Cleveland Prayer Group Website

Use The Church Effectively
By Fr. Sam V. Gabriel, Udaipur, Rajastan, India

The church is an institution established by Christ, to save the world from evil. The ways and means for this saving act are given in the Church and we being the members, have to make use of it. The Church is a unique and single existence of God and it is the transformed part of His creation mainly Men.

One has to get transformed to become part of this church. This transformation towards Holiness is indispensable as God the creator is Holy. Therefore the first and the foremost activity in the Church is the transformation of its members. The Holy Communion, sacraments, festivals, prayers and all other rituals in the Church are mainly for this transformation.

Any institution or a factory will have its different stages and established machines or the mechanisms to bring out its proposed products. If it is a factory the raw materials will pass through different stages and machines, to get it transformed towards the final product. After the final stage it will have its quality checked by the competent technician for passing it as the proposed qualitative product.

The Church also has got different stages and its mechanisms to transform the human beings into spiritual beings with all the spiritual qualities and strength. In addition to the daily prayers and regular Holy Qurabanas, we have passed through the great Lent, the Passion week with Hossanna, Pessaha, Good Friday, The Great Saturday and the Holy Easter, then the feast of Ascension on the 40th day, and again the Pentecosti on the 50th day. After passing through all these stages and its mechanisms it is good to access its effect on us. Whether we could achieve any change or transformation towards the expected level of quality or not? Moreover see how many such chances we have availed so far during the lifetime.

If we do not have a real transformation then we may have its negative effect on us. Unsuccessful process will have its own impact that may damage the material. Take an example of a pressing machine. By using a particular die, the machine will press the plate to give it a required shape. When we use the machine, see that there are certain regulation to follow such as the way, how to keep and where to keep the plate and so on. If we are not doing it properly the pressed plate cannot be of the required shape and size for the required purpose. Suppose we try to press it again and again then that plate will be left with a good amount of damage and it will be thrown to the waste.

Whether such a problem is there with us when we pass through the activities of the church. When we are going through the same activities again and again but no sign of improvement in quality and no sign of our own transformation towards the spiritual perfection. We are a community not undergoing the required discipline but doing something partially according to convenience. There is every chance of getting ourselves spoiled.

In the church a sort of stagnation is seen in the process of spiritual development where we cannot improve at all. If the exhaust outlet of scooter engine is chocked with carbon, it will affect its movement and will be a cause for mal-functioning.

Always a true Christian needs to undergo the process of correction to improve the process of transformation towards Spiritual Perfection. Unless the true and correct transformation is achieved we can not unite with God, as an integral part of His Spiritual Body. If we cannot achieve this, the whole effort to undergo the activities in the church, during the lifetime, will be a failure. All our efforts should be calculative, and properly guided to have the real spiritual transformation through the activities in the church. May God guide us all to use the church effectively.

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