‘Christ is the mind of the Father, just as the bishops appointed throughout the world are in the mind of Christ..your council of presbyters..’His letter to the Magnesians also highlights this. As our Lord and Saviour Christ did nothing without the Father, you must not do anything without the bishops and presbyters he writes.
In his letter to the Smyrnaeuans (c.110) : 'Only the Eucharist which is under the authority of the bishop is valid - and nobody must do anything without the blessing of the bishop'
‘Just as this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and then was gathered together and was made one, so may your church be gathered together from the end of the earth into your kingdom’ ( a reflective prayer at the Eucharist )
Epistle to Diognetus explains the Church to outsiders.This is where we read that Christians dwell in the world but are not of it:
‘The soul is locked up in the body, but it holds the body together; and .. Christians are detained in the world as if in a prison…’
of her womb we are born, by her milk we are nourished, by her breath we are quickened.’
‘If you leave the Church of Christ you will be an alien, an outcast..’
‘To break the peace and concord of the Church is to go against Christ.’
An extract from the 'Unity of the Catholic Church' (c.251)
Holy - Body of Christ, His Eucharistic Body
Catholic - Universal, for all nations
Apostolic - Succession of truth, guaranteed by the work of the Holy Spirit through time, from generation to generation through bishops (Apostolic Succession) and their deacons and presbyters.