Back in the days when I was still a Protestant, one of the most significant things that my Baptist pastor taught me was to love the Church – purely because it was the Church that our Lord Jesus Christ loved and died for (Eph 5:25). It was a lesson that has stuck with me ever since, and little did I know then that it would be one of the things that would lead me to the Catholic Church – which is the household of faith and the Body of Christ.
If we really love our Lord Jesus Christ, we will love His Body, the Church. I was reminded of this earlier this week while I was reading “Called to Communion” by Pope Benedict XVI (then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger), where our holy father had the following to say:
“...we do not seek a Christ whom we have invented, for only in real communion of the Church do we encounter the real Christ...[T]he depth and seriousness of one’s relation to the Lord himself is revealed in the ready willingness to love the Church, to live together with her and to serve Christ in her.”
So, the true test of our love for Christ is whether we love one another. May God grant that we would grow in our love for the Church as evidence of our love for our Lord Jesus Christ.