The Communion of Saints

I learned the Apostle’s Creed when I was 5 years old. Even after not saying it for 35 years, it came right back to me!! I hate to say that, if I ever learned what “the Communion of Saints” meant, I have forgotten. My parents were not Catholic and I had no Catholic relatives so all I learned about our Faith is what I was taught in school. I don’t remember ever being taught anything about the Rosary other than we should pray it often. I guess it was a “given” that our parents would teach us the basics. I only learned the Mystries when I came back to the Faith last October. I try to spend some time reading this forum each night because there are so many different topics listed to read about. I have learned so much and received a lot of encouragement here. So, if someone would please explain what “the Communion of Saints” mean, I would be greatful!! :slight_smile:
Thank you,

The Communion of Saints:

I was so tickled when I discovered more about the meaning of The Communion of Saints and I am positive you will be tickled too! I actually found an old book at the library of a church called The Communion of Saints. Sorry but can’t remember the author, but it was great. Basically when Christ died he descended to the dead and all those who had no idea of Jesus were given the opportunity to accept Him. So then He ascended into heaven opening the gates to all and in a sense uniting all in Him and well the Trinity. In One Spirit. Now there are three areas of “The Church” The Church Militant…that would be us still here on earth fighting the good fight, prayer warriors and victim souls. Then there is Purgatory, those who are suffering and waiting on there scrubbing cycle to finish them up, all bright shiny ready to meet their maker and enter heaven. Then in heaven they will be joining The Church Triumphant, the saints. Everyone in heaven is a saint! We are all united “In One Spirit”…We are “In Communion” with each other all members of Christ’s body. I didn’t read the link of the other post, I just had time for a quick explanation. Like I mentioned though that book was older and very good and perhaps it was The Holy Spirit that made it so alive to me that it resonated deeply, or it indeed is a great read. You will find that now that your thinking about it, asking and knocking…
The answers will be given. The Holy Spirit is the best teacher so enjoy being in communion with the saints!

Here’s an excerpt from a book I’m hoping to have published in the next month or so:
The Communion of Saints
St. John, in his first letter, says he proclaims the “word of life … made manifest … so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:1-3) This fellowship is the basis of the “communion of saints.” There are many layers to this communion, but they all depend upon the unity of the Church, brought about by the Holy Spirit, such that whatever has been bestowed to the Church is held in common by all her members. It was evident in the newborn Church: “all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)
Communion of Sacraments.** People are brought into communion with the Church by means of the sacrament of Baptism. Thus, Baptism is the door to communion, and all who are in the Church benefit from the sacraments, even those they do not personally receive. For example, the sacraments of Holy Orders (ordination) and Matrimony (marriage) are called “sacraments at the service of communion,” because the serve to build up the Church and sanctify her members: a layperson benefits from those who have received ordination, and the children of a marriage benefit from the sacrament received by their parents. The sacrament of the Eucharist actually produces in the Church’s members this communion.
Communion of Good Works.** Each vocation and work among the members of the Church is profitable to all the other members. St. Paul describes the mystical connection of these gifts and works among the members of the Church in his first letter to the Corinthians:
[INDENT] Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. … For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. … But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. (1 Cor. 12:4-26)
Communion of People. The communion of saints is distributed among three groups: the Church Militant (pilgrims here on earth), the Church Suffering (those being purified in Purgatory), and the Church Triumphant (those enjoying eternal bliss in the glory of Heaven). Those who have endured the trials of this life and are in Heaven are witnesses of our struggles on earth, for the letter to the Hebrews tells us that “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1) comprised of those who have gone before us in faith.

[RIGHT](Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the People, pp. 79-80)
We invoke the Communion of Saints earlier in the Mass when (and if) we pray the Confiteor during the Penitential Act:
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.
Also read paragraphs 946-962 of the Catechism.

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