“The Communion of Saints”


Reality is communion. The real God who is the source of all reality exists as Persons in Communion: Father and Son in the communion of the Holy Spirit. Eternity is the perichoretic Dance where One delightedly centers on the Other in Self-Giving Love. Everything that the Triune God has created exists because of this Divine Communion. The pinnacle of creation—humanity, made in God’s image—reflects God’s own being as it exists in the same kind of way. We were made for deep communion with God and each other. But, by our rejection of God, we have rejected the way of communion. In our self-love (which is unholy and no true love) we have chosen divorce, relational disintegration, estrangement, isolation. We have self-excommunicated. Our self-centeredness is an implosion of our created nature where we lose everything, including our very selves, because the self is only meant to be in relationship with others. Seeking to establish our own identity for ourselves, instead of receiving it in communion, we have entered a cosmic impossibility, an anti-reality. Even though we often maintain the appearance of love, sinners do not participate in holy communion with God and others. Not really.

However, we believe in the communion of saints. We proclaim a Holy Love reestablished in a New Humanity in Christ, and only in Christ. The saints are those who have been sanctified, made holy, by the grace of God. That is, the saints are those who now commune in love with God and others because of who God is and what he has done, as revealed in the Gospel. The saints are those who have been reintroduced to and reunited with Reality. The saints relate to God in Christ and through the Holy Spirit, and they relate to one another on the same basis. A saint does not have true communion with anyone apart from Christ, but only in Christ, who has renewed our humanity in his image through his Self-Giving Love. Because of our Baptism, and especially at the Table, we saints have real Communion. My life is open to you, and your life is open to me, because God has opened his Divine Life to us in Christ through the Holy Spirit. I love you with the very love of Christ, and you love me with no other love than Christ’s, because God has loved us and given himself to us in Christ. The implosion of self-centeredness has been reversed, and the other-centered dance restored among the saints, by the sanctifying grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the loving will of the Father, and the powerful communion of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Why can we say, “Reality is communion,” and what are competing views to the fundamental nature of reality? Can you see indications of God’s Divine Communion in the things he has made? How important is the communion of saints to God’s purpose in creation? to the Christian life? How does one participate in the communion of saints? How does ongoing sin affect our participation in the communion of saints? How does the communion of saints relate to your identity as an individual? What are some of the daily implications of confessing the communion of saints? Who are “the saints” with whom you have communion? How does church discipline arise from the love of Christ in the communion of the saints? How does church discipline seek to maintain the communion of the saints? What is ex-“communi”-cation?

Previous post:

Next post: