155 – “Any Church community, if it thinks it can comfortably go its own way without helping the poor will risk breaking down”

On the day of the spectacular descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were so filled with strength and courage, that Saint Peter went out and converted three thousand people that very day with his preaching. From these conversions we have the first ecclesial testimony: ‘They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life. […] All who believed were together and had all things in common’ (Acts 2: 42–44). The basis of this great union among the faithful is clear: the faith transmitted by the Apostles, charity, the Eucharist and prayer. This model, perpetuated in the Church until modern times, is now threatened with change as new ‘models’ emerge, placing the poor as the center around which we ought to revolve.

Let’s take a look at what Francis tells us, and bear in mind how true union is achieved in any ambit of the Church, what religious practices really consist of, and finally, where man’s true liberation is found.



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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

I – What are the pillars of union among the members of a community within the Church?
­­­­­­­­­­­­­II – Religious practices are rightly ordered and directed to God. Therefore, it is impossible that they nurture ‘spiritual worldliness’
III –Where can man’s true liberation be found?

I – What are the pillars of union among the members of a community within the Church?

Benedict XVI

It was on four pillars that communion was based within the first community of believers: faith, charity, the Eucharist and the Sacraments

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Eucharist, by which the unity of believers is both represented and brought about

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Whoever receives this sacrament is made one with Christ and incorporated in His members
It is called Communion because we communicate with and are united to one another through it

Saint Augustine

Receive and eat the body of Christ; so as not to be separated, eat what unites you

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

Christ instituted the Eucharist so that we be united by the closest bond without schisms among us

Catechism of Trent

By virtue of the Sacrament, one mystical body is effected

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The force which the Church can inject into the modern society of man consists in faith and charity put into vital practice

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Decisive factors of union: the profession of one faith, and common celebration of divine worship


Unless the faithful remain bound together by the same ties of virtue, worship and sacrament they cannot be perfectly united with the Divine Redeemer

John Paul II

Full communion will come about through the acceptance of the whole truth
This mysterious visible union cannot be pursued without an identity of faith, a sharing in the sacramental life and consistency in moral life

Pius XII

Harmony and agreement among Christ’s faithful ones is based upon truths revealed

Pius X

All minds must be united in the knowledge of Truth, all wills united in morality


The true union between Christians consists in a unity of faith and unity of government

Benedict XVI

The communion of the baptized is visibly manifested in the bonds of the profession of the faith in its entirety

Paul VI

The preacher of the Gospel never hides truth to please men

II – Religious practices are rightly ordered and directed to God. Therefore, it is impossible that they nurture ‘spiritual worldliness’

Pius XII

Pious practices wean from the seductions of the world and lead to the path of perfection
Various acts of mortification aid the faithful to join forces with their Captain, Christ the Lord

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Man should live according to the soul by reason of the new birth and the renewing of spiritual conversation
Those who have renounced this world only in words deceive the unwary with their lives and seduce them away from Catholic safety

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The acts of religion are directed specifically towards God

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Devotions proper to individual Churches also have a special dignity

III –Where can man’s true liberation be found?

Pius XII

Many Christians are not conscious that they are led astray by those who portray fidelity to Christ as slavery, excluding Him from modern life

Saint Augustine of Hippo

This is the universal way of the soul’s deliverance: the grace of God

Paul VI

The Church’s message of liberation should be regarding the Kingdom of God
Liberation is above all liberation from sin and the Evil One

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Liberation in the strongest sense of the word frees us from the most radical evil: sin and the power of death
True liberation is before all the Beatitude of the poor of heart

John Paul II

Truth brings with it the principle of the authentic liberation of man

Vatican Council I (Ecumenical XX)

The abandonment and rejection of the Christian religion has plunged many into the abyss of pantheism, materialism and atheism

Related studies

  • 154 – “The Church has never been better. This is a wonderful moment for the Church”

  • 153 – “The Church can sometimes fall into a needless hallowing of our own culture, and thus show more fanaticism than true evangelizing zeal”

  • 141 – “This insidious worldliness is evident in a number of attitudes. In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige”

  • 131 – ‘I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation’

  • 116 – The thought comes to mind of the temptation of connecting the proclamation of the Gospel with inquisitorial blows. No, the Gospel is proclaimed with gentleness, with fraternity, with love

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