As Christians we are all aware of our Lord Jesus Christ being, fully human and fully divine; two natures in One Divine Person. As such, He is a prototype and the absolute Perfection of the Church and the Christian Soul.
The Mystical Body of Christ (the Church more properly understood) is both a human and Divine institution and thereby, in essence, Christ among us. The Divine aspects of the Church are in constant tension with the fallen human nature aspect and seems far from submitting to the Divine nature: but She still remains actively involved in the attempt to do so, offering forgiveness and mercy, nourishment and wisdom.
As we enter Lent on this Ash Wednesday, we might take time to see how this same tension is our own internal struggle as well and that this Spiritual Battle that we are constantly engaged is a result of the Faith to which we have assented; to deny ourselves, take up our cross and to follow Him.
The saints have been very clear on the battle that we face individually in the Christian spiritual life. We too have carnal appetites and desires which vie for ascendency and control over our bodies while the soul, and its Divine attributes restored after Baptism, is seeking to master and bring this fallen state, including our concupiscence, under control of the Divine – the Holy Spirit given us in this Sacrament.
Christ has shown us the way and He gave us a Church to teach us the way and yet humanity, with the after effects of our fallen human nature, rebels and tries to throw off the yoke of the Church and is reluctant to follow the Spirit of the Church and all that has been given to aid us in our quest for the real freedom we desperately need; from the grip of this world and all our disordered appetites. For we should now count them as nothing.
Though I am dismayed at the carnal side of the human for being stronger than we would like, it is not because we have not been given means to counteract and defeat this menace. Many will not make the effort, others will try and then fail but some will find the peace, joy and freedom that is accorded to those who have given up everything and will do whatever it takes to possess the Pearl of Great Price. So our Faith, Hope and Love must give us encouragement in this struggle.
Christ, is the template and the perfection of the human person; for the Divine nature ruled His human nature and thus it was purified and was holy and without sin. The other two:,the Church and the individual human soul, are also called to the same transformation in Christ: through the pursuit of holiness – so that we too might be likened to Christ.
Our success lies primarily on our abandonment to Divine Providence and the daily toil to suppress our worldly appetites whilst keeping our eyes constantly on our Lord Jesus Christ. Should we be willing to let God transform our personal life we can aid the Church in achieving the same transformation which will attract and win over more adherents to the Way of Life that God has intended for our true happiness. Many more souls might then find their way to God.