The Communion of Saints is an article of faith

…of the Catholic Church. The term expresses the communion in holy things shared among God’s holy people and the concept of unity and holiness among the baptized Christians in Christ. Saint Paul’s greeting in his letter to the Colossians (1:2) denotes that Christians were generally called saints or “holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ.” They were addressed as holy ones since they were baptized in Jesus Christ the Holy One, saturated with the Spirit of holiness, and adopted as children of God the Father. Their dying in Christ and rising in Him through the waters of baptism sanctified them, and their faith in Jesus the Lord and their decision to pursue Christ made them participants of the holy mystery of God.

There is a strong link of unity among Christians

because the Holy Spirit unites us into the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. The baptized believers that have faith in Jesus the Lord and follow Christ are members of the Communion of Saints. The Catholic Church teaches that these members of Christ’s Church exist in three states: on earth, in purgatory, and in heaven. The members of the Church Militant seek to glorify God on earth and accomplish His holy will. The Church Suffering’s members enjoy God’s grace and friendship but undergo a period of purification in purgatory. They reside there until they acquire the purity and holiness necessary to enter the holy and eternal dwelling place of God to join the Church Triumphant.

Image by Paul Haring, Catholic News Service

The holy souls in purgatory

invoke the saints’ intercession in heaven and persistently pray for our eternal salvation with immense charity and generosity. They depend on us offering the sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, penance, and other works of charity to mitigate the purification period they endure. Similarly, we benefit from asking the saints in heaven to plead for us before Christ our Lord. Sacred Scripture reminds us that their powerful prayers accompany ours as we read in reference to the twenty-four elders who present to the Lamb the prayers of the holy ones on earth in incensed-filled gold bowls (Revelations 5:8). Together with our guardian angels, the saints in heaven willingly intercede for us and jubilantly celebrate before God whenever we repent, convert, and grow in holiness (Luke 15:7; 15:10).

The solemnity of All Saints Day

is celebrated on November 1st. This celebration reminds us that we are all called to be saints. Indeed, our primary vocation is the call to holiness. Lumen Gentium states, “Fortified by so many and such powerful means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord, each in his own way, to that perfect holiness whereby the Father Himself is perfect.” (Const. Lumen gentium, 11) Holiness is feasible because God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Truly, He is willing and able to make us holy if we permit Him to. Hence, no one can claim that it is unattainable because the Lord always provides the necessary graces and means for our sanctification. The deposit of Faith; the sanctifying power of the sacraments; the witness of the charisms of the Holy Spirit, and many other spiritual goods God has poured upon the Church reveal the holiness of God our Father and strengthen us to become holy as He is. However, given that we are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ, it is indispensable that we also help one another grow in holiness, especially those who are weaker in faith, devotion, or formation.

We ought to discover ways to encourage others to aspire to be saints,

particularly our children. A desire and eagerness for holiness at an early age is crucial in our modern society. A Catholic family I know, the Kiczeks, has

understood this well. They created a doll company named Dolls from Heaven to draw others, particularly children, closer to Jesus through the lives of the Saints. The first doll they created is of the well-known St. Therese of Lisieux. Soon after its production, word spread about this “holy” doll, and parents began to purchase the St. Therese doll for their kids, and others began to buy this doll as gifts for children they know. These children received the dolls and learned about the exemplary life and testimony of St. Therese of Lisieux. In addition, the dolls inspired conversations about life, faith, holiness, and God. As a result, the customers expressed their enthusiasm and appreciation by encouraging the Kiczek family to create another doll, St. Joan of Arc. These two will hopefully be joined by more saint dolls on an annual basis as the company plans to introduce a saint doll every year. Their website is www.DollsfromHeaven.com.

The Kiczek family ministry’s goal of bringing young children closer to God

through the lives of the Saints reminds us that our journey to sainthood commences at a young age, even from the moment we are conceived. God creates us and fashions us in our mother’s womb with love so that one day we can possess the God of love completely in heaven. Therefore, we bring our children to the waters of baptism as soon as possible so that they can begin to live a life of grace and holiness early on. As parents, godparents, family members, friends and loved ones, we are called to seek holiness and to inspire others to strive to know, love, and follow God through our Christian example. Indeed, we are saints in the making. God’s graces intend to transform from sinners to saints all who open their hearts to God. However, we must cooperate with God’s graces through a devoted life of prayer, penance, and works of charity. Nevertheless, we have a heavenly assembly praying for our salvation and cheering us on. Let us set the world on fire with God’s love and live solely for the glory of God.

(Note: This post was originally published on October 31, 2016.)

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