Friday, May 2, 2008

What's in a name?


"The Name 'Couples For Christ' cannot be used by any other association"
Vatican Pontifical Council of the Laity letter to CFC
Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko
May 1, 2008

CFC comes out with this full-page ad in the Philippine Star, quoting Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko of the Vatican Pontifical Council of the Laity. It should write the final(I certainly hope so) chapter in a long and storied affair about which group is to be rightly accorded the legitimate use of the name “Couples For Christ”. The conflict was brought about over a year ago when the CFC split two ways, each group claiming rightful use of the name “Couples For Christ”. Now that the Vatican has decided with finality, that “your name 'Couples For Christ' cannot be used by any other association” there can be no more questions as to the legitimacy in the use of the name 'Couples For Christ', and should put the matter at rest once and for all.
But what's in a name? Surely all the Christian faithful regardless of lay affiliation, should be “for Christ” by the essence of their faith. All married couples, if they are living according to the Christian tenets of Christ-centered marriages, should be essentially 'Couples For Christ' in spirit. Christ does not divide but rather unites. This brings to mind that divisions in the church are as old as Christianity itself. The apostle Paul himself was faced with such division in his early ministry, as we see in Cor 1:10-13 which reads:

'I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided?'

Thus Paul straightens out the early Christians to focus on Christ. Today, Cardinal Rylko straightens out the use of the name Couples For Christ, because nobody should be fighting over names in the first place. Fighting the good fight of faith is all about fighting for Christ's glory. It should be both a righteous and disciplined fight, and discipline is always a must in a community. Henri Nouwen in 'Spiritual Direction', asserts there are three classic disciplines: (1) the discipline of the Heart, (2) the discipline of the Book, and (3) the discipline of the Church or community of faith. We have to follow the discipline of the Church or community, but mostly, we do not get ourselves into too much trouble and live the faith by simply following the discipline set in our hearts. It is written there by the Lord himself:

“the work of the Law is written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Romans 2:13)

In the final seat of judgment we will not be called to task whether we are CFC, FFL, CFC-GK, CFC-FFL, whatever, or whether the bishops “sided” with us, or whatever, because deep in our hearts, it is the name of Jesus Christ that will show if we inscribed HIS NAME in essence.

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