Loyally follow one leader: Jesus Christ and his representatives on earth: the Holy Father and the bishops, successors of the Apostles (cf. Jn. 20:22-23). Live and die for the Church as Christ did. Do not forget, however, that living for the Church entails as much sacrifice as dying for the Church. (Cardinal Van Thuan, Five Loaves and Two Fish)
Love alone is that which makes sacrifice possible. The willingness to sacrifice for the Church (if it is to be authentic) must first entail a humble and sincere love for the Church. We must learn to recognize and cherish in our hearts the presence of Christ in the very human face of the Church.
Here, Mary is our model. When the young Jesus is finally found in the temple by a worried Joseph and Mary and responds, “Why were you looking for me? Do you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Mary, we are told, ” …kept all these things in her heart.” (Luke 1:49-51) It is through hearts moved by compassion, generosity and gentleness that we learn to recognize and cherish the presence of Christ in the Church.