Catholic Sacraments (Traditional Catholic Priest)
Born from the Pierced Side of Christ: The Catholic Church
The understanding of the Catholic Church being born from the pierced side of the crucified Christ is a profound mystery; a mystery that we are called to enter in and glance into its infinite depth. We are drawn to enter into the Pierced One, but because He is infinite we will never get to the bottom nor be able to understand it all completely. Upon entering this mystery we see that Christ gave birth to the Church not only in giving His life, spilling His blood from His sacred Hands and Feet, but from His very Heart, the source of life’s blood! Christ poured out every drop of His blood for our sake and it is from Christ side that blood and water came flowing forth which both sanctifies us and satisfies us in our hunger. For we are reborn of water and the Spirit, and it is from the pierced side of Christ that this is accomplished. Christ continues this work of redemption and sanctification in the life-vein of the Church which was born from His Sacred Side, just as our first mother, Eve was born from Adam’s side, so too Holy Mother Church is
born from the Pierced Side of Christ, the New Adam, giving life to the new man.
Reference from Sacred Scripture
From Sacred Scripture, particularly here in the Gospel of John we recall how “one of the soldiers with a spear opened his (Christ) side, and immediately there came out blood and water.” 1
This blood and water symbolizes the Church in her sacraments, specifically of Baptism and the Eucharist, which analogously are the door into Church and the life of the Church. From this account and many others found even in the Old Testament we can see the reference to the beautiful birth and life of the Church from Christ Side. St. John reflects that this theme of blood and water which flowed from the Sacred Side of Christ was first prefigure by Christ who “came by water and blood” and that “there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three are one.”2
Thus, the very life of the Trinity is the life of the Church. The Church was prefigured by the Trinity and the work of the Three are continued from and in the water, the blood, and the Spirit, all of which were born from the Side of Christ crucified. Christ gave birth by His death and His free gift of immense Love, continues spilling forth from the very heart of the Church. Thus, the Church is not some social construction to organize or set up laws for the people, but rather it has a Divine origin for the plan of man’s redemption and sanctification in order to be united and raised to that One who gave His life’s blood for the many. We can clearly see that the Church is not said to grow with the addition of buildings, but with the addition of hearts. Christ is that cornerstone Heart, and “They shall look on him whom they pierced” 3
For Christ has said: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.”4
For “you have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit…”5
Thus, the Church is born from Love, for Love, coming forth from the very Heart of the Trinity and returning to the Trinity for which it was created and is fulfilled to perfection and heavenly bliss. This is what makes the Church One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic; born from Love Himself who is One, Holy, given to all, and is continually sent to all. From Christ’s own Heart, full of tremendous Love is the way of salvation and sanctification! Deo gratias!
1 John, 19:34, Douay Reims Bible
1 John 5:6-9, Douay Reims Bible
1 John 19:37, DRB.
1 John 12:32, DRB.
1 John 15:16, DRB.