Day 130: The Communion of Saints (946-953)
It’s Day 130!!
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
What is the Church in this mysterious….
We’ve talked about the Church as the Body of Christ, the Family of God, and all these things
Here is THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
Paragraph 946 says, “After confessing ‘the holy catholic church,’ the Apostles’ Creed adds ‘the communion of saints.’ In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: ‘What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?’ The communion of saints is the Church.”
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE THING!!
Here we are UNITED in our Faith
Well you know what…
The Acts of the Apostles says here are the believers that were UNITED in the Apostles’ teaching, in fellowship, in the Breaking of the Bread, and prayers
So we have COMMUNION IN FAITH
We have COMMUNION IN THE SACRAMENTS
We have COMMUNION IN THE CHARISMS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We have COMMUNION because we hold everything IN COMMON
We have COMMUNION IN CHARITY
IT IS SO POWERFUL!!
So let’s review
We have communion in Faith
We have communion in the Sacraments
Particularly Baptism in the beginning
Ultimately, it is in the Eucharist because we call it Holy Communion
We have communion in charisms
These are the gifts that God pours out to the faithful
We hold everything in common which means we place our gifts, ourselves at the service of those around us
We have communion in love/charity
There are some Latin words we should get used to
Paragraph 948 says, “The term ‘communion of saints’ therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion ‘in holy things (sancta)’ and ‘among holy persons (sancti).’ Sancta sanctis! (‘God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people’) is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion.”
There are various RITES in the Church
We don’t only have the Latin Rite
We have all these other beautiful rites
COMMUNION OF SAINTS has two closely linked meanings
SANCTA - communion of holy things
SANCTIS - among holy persons
Let’s say a prayer!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much. Thank you for bringing us into your Church. Thank you for giving us communion among all believers, not just here on earth, but those believers in Heaven. Those who are being purified on their way to you. Lord God, thank you for making us into one Body. You are the gift. You are the Source of all life. You are the ultimate destination of all good. Everything we are is meant to be found in you. Everything good in us comes from you. It’s all meant to find its ultimate destination in you. So we ask you, God, please on this day as we listen to these words as we pray this reality help us to say yes to you. Help us to say yes to you with everything that we have so that we can on this planet be united in love and in faith, be united in your sacraments, be united in caring for one another. Lord God, help us to be united. Help us to truly be an image of communion to the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
So there we have it!!
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
Paragraph 946 says, “The communion of saints is the Church.”
EVERYTHING comes from Jesus
Jesus is the SOURCE
Jesus is the HEAD
So He is the most important member of the entire Body
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS essentially comes from THE EUCHARIST and the Sacraments
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS unites us together and how we belong to each other
Paragraph 947 says, “‘Since all the faithful forms one body, the good of each is communicated to the others…”
This is going to be reiterated in Paragraph 953, “‘None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.’ ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.’”
THIS IS SO SO IMPORTANT!!
Because we are part of the Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints, WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER
The last two sentences of today’s reading are both INSPIRING and CONVICTING
Paragraph 953 says, “In this solidarity with all men, living or dead, which is founded on the communion of saints, the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all. Every sin harms this communion.”
Even the SMALLEST thing that you do out of love is for EVERYONE
It’s not just YOUR virtue
It’s not just YOUR grace
If you are homebound right now and unite your prayer, heart, and suffering to Jesus it doesn’t just help YOU
That helps the ENTIRE BODY
If you offer that suffering up in LOVE
“Jesus, take my suffering. Jesus, use my suffering.”
That doesn’t just sanctify you
IT HELPS EVERYONE!!
There is no such thing as PRIVATE VIRTUE
There is no such thing as PRIVATE GRACE
There is also no such thing as PRIVATE SIN
There is PERSONAL SIN
There are things that I have done on my own
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PRIVATE SIN!!
IT BELONGS TO ALL OF US!!
EVERY SIN HARMS THIS COMMUNION!!
That is both the INSPIRING part of the Communion of Saints as well as the CONVICTING part of the Communion of Saints
Paragraph 947 says, “‘Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others…the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments.’”
Two weeks from now we will start PILLAR 2: THE SACRAMENTS
THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!
Paragraph 948 says, “Sancta sanctis! (‘God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people’) is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion. The faithful (sancti) are fed by Christ’s holy body and blood (sancta) to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit (koinonia) and to communicate it to the world.”
In the West if you are Latin Catholic you are familiar when the Priest says, “Behold the Lamb of God. Behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the Supper of the Lamb.”
And then we respond
In some Eastern Liturgies it is SANCTA SANCTIS!
We are fed by Christ’s Holy Body and Blood and GROW IN COMMUNION
So how do we grow in the Communion of Saints?
By letting the Eucharist DO WHAT IT IS MEANT TO DO
Among many other things, it BINDS US TOGETHER
Paragraph 949 says, “In the primitive community of Jerusalem, the disciples ‘devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.’”
From the very beginning the Church to be a disciple was to be marked by the fact that you devoted yourself to the Apostles’ teaching
SO WE ARE UNITED IN FAITH
That fellowship where we are united in taking care of each other
The breaking of the bread is code for Eucharist and the Mass
And the prayers
COMMUNION OF THE SACRAMENTS
COMMUNION OF CHARISMS
THEY HELD EVERYTHING IN COMMON
The gifts that God has given to me are for the people who need them the most
We get to place them BACK IN THE LORD’S HANDS
We get to place them at the SERVICE OF OUR BRETHREN
WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT!!
BECAUSE WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER!!
St. Theresa of Calcutta said, “The reason we don’t have peace in the world is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE
You may FEEL that you are isolated and alone
You may not see many people
BUT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!
YOU ARE PART OF THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS!!
Those who have died are still members of THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
Those who are undergoing purification in Purgatory are still members of THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
Those who are in the Beatific Vision in Heaven are still members of THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
WE ARE STILL UNITED WITH THEM!!
So our beloved faithful, our beloved dead who have passed into God’s presence are NOT SEPARATED FROM US when it comes to being part of One Body
When it comes to having communion with them
We are still united with them
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!