Communion of Saints

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 946-962, 1474-77:

  • The communion of saints is a description of the Church; we have communion in “holy things,” which creates our communion “among holy persons.”
  • Among the holy things, or spiritual goods, we share in common are our faith; the charisms or special graces given by the Holy Spirit; our material possessions, which we use to help others; and our charity.
  • But above all, the holy things we share are the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, which binds us most intimately with Christ and therefore with each other.
  • Through the sacraments, Christ, as the Head of His Body the Church, communicates His riches to all; these riches are referred to as the Church’s treasury – not meaning worldly wealth or property, but her spiritual endowment.
  • In addition to Christ’s infinite merits, this treasury includes the totality of the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all of the saints.
  • Because we are one in the Mystical Body, we all share in each other’s good, and a wonderful exchange of spiritual goods takes place continuously.
  • A perennial link of charity connects us with the saints in heaven as well as with the holy souls being purified in Purgatory: the saints constantly intercede for us to help us on our journey, just as we on earth pray for our family, friends, and those in special need.
  • This profound understanding of communion is why the Church on earth has always prayed for the dead; the faithful departed are not cut off from us, but organically joined to us in Christ, so that our prayers may benefit them, and they may assist us.
  • While our good works redound to the benefit of the whole Body, every one of our sins harms this mystical communion.
  • Thus sin is never a purely private matter, for it has a detrimental effect on the Body.

Live Your Faith

Our culture promotes radical individualism, celebrating a selfish desire to do whatever we like and call it good.

But such a notion is incompatible with the mind of Christ. To be authentically Christian, we must live with a deep sense of communion with others, aware that our “personal” choices have consequences that reverberate well beyond ourselves.

Let us reflect if our opinions are formed by the world, or by Christ.