Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 203 III. T he M ystery of the C hurch 770 The Church is in history, but at the same time she tran- scends it. It is only “with the eyes of faith” 183 that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of divine life. The Church—both visible and spiritual 771 “The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men.” 184 The Church is at the same time: — a “society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ; — the visible society and the spiritual community; — the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches.” 185 These dimensions together constitute “one complex real- ity which comes together from a human and a divine element”: 186 The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedi- cated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pil- grim, so constituted that in her the human is directed toward and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, the object of our quest. 187 O humility! O sublimity! Both tabernacle of cedar and sanc- tuary of God; earthly dwelling and celestial palace; house of clay and royal hall; body of death and temple of light; and at last both object of scorn to the proud and bride of Christ! She is black but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, for even if the labor and pain of her long exilemay have discolored her, yet heaven’s beauty has adorned her. 188 183 Roman Catechism I, 10, 20. 184 LG 8 § 1. 185 LG 8. 186 LG 8. 187 SC 2; cf. Heb 13:14. 188 St. Bernard of Clairvaux, In Cant. Sermo 27:14: PL 183:920D. 812 827 1880 954