and rulers in the Church. Let them follow the example of Christ, who by His obedience even unto death, opened to all men the blessed way of the liberty of the children of God. Nor should they omit to pray for those placed over them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of their souls, so that they may do this with joy and not with grief. Let the spiritual shepherds recognize and promote the dignity as well as the responsibility of the laity in the Church.
Let them willingly employ their prudent advice. Let them confidently assign duties to them in the service of the Church, allowing them freedom and room for action. Further, let them encourage lay people so that they may undertake tasks on their own initiative. Attentively in Christ, let them consider with fatherly love the projects, suggestions and desires proposed by the laity.
A great many wonderful things are to be hoped for from this familiar dialogue between the laity and their spiritual leaders: in the laity a strengthened sense of personal responsibility; a renewed enthusiasm; a more ready application of their talents to the projects of their spiritual leaders. The latter, on the other hand, aided by the experience of the laity, can more clearly and more incisively come to decisions regarding both spiritual and temporal matters.
In this way, the whole Church, strengthened by each one of its members, may more effectively fulfill is mission for the life of the world. Each individual layman must stand before the world as a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a symbol of the living God.
All the laity as a community and each one according to his ability must nourish the world with spiritual fruits. The Church, whose mystery is being set forth by this Sacred Synod, is believed to be indefectibly holy. He did this that He might sanctify her. Therefore in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification".
The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: "Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect". They are justified in the Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. Then too, by God's gift, they must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness they have received. They are warned by the Apostle to live "as becomes saints", and to put on "as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience", and to possess the fruit of the Spirit in holiness.
In order that the faithful may reach this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they have received it, as a gift from Christ. They must follow in His footsteps and conform themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history. The classes and duties of life are many, but holiness is one—that sanctity which is cultivated by all who are moved by the Spirit of God, and who obey the voice of the Father and worship God the Father in spirit and in truth.
These people follow the poor Christ, the humble and cross-bearing Christ in order to be worthy of being sharers in His glory. Every person must walk unhesitatingly according to his own personal gifts and duties in the path of living faith, which arouses hope and works through charity. In the first place, the shepherds of Christ's flock must holily and eagerly, humbly and courageously carry out their ministry, in imitation of the eternal high Priest, the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. They ought to fulfill this duty in such a way that it will be the principal means also of their own sanctification.
Those chosen for the fullness of the priesthood are granted the ability of exercising the perfect duty of pastoral charity by the grace of the sacrament of Orders. By this same sacramental grace, they are given the courage necessary to lay down their lives for their sheep, and the ability of promoting greater holiness in the Church by their daily example, having become a pattern for their flock.
Priests, who resemble bishops to a certain degree in their participation of the sacrament of Orders, form the spiritual crown of the bishops. They should preserve the bond of priestly communion, and they should abound in every spiritual good and thus present to all men a living witness to God.
Their praise lives on in the Church of God. By their very office of praying and offering sacrifice for their own people and the entire people of God, they should rise to greater holiness. They should ever nourish and strengthen their action from an abundance of contemplation, doing all this for the comfort of the entire Church of God. All priests, and especially those who are called "diocesan priests," due to the special title of their ordination, should keep continually before their minds the fact that their faithful loyalty toward and their generous cooperation with their bishop is of the greatest value in their growth in holiness.
Ministers of lesser rank are also sharers in the mission and grace of the Supreme Priest. They will accomplish this by their constancy in prayer, by their burning love, and by their unremitting recollection of whatever is true, just and of good repute. They will accomplish all this for the glory and honor of God. Besides these already named, there are also laymen, chosen of God and called by the bishop. These laymen spend themselves completely in apostolic labors, working the Lord's field with much success. Furthermore, married couples and Christian parents should follow their own proper path to holiness by faithful love.
They should sustain one another in grace throughout the entire length of their lives. They should embue their offspring, lovingly welcomed as God's gift, with Christian doctrine and the evangelical virtues. In this manner, they offer all men the example of unwearying and generous love; in this way they build up the brotherhood of charity; in so doing, they stand as the witnesses and cooperators in the fruitfulness of Holy Mother Church; by such lives, they are a sign and a participation in that very love, with which Christ loved His Bride and for which He delivered Himself up for her.
Finally, those who engage in labor—and frequently it is of a heavy nature—should better themselves by their human labors. They should be of aid to their fellow citizens. They should raise all of society, and even creation itself, to a better mode of existence. Indeed, they should imitate by their lively charity, in their joyous hope and by their voluntary sharing of each others' burdens, the very Christ who plied His hands with carpenter's tools and Who in union with His Father, is continually working for the salvation of all men.
In this, then, their daily work they should climb to the heights of holiness and apostolic activity. May all those who are weighed down with poverty, infirmity and sickness, as well as those who must bear various hardships or who suffer persecution for justice sake—may they all know they are united with the suffering Christ in a special way for the salvation of the world.
The Lord called them blessed in His Gospel and they are those whom "the God of all graces, who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself, after we have suffered a little while, perfect, strengthen and establish". Finally all Christ's faithful, whatever be the conditions, duties and circumstances of their lives—and indeed through all these, will daily increase in holiness, if they receive all things with faith from the hand of their heavenly Father and if they cooperate with the divine will.
In this temporal service, they will manifest to all men the love with which God loved the world. Indeed, in order that love, as good seed may grow and bring forth fruit in the soul, each one of the faithful must willingly hear the Word of God and accept His Will, and must complete what God has begun by their own actions with the help of God's grace. These actions consist in the use of the sacraments and in a special way the Eucharist, frequent participation in the sacred action of the Liturgy, application of oneself to prayer, self-abnegation, lively fraternal service and the constant exercise of all the virtues.
For charity, as the bond of perfection and the fullness of the law, rules over all the means of attaining holiness and gives life to these same means. It is the love of God and the love of one's neighbor which points out the true disciple of Christ. Since Jesus, the Son of God, manifested His charity by laying down His life for us, so too no one has greater love than he who lays down his life for Christ and His brothers.
The Church, then, considers martyrdom as an exceptional gift and as the fullest proof of love. By martyrdom a disciple is transformed into an image of his Master by freely accepting death for the salvation of the world—as well as his conformity to Christ in the shedding of his blood. Though few are presented such an opportunity, nevertheless all must be prepared to confess Christ before men.
They must be prepared to make this profession of faith even in the midst of persecutions, which will never be lacking to the Church, in following the way of the cross. Likewise, the holiness of the Church is fostered in a special way by the observance of the counsels proposed in the Gospel by Our Lord to His disciples. The reason for this was and is that perfect continency for the love of God is an incentive to charity, and is certainly a particular source of spiritual fecundity in the world. The Church continually keeps before it the warning of the Apostle which moved the faithful to charity, exhorting them to experience personally what Christ Jesus had known within Himself.
This was the same Christ Jesus, who "emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave. There are some who, in their freedom as sons of God, renounce their own wills and take upon themselves the state of poverty. Still further, some become subject of their own accord to another man, in the matter of perfection for love of God.
This is beyond the measure of the commandments, but is done in order to become more fully like the obedient Christ. Therefore, all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness and perfection of their own proper state. Indeed they have an obligation to so strive.
Let all then have care that they guide aright their own deepest sentiments of soul. Let neither the use of the things of this world nor attachment to riches, which is against the spirit of evangelical poverty, hinder them in their quest for perfect love. Let them heed the admonition of the Apostle to those who use this world; let them not come to terms with this world; for this world, as we see it, is passing away.
The evangelical counsels of chastity dedicated to God, poverty and obedience are based upon the words and examples of the Lord. They were further commanded by the apostles and Fathers of the Church, as well as by the doctors and pastors of souls. The counsels are a divine gift, which the Church received from its Lord and which it always safeguards with the help of His grace.
Church authority has the duty, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of interpreting these evangelical counsels, of regulating their practice and finally to build on them stable forms of living. Thus it has come about, that, as if on a tree which has grown in the field of the Lord, various forms of solidarity and community life, as well as various religious families have branched out in a marvelous and multiple way from this divinely given seed. Such a multiple and miraculous growth augments both the progress of the members of these various religious families themselves and the welfare of the entire Body of Christ.
They further offer their members the support of fraternal association in the militia of Christ and of liberty strengthened by obedience. Thus these religious are able to tranquilly fulfill and faithfully observe their religious profession and so spiritually rejoicing make progress on the road of charity. From the point of view of the divine and hierarchical structure of the Church, the religious state of life is not an intermediate state between the clerical and lay states. But, rather, the faithful of Christ are called by God from both these states of life so that they might enjoy this particular gift in the life of the Church and thus each in one's own way, may be of some advantage to the salvific mission of the Church.
The faithful of Christ bind themselves to the three aforesaid counsels either by vows, or by other sacred bonds, which are like vows in their purpose. By such a bond, a person is totally dedicated to God, loved beyond all things. In this way, that person is ordained to the honor and service of God under a new and special title. Indeed through Baptism a person dies to sin and is consecrated to God. However, in order that he may be capable of deriving more abundant fruit from this baptismal grace, he intends, by the profession of the evangelical counsels in the Church, to free himself from those obstacles, which might draw him away from the fervor of charity and the perfection of divine worship.
By his profession of the evangelical counsels, then, he is more intimately consecrated to divine service. Since this is so, the spiritual life of these people should then be devoted to the welfare of the whole Church. From this arises their duty of working to implant and strengthen the Kingdom of Christ in souls and to extend that Kingdom to every clime. This duty is to be undertaken to the extent of their capacities and in keeping with the proper type of their own vocation.
This can be realized through prayer or active works of the apostolate. It is for this reason that the Church preserves and fosters the special character of her various religious institutes. The profession of the evangelical counsels, then, appears as a sign which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation. The people of God have no lasting city here below, but look forward to one that is to come.
Since this is so, the religious state, whose purpose is to free its members from earthly cares, more fully manifests to all believers the presence of heavenly goods already possessed here below. Furthermore, it not only witnesses to the fact of a new and eternal life acquired by the redemption of Christ, but it foretells the future resurrection and the glory of the heavenly kingdom. Christ proposed to His disciples this form of life, which He, as the Son of God, accepted in entering this world to do the will of the Father.
This same state of life is accurately exemplified and perpetually made present in the Church. The religious state clearly manifests that the Kingdom of God and its needs, in a very special way, are raised above all earthly considerations. Finally it clearly shows all men both the unsurpassed breadth of the strength of Christ the King and the infinite power of the Holy Spirit marvelously working in the Church. Thus, the state which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, though it is not the hierarchical structure of the Church, nevertheless, undeniably belongs to its life and holiness.
It is the duty of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to regulate the practice of the evangelical counsels by law, since it is the duty of the same hierarchy to care for the People of God and to lead them to most fruitful pastures. It also aids by its vigilant and safeguarding authority those institutes variously established for the building up of Christ's Body in order that these same institutes may grow and flourish according to the spirit of the founders.
Any institute of perfection and its individual members may be removed from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries by the Supreme Pontiff and subjected to himself alone. This is done in virtue of his primacy over the entire Church in order to more fully provide for the necessities of the entire flock of the Lord and in consideration of the common good.
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The members of these institutes, in fulfilling their obligation to the Church due to their particular form of life, ought to show reverence and obedience to bishops according to the sacred canons. The bishops are owed this respect because of their pastoral authority in their own churches and because of the need of unity and harmony in the apostolate. The Church not only raises the religious profession to the dignity of a canonical state by her approval, but even manifests that this profession is a state consecrated to God by the liturgical setting of that profession.
The Church itself, by the authority given to it by God, accepts the vows of the newly professed. It begs aid and grace from God for them by its public prayer. It commends them to God, imparts a spiritual blessing on them and accompanies their self-offering by the Eucharistic sacrifice. Religious should carefully keep before their minds the fact that the Church presents Christ to believers and non-believers alike in a striking manner daily through them. The Church thus portrays Christ in contemplation on the mountain, in His proclamation of the kingdom of God to the multitudes, in His healing of the sick and maimed, in His work of converting sinners to a better life, in His solicitude for youth and His goodness to all men, always obedient to the will of the Father who sent Him.
All men should take note that the profession of the evangelical counsels, though entailing the renunciation of certain values which are to be undoubtedly esteemed, does not detract from a genuine development of the human persons, but rather by its very nature is most beneficial to that development.
Indeed the counsels, voluntarily undertaken according to each one's personal vocation, contribute a great deal to the purification of heart and spiritual liberty. They continually stir up the fervor of charity. But especially they are able to more fully mold the Christian man to that type of chaste and detached life, which Christ the Lord chose for Himself and which His Mother also embraced. This is clearly proven by the example of so many holy founders. Let no one think that religious have become strangers to their fellowmen or useless citizens of this earthly city by their consecration.
For even though it sometimes happens that religious do not directly mingle with their contemporaries, yet in a more profound sense these same religious are united with them in the heart of Christ and spiritually cooperate with them. In this way the building up of the earthly city may have its foundation in the Lord and may tend toward Him, lest perhaps those who build this city shall have labored in vain.
Therefore, this Sacred Synod encourages and praises the men and women, Brothers and Sisters, who in monasteries, or in schools and hospitals, or in the missions, adorn the Bride of Christ by their unswerving and humble faithfulness in their chosen consecration and render generous services of all kinds to mankind. Let each of the faithful called to the profession of the evangelical counsels, therefore, carefully see to it that he persevere and ever grow in that vocation God has given him. Let him do this for the increased holiness of the Church, for the greater glory of the one and undivided Trinity, which in and through Christ is the fount and the source of all holiness.
The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things. Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself.
Sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is continually active in the world that He might lead men to the Church and through it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood. Therefore the promised restoration which we are awaiting has already begun in Christ, is carried forward in the mission of the Holy Spirit and through Him continues in the Church in which we learn the meaning of our terrestrial life through our faith, while we perform with hope in the future the work committed to us in this world by the Father, and thus work out our salvation.
Already the final age of the world has come upon us and the renovation of the world is irrevocably decreed and is already anticipated in some kind of a real way; for the Church already on this earth is signed with a sanctity which is real although imperfect. However, until there shall be new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church in her sacraments and institutions, which pertain to this present time, has the appearance of this world which is passing and she herself dwells among creatures who groan and travail in pain until now and await the revelation of the sons of God.
Joined with Christ in the Church and signed with the Holy Spirit "who is the pledge of our inheritance", truly we are called and we are sons of God but we have not yet appeared with Christ in glory, in which we shall be like to God, since we shall see Him as He is. The Church has always believed that the apostles and Christ's martyrs who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are closely joined with us in Christ, and she has always venerated them with special devotion, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy angels.
When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the City that is to come and at the same time we are shown a most safe path by which among the vicissitudes of this world, in keeping with the state in life and condition proper to each of us, we will be able to arrive at perfect union with Christ, that is, perfect holiness.
Nor is it by the title of example only that we cherish the memory of those in heaven, but still more in order that the union of the whole Church may be strengthened in the Spirit by the practice of fraternal charity. Our union with the Church in heaven is put into effect in its noblest manner especially in the sacred Liturgy, wherein the power of the Holy Spirit acts upon us through sacramental signs.
Celebrating the Eucharistic sacrifice therefore, we are most closely united to the Church in heaven in communion with and venerating the memory first of all of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, of Blessed Joseph and the blessed apostles and martyrs and of all the saints. Let them therefore teach the faithful that the authentic cult of the saints consists not so much in the multiplying of external acts, but rather in the greater intensity of our love, whereby, for our own greater good and that of the whole Church, we seek from the saints "example in their way of life, fellowship in their communion, and aid by their intercession.
For all of us, who are sons of God and constitute one family in Christ, as long as we remain in communion with one another in mutual charity and in one praise of the most holy Trinity, are corresponding with the intimate vocation of the Church and partaking in foretaste the liturgy of consummate glory.
Wishing in His supreme goodness and wisdom to effect the redemption of the world, "when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman Joined to Christ the Head and in the unity of fellowship with all His saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory "of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ". The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer.
Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth.
At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. She is "the mother of the members of Christ. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother. Wherefore this Holy Synod, in expounding the doctrine on the Church, in which the divine Redeemer works salvation, intends to describe with diligence both the role of the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the Mystical Body, and the duties of redeemed mankind toward the Mother of God, who is mother of Christ and mother of men, particularly of the faithful.
It does not, however, have it in mind to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to us. The Sacred Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament, as well as ancient Tradition show the role of the Mother of the Saviour in the economy of salvation in an ever clearer light and draw attention to it.
The books of the Old Testament describe the history of salvation, by which the coming of Christ into the world was slowly prepared.
Hidden Light (Millennial Glory Book 1)
These earliest documents, as they are read in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation, bring the figure of the woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer light. When it is looked at in this way, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after their fall into sin. With her the exalted Daughter of Sion, and after a long expectation of the promise, the times are fulfilled and the new Economy established, when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin.
The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life. That is true in outstanding fashion of the mother of Jesus, who gave to the world Him who is Life itself and who renews all things, and who was enriched by God with the gifts which befit such a role.
It is no wonder therefore that the usage prevailed among the Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely holy and free from all stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature. Embracing God's salvific will with a full heart and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son, under Him and with Him, by the grace of almighty God, serving the mystery of redemption.
Rightly therefore the holy Fathers see her as used by God not merely in a passive way, but as freely cooperating in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she "being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to His death it is shown first of all when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and the precursor leaped with joy in the womb of his mother.
When she presented Him to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed.
His Mother indeed kept these things to be pondered over in her heart. In the public life of Jesus, Mary makes significant appearances. This is so even at the very beginning, when at the marriage feast of Cana, moved with pity, she brought about by her intercession the beginning of miracles of Jesus the Messiah. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple with these words: "Woman, behold thy son".
But since it has pleased God not to manifest solemnly the mystery of the salvation of the human race before He would pour forth the Spirit promised by Christ, we see the apostles before the day of Pentecost "persevering with one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His brethren", and Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation. There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, "for there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all".
For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it.
In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ. Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ.
She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.
Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer. By reason of the gift and role of divine maternity, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with His singular graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united with the Church.
As St. Ambrose taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. The Son whom she brought forth is He whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, namely the faithful, in whose birth and education she cooperates with a maternal love. The Church indeed, contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father's will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother.
By her preaching she brings forth to a new and immortal life the sons who are born to her in baptism, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God. She herself is a virgin, who keeps the faith given to her by her Spouse whole and entire. Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps with virginal purity an entire faith, a firm hope and a sincere charity. But while in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin.
Piously meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, the Church with reverence enters more intimately into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her Spouse. For Mary, who since her entry into salvation history unites in herself and re-echoes the greatest teachings of the faith as she is proclaimed and venerated, calls the faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Seeking after the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more like her exalted Type, and continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing the will of God in all things.
Hence the Church, in her apostolic work also, justly looks to her, who, conceived of the Holy Spirit, brought forth Christ, who was born of the Virgin that through the Church He may be born and may increase in the hearts of the faithful also. The Virgin in her own life lived an example of that maternal love, by which it behooves that all should be animated who cooperate in the apostolic mission of the Church for the regeneration of men. Placed by the grace of God, as God's Mother, next to her Son, and exalted above all angels and men, Mary intervened in the mysteries of Christ and is justly honored by a special cult in the Church.
Clearly from earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, under whose protection the faithful took refuge in all their dangers and necessities. The various forms of piety toward the Mother of God, which the Church within the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine, according to the conditions of time and place, and the nature and ingenuity of the faithful has approved, bring it about that while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and that all His commands are observed.
This most Holy Synod deliberately teaches this Catholic doctrine and at the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church that the cult, especially the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be generously fostered, and the practices and exercises of piety, recommended by the magisterium of the Church toward her in the course of centuries be made of great moment, and those decrees, which have been given in the early days regarding the cult of images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, be religiously observed.
Let them assiduously keep away from whatever, either by word or deed, could lead separated brethren or any other into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church. Let the faithful remember moreover that true devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to know the excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial love toward our mother and to the imitation of her virtues. In the interim just as the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth.
It gives great joy and comfort to this holy and general Synod that even among the separated brethren there are some who give due honor to the Mother of our Lord and Saviour, especially among the Orientals, who with devout mind and fervent impulse give honor to the Mother of God, ever virgin. Each and all these items which are set forth in this dogmatic Constitution have met with the approval of the Council Fathers. And We by the apostolic power given Us by Christ together with the Venerable Fathers in the Holy Spirit, approve, decree and establish it and command that what has thus been decided in the Council be promulgated for the glory of God.
A question has arisen regarding the precise theological note which should be attached to the doctrine that is set forth in the Schema de Ecclesia and is being put to a vote. The Theological Commission has given the following response regarding the Modi that have to do with Chapter III of the de Ecclesia Schema: "As is self-evident, the Council's text must always be interpreted in accordance with the general rules that are known to all. On this occasion the Theological Commission makes reference to its Declaration of March 6, , the text of which we transcribe here:.
The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church's supreme magisterium, ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ's faithful according to the mind of the sacred Council.
The mind of the Council becomes known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation. A preliminary note of explanation is being given to the Council Fathers from higher-authority, regarding the Modi bearing on Chapter III of the Schema de Ecclesia; the doctrine set forth in Chapter III ought to be explained and understood in accordance with the meaning and intent of this explanatory note. The Commission has decided to preface the assessment of the Modi with the following general observations.
For this reason, in reply to Modus 12 it is expressly said of the Twelve that the Lord set them up "as a college or stable group. For the same reason, the words "Ordo" or "Corpus" are used throughout with reference to the College of bishops. The parallel between Peter and the rest of the Apostles on the one hand, and between the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops on the other hand, does not imply the transmission of the Apostles' extraordinary power to their successors; nor does it imply, as is obvious, equality between the head of the College and its members, but only a proportionality between the first relationship Peter-Apostles and the second Pope-bishops.
Thus the Commission decided to write "pari ratione, " not "eadem ratione," in n. Modus A person becomes a member of the College by virtue of Episcopal consecration and by hierarchical communion with the head of the College and with its members. In his consecration a person is given an ontological participation in the sacred functions [munera]; this is absolutely clear from Tradition, liturgical tradition included. The word "functions [munera]" is used deliberately instead of the word "powers [potestates]," because the latter word could be understood as a power fully ready to act.
But for this power to be fully ready to act, there must be a further canonical or juridical determination through the hierarchical authority. This determination of power can consist in the granting of a particular office or in the allotment of subjects, and it is done according to the norms approved by the supreme authority.
An additional norm of this sort is required by the very nature of the case, because it involves functions [munera] which must be exercised by many subjects cooperating in a hierarchical manner in accordance with Christ's will. It is evident that this "communion" was applied in the Church's life according to the circumstances of the time, before it was codified as law. For this reason it is clearly stated that hierarchical communion with the head and members of the church is required. Communion is a notion which is held in high honor in the ancient Church and also today, especially in the East.
However, it is not understood as some kind of vague disposition, but as an organic reality which requires a juridical form and is animated by charity. Hence the Commission, almost unanimously, decided that this wording should be used: "in hierarchical communion. Modus 40 and the statements on canonical mission n. The documents of recent Pontiffs regarding the jurisdiction of bishops must be interpreted in terms of this necessary determination of powers. The College, which does not exist without the head, is said "to exist also as the subject of supreme and full power in the universal Church.
For the College, always and of necessity, includes its head, because in the college he preserves unhindered his function as Christ's Vicar and as Pastor of the universal Church. In other words, it is not a distinction between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops taken collectively, but a distinction between the Roman Pontiff taken separately and the Roman Pontiff together with the bishops. Since the Supreme Pontiff is head of the College, he alone is able to perform certain actions which are not at all within the competence of the bishops, e. It is up to the judgment of the Supreme Pontiff, to whose care Christ's whole flock has been entrusted, to determine, according to the needs of the Church as they change over the course of centuries, the way in which this care may best be exercised—whether in a personal or a collegial way.
The Roman Pontiff, taking account of the Church's welfare, proceeds according to his own discretion in arranging, promoting and approving the exercise of collegial activity. As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands.
Though it is always in existence, the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College is not always "fully active [in actu pleno]"; rather, it acts as a college in the strict sense only from time to time and only with the consent of its head. The phrase "with the consent of its head" is used to avoid the idea of dependence on some kind of outsider; the term "consent" suggests rather communion between the head and the members, and implies the need for an act which belongs properly to the competence of the head.
This is explicitly affirmed in n. The word "only" takes in all cases. It is evident from this that the norms approved by the supreme authority must always be observed. It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College. Without hierarchical communion the ontologico-sacramental function [munus], which is to be distinguished from the juridico-canonical aspect, cannot be exercised.
However, the Commission has decided that it should not enter into question of liceity and validity. These questions are left to theologians to discuss—specifically the question of the power exercised de facto among the separated Eastern Churches, about which there are various explanations.
Cyprianus, Epist. Hilarius Pict. Augustinus, passim. Cyrillus Alex. Gregorius M. S Augustinus, Serm. Damascenus, Adv. Irenaeus, adv. Haer, 24, 1: PG 7, B; Harvey 2, 13i, ed. Sagnard, Sources Chr. Cyprianus, De Orat Dom. Augustinus, Serm. Origenes, In Matth.
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Cyrillus Hieros. Cabasilas, De vita in Christo, lib. III, de utilitate chrismatis: PG , Thomas, Summa Theol. III, q. Unusquisque proprium donum idion charisma habet ex Deo: alius quidem sic alius vero sic.. Augustinus, De Dono Persev. Irenaeus, Adv. Sources Chret. Augustinus, Bapt. V, 28, 39; PL 43, Certe manifestum est, id quod dicitur, in Ecdesia intus et foris, in corde, non in corpore cogitandum.
Praeclara gratulationis, 20 iun. Satis cognitum, 29 iun. Caritatis studium, 25 iul. Pius XII, Nuntius radioph. Nell'alba, 24 dec. Rerum Orientalium, 8 sept. Encycl Orientalis Ecclesiae, 9 apr. Benedictus XV, Epist. Maximum illud: AAS 11 p. Rerum Ecclesiae: AAS 18 p.
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