Catholic Church: “Ecclesia Militans”

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“The Kingdom of Heaven …and the violent take it by storm” (Our Lord Jesus Christ – Mt. 11:12)

“One dare not forget. We belong to the Church militant ; and she is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights. No rank of the clergy is spared ; and the faithful—their number is legion—inspired by the valiant endurance of their shepherds and fathers in Christ, stand firm, ready to suffer and die, as the martyrs of old, for the one true Faith taught by Jesus Christ. Into that militia you seek to be admitted as leaders.”  (Pope Pius XII 14 October 1953, at the opening of the North American College in Rome)

“Christianity is a fighting religion” (C. S. Lewis)

Ignatians by the very fact of being Catholic are members of the Church Militant. courageously energetic member of the “Church militant” (Spiritual Exercises), the Ecclesia Militans, traditional name given by Catholics to the part of the Church’s body that is still on pilgrimage here on earth, as distinguished from the Ecclesia Purgans and the Ecclesia Gloriosa. It must therefore necessarily be a Church of combat, both on the battlefield of the individual soul and in society for the sake of the eternal welfare of each and every man and woman.

“Today the word “Ecclesia Militans” is somewhat out of fashion, but in reality we can understand ever better that it is true, that it bears truth in itself. We see how evil wishes to dominate the world and that it is necessary to enter into battle with evil. We see how it does so in so many ways, bloody, with the different forms of violence, but also masked with goodness and precisely this way destroying the moral foundations of society.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

Urged onwards by the Truth and Love of Jesus Christ, and with hatred only for sin, the reality that destroys souls, all our lives are at the service of the Church Militant for the Honor of God and the eternal salvation of souls. Only thus shall we love truly and strong as Christians, priests

“Catholics are born for combat…To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth… such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God…This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good…” ((Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae)

In this way the Society of Ignatians will take its place alongside the other militia Christi, the name the Church has used for centuries for her religious orders:

“These religious families give their members the support of a more firm stability in their way of life and a proven doctrine of acquiring perfection. They further offer their members the support of fraternal association in the militia Christi and of liberty strengthened by obedience.” (Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, 43)

And thus we shall follow in the footsteps of Saints Ignatius of Antioch and Ignatius of Loyola, men who determined to fight for the Truth of Christ boldly, energetically, with all the energies of heart, soul, mind, and strength.