THE COMMUNION OF THE HOLY: TRUE CONSOLATION OF OUR FAITH
General audience October 30, 2013
“The communion of the holy”, one of the most beautiful aspects of our faith, as it was defined by Pope Francis, was the theme of the catechesis of today's general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square and was attended by more than 80,000 people.
The communion of the holy consists of two related meanings: the communion of holy things and communion between holy people, and the Pope focused on the second, “one of the most consolatory aspects of our faith”. In fact, the term “holy” refers to those who believe in Jesus Christ and who are integrated with him in the Church by baptism”.
The relationship between Jesus and the Father is “the 'matrix' of the link between us as Christians: if we are intimately inserted in this 'matrix', in this ardent fire of love, then we can truly become one heart and one soul, because God's love burns away all our selfishness, our prejudices, our divisions, both internal and external. If we are thus rooted at the source of Love, which is God, we encounter a reciprocal movement: from brothers to God. The experience of fraternal communion leads me to communion with God. God's love burns away our sins”.
Francis moved on to consider the second aspect of the communion of the holy: faith needs the support of others, especially in difficult times, and asked, “Who among us has not experienced insecurity, disorientation, and even doubt along the path of faith? We have all experienced this; I have too, it forms part of the path of faith, the path of our lives. None of this should surprise us, because we are human beings, marked by our frailty and limits. However, in these difficult moments it is necessary to trust in the help of God, through filial prayer and, at the same time, it is important to find the courage and the humility to open ourselves to others. In this communion – because communion means common union – were are a great family, whose members all help and support one another”.
The third aspect of the communion of the holy “goes beyond earthly life, it goes beyond death and lasts forever. It is a spiritual communion, born at baptism, and it is not interrupted by death but, thanks to the risen Christ, is destined to find its full meaning in eternal life. There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world, between us, and those blessed who have crossed the threshold of death to enter into eternity. All baptized persons here on earth, the souls in Purgatory and those who are already in paradise form a great and single family. This communion between heaven and earth is achieved above all through intercessory prayer. This communion is ours, it makes us brothers, it accompanies us on our path through life and it means that we meet again in heaven. Let us continue on this path, with joy!”
(available from VIS)