communion of saints alive
"See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that is what we are." —1 John 3:1
My son is a seminarian. On All Saints Day morning, he had major knee surgery. As we returned to his dorm room from the hospital, I was privileged to see the "communion of saints" in action. A group of seminarians visited him for the purpose of making him laugh. Two others stopped by to pray the Divine Office with him in the evening. Another seminarian dropped in to pray a rosary with him. Yet another kept him supplied with food and drink. Several left him their phone numbers with instructions to call at any hour of the night. I am writing this from his bedroom, and a priest just brought him Holy Communion moments ago. The living saints here in his seminary community are taking care of his every spiritual, social, and physical need.
As powerful as this earthly "communion of saints" is, "we who live...in no way have an advantage over those who have" died (1 Thes 4:15). This is because, as Jesus so clearly stated to those who disputed the resurrection of the body, "all are alive for" God (Lk 20:38). In the Mass and in our prayers, we saints who are living in Christ share an unbroken fellowship with the saints who have died — "through Him, with Him, and in Him." Thus the seminarians who prayed with my son invoked the prayers of several canonized saints in heaven. These young men requested prayer support from these saints with just as much confidence as they would have talked to a living seminarian standing in the room. We are all connected in the Body of Christ. "Neither death nor life...will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord" (Rm 8:38, 39).
Prayer: Father, may I relate to every member of Your family, whether in heaven or on earth, as You would have me do.
Promise: "Beloved, we are God's children now." —1 Jn 3:2
Praise: Praise You, Jesus, exalted in heavenly glory! Alleluia!
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004