An inspiring excerpt by Madeleine Delbrel courtesy of The Anchoress over at First Things. Beautiful!:
What we are trying to do is realize that, while we are on earth, faith places us in the heat of battle, a permanent struggle, a constant choice between Jesus Christ and that which in the world remains hostile to God; to do so is to accomplish within ourselves the Church’s own vocation.
On the earth, the Church is made for fighting; by vocation, she wages war against evil; by mission, she stands on the front lines of evil; by office, she delivers from evil.
The Church’s combat will never cease to be bloody: the frontiers she defends will never cease being attacked and the liberation she fights for is always violent. A realistic love for the Church necessarily entails taking your blows and living with bruises. Now, what gives the Church’s combat meaning, what outlines the meaning of her history is hope.
To march ahead, to multiply, to liberate, the Church must fight, with her eyes and her heart set on God’s promises. Locally -or we could say physically- the frontier of the Church passes directly through each one of us. This is the line that divides good and evil; it si the line that separates the “with God” from the “without God,” the “for God” from the “against God.”
The place that Christian hope assigns to us is that narrow ridge, that borderline, at which our vocation requires that we choose, every day and every hour, to be faithful to God’s faithfulness to us. While we are on earth, this choice cannot help but tear us in two. But hope never allows us therefore to fall to self-pitying. It is the suffering of the woman who is bringing a child into the world. Each time we are thus torn apart, we become as it were breaches in the world’s resistance. We open up space for God’s life to pass through. Nothing can carry us more deeply into the inner reality of the Church.