The Church is a kingdom, not a literature, a life, not a congeries of doctrines; it is a rule and a sovereignty, a royalty which belongs to the royalty of the Precious Blood.
Let us then cultivate with the most jealous care a fervent devotion to the Church. Love of the Church was part, and a great part, of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Jansenists, who made so light of the maternal authority of the Church, turned away with instinctive displeasure from the devotion to the Sacred Heart.
We must look at the Church habitually as the sole ark in the deluge of the world, the sole mistress of salvation. We do not bind God further than He has been pleased to bind Himself. We do not limit the far-reaching excesses of His mercy. But we remember that His ordinary law is, that there is no salvation whatever outside the Roman Church. It is His ordinary institution that no accurate beliefs, no right sympathies, no generous views, no near approaches, no sensible devotions, no felt actual graces, will make a man a living member of Jesus Christ, without communion with the Holy See.
We must be jealous of the uncompromising simplicity of this old-fashioned doctrine. We must be suspicious of all the fine words, and specious theories, and ingenious abatements, which the spirit of the day would suggest.
We must be misled by no circumstances of time or place, by no prevalence of heresy, by no arguments drawn from consequences, which are the affair of God’s government of the world, not ours.
The sins of men cannot change the truth of God. They are at His mercy, not He at theirs. In the days of Antichrist, when two-thirds even of the faithful shall fall away from the Church; their apostasy will not make it less the exclusive mistress of salvation.