Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Ark of the Church

Noah's Ark, a figure of the Ark of the Church:

Noah’s Ark:
Gen 6:11-14a, 17-22; 7:10-12, 16, 21-23; 8:10-11: And the earth was corrupted before God, and was filled with iniquity. And when God had seen that the earth was corrupted (for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth), He said to Noe: The end of all flesh is come before me, the earth is filled with iniquity through them, and I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark. Behold, I will bring the waters of a great flood upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life under heaven. All things that are in the earth shall be consumed. And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt enter into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife, and the wives of thy sons with thee. And of every living creature of all flesh, thou shalt bring two of a sort into the ark, that they may live with thee: of the male sex, and the female. Of fowls according to their kind, and of beasts in their kind, and of every thing that creepeth on the earth according to its kind: two of every sort shall go in with thee, that they may live. Thou shalt take unto thee of all food that may be eaten, and thou shalt lay it up with thee: and it shall be food for thee and them. And Noe did all things which God commanded him. … And after the seven days were passed, the waters of the flood overflowed the earth. In the six hundredth year of the life of Noe, in the second month, in the seventeenth day of the month, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the floodgates of heaven were opened: And the rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. … And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in on the outside. …And all flesh was destroyed that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beasts, and of all creeping things that creep upon the earth: and all men. And all things wherein there is the breath of life on the earth, died. And he destroyed all the substance that was upon the earth, from man even to beast, and the creeping things and fowls of the air: and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noe only remained, and they that were with him in the ark. … And having waited yet seven other days, he again sent forth the dove out of the ark. And she came to him in the evening carrying a bough of an olive tree, with green leaves, in her mouth. Noe therefore understood that the waters were ceased upon the earth.

Cyprian of Carthage ~AD 253
"Peter himself, showing and vindicating the unity, has commanded and warned us that we cannot be saved except by the one only baptism of the one Church. He says, ‘In the ark of Noah a few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. Similarly, baptism will in like manner save you" [1 Peter 3:20-21]. In how short and spiritual a summary has he set forth the sacrament of unity! In that baptism of the world in which its ancient wickedness was washed away, he who was not in the ark of Noah could not be saved by water. Likewise, neither can he be saved by baptism who has not been baptized in the Church which is established in the unity of the Lord according to the sacrament of the one ark" (ibid., 73[71]:11). http://www.catholic.com/library/Salvation_Outside_the_Church.asp
CYPRIAN "Peter... said, 'In the ark of Noah, few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water; the like figure whereunto even baptism shall save you;' proving and attesting that the one ark of Noah was a type of the one Church. If, then, in that baptism of the world thus expiated and purified, he who was not in the ark of Noah could be saved by water, he who is not in the Church to which alone baptism is granted, can also now be quickened [made alive] by baptism. Moreover, too, the Apostle Paul, more openly and clearly still manifesting this same thing, writes to the Ephesians, and says, 'Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water.'" (Cyprian, "The Epistles of Cyprian," Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, pg. 398) http://www.new-life.net/baptism2.htm

Bull of Pope Boniface VIII. Unam Sanctam. Nov 18, 1302
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Sgs 6:8] proclaims: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,' and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed. … This is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but which was cast by lot. … Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John 'there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.'… Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff. http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Bon08/B8unam.htm

Pope Pius IX (1846-1878), Allocution Singulari Quadem, December 9, 1854:
"For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood (Denzinger 1647). http://www.catecheticsonline.com/SourcesofDogma17.php

Catechism of the Council of Trent:
“She is also called universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to and embrace her, like those who entered the ark to escape perishing in the flood. … Among these figures the ark of Noah holds a conspicuous place. It was built by the command of God, in order that there might be no doubt that it was a symbol of the Church, which God has so constituted that all who enter therein through Baptism, may be safe from danger of eternal death, while such as are outside the Church, like those who were not in the ark, are overwhelmed by their own crimes. http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/catechism/ApostlesCreed09.shtml

St. Augustine. AD 400.
When we speak of within and without in relation to the Church, it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the body. . . . All who are within [the Church] in heart are saved in the unity of the ark (ibid., 5:28[39]).
“There is but one Church in which men find salvation, just as outside the ark of Noah it was not possible for anyone to be saved.” Saint Thomas Aquinas

St. Jerome. [To Damasus, a. 374-379] (Willis, The Teachings of the Church Fathers, p. 60).
As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is with the chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built! This is the house where alone the paschal lamb can be rightly eaten. This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails.

Tertullian. On Baptism. Chapter 8:
For just as, after the waters of the deluge, by which the old iniquity was purged—after the baptism, so to say, of the world—a dove was the herald which announced to the earth the assuagement of celestial wrath, when she had been sent her way out of the ark, and had returned with the olive-branch, a sign which even among the nations is the fore-token of peace; so by the self-same law of heavenly effect, to earth—that is, to our flesh—as it emerges from the font, after its old sins flies the dove of the Holy Spirit, bringing us the peace of God, sent out from the heavens where is the Church, the typified ark. But the world returned unto sin; in which point baptism would ill be compared to the deluge. And so it is destined to fire; just as the man too is, who after baptism renews his sins: so that this also ought to be accepted as a sign for our admonition. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0321.htm

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