A Friend Indeed – Part 4 of 7

Continuing his discussion of the varieties of permanent assistance God offers us, Father Geiermann mentions seven kinds of assistance in the supernatural order. Here we discuss three of them: the ministry of the Church, the communion of saints, and divine adoption.

“In the ministry of the Church man receives the supernatural assistance established by Jesus Christ. In holy Baptism he is cleansed from original sin, made a child of God, a member of Christ’s mystical body, and coheir with Him to heaven. He is given divine certainty of the truths he must believe, and the virtues he must practise, and the means he must use to attain happiness by knowing, loving, and serving God. Through the ministry of the Church he is enabled to offer God a worthy sacrifice, while his soul is freed from the malady of sin, nourished with the Bread of Life, and filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Here he receives sympathy, counsel, and encouragement in health, becomes the object of the Church’s tenderest solicitude in sickness and in death, is refreshed in purgatory, and helped to the beatitude of the elect.”

“Through the Communion of Saints God gives man a twofold assistance: the guidance of an angel guardian, and the protection of patron saints. . . . The saints in heaven retain a personal interest in what concerned them specially while on earth, and in what has since been specially dedicated to them. Thus, Mary, as Mother of the Redeemer, is personally interested in the salvation of all. . . . Thus, also, is St. Joseph, the head of the Holy Family, the natural protector of the Church on earth.”

“The divine adoption is a relationship established by God between man and the three persons of the Blessed Trinity. By this relationship man receives God the Father as his spiritual Father, God the Son as his elder Brother, and God the Holy Ghost as the Sanctifier of his soul. When man is in the state of grace this relationship makes him the beloved child of the heavenly Father, the coheir with the Son to heaven, and the living temple of the Holy Ghost. To live in accordance with this relationship man should cultivate (1) a filial confidence in the goodness, love, and mercy of his heavenly Father; (2) a brotherly love and devotion towards Jesus Christ, who earned for him every blessing; and (3) an undying good will towards the Holy Ghost by co-operating in the work of his sanctification.”

Quotations from Peter Geiermann, The Narrow Way (New York: Benziger, 1914).

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