Communion Of Saints Quotes

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If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering.
Maria Faustyna Kowalska (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul)
The church is constituted as a new people who have been gathered from the nations to remind the world that we are in fact one people. Gathering, therefore, is an eschatological act as it is the foretaste of the unity of the communion of the saints.
Stanley Hauerwas (In Good Company: The Church as Polis)
The Church is the Body of Christ, and as such it is both heavenly and earthly. The Church is the communion of saints, and it includes as members both angels and shepherds - cherubim and seraphim, and you, and me.
Scott Hahn
Solaristics, wrote Muntius, is a substitute for religion in the space age. It is faith wrapped in the cloak of science; contact, the goal for which we are striving, is as vague and obscure as communion with the saints or the coming of the Messiah.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Since both the departed saints and we ourselves are in Christ, we share with them in the 'communion of saints.' They are still our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we celebrate the Eucharist they are there with us, along with the angels and archangels. Why then should we not pray for and with them? The reason the Reformers and their successors did their best to outlaw praying for the dead was because that had been so bound up with the notion of purgatory and the need to get people out of it as soon as possible. Once we rule out purgatory, I see no reason why we should not pray for and with the dead and every reason why we should - not that they will get out of purgatory but that they will be refreshed and filled with God's joy and peace. Love passes into prayer; we still love them; why not hold them, in that love, before God?
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father's face, and live in thy Father's love. Pray that this year thou mayst be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Bonifazia murmured appeals to the Virgin and several saints. Aunt Greysteel, who was equally alarmed, might well have been glad of the same refuge, but as a member of the communion of the Church of England, she could only exclaim, “Dear me!” and, “Upon my word!” and “Lord bless me!” – none of which gave her much comfort.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering
Maria Faustyna Kowalska (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul)
Christians affirm the communion of saints in the Nicene Creed, but I think there should be an equal belief in the “communion of sinners.
Richard Rohr (Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self)
There is joy in hell when a saint grows idle! There is gladness among devils when we cease to pray, when we become slack in faith and feeble in communion with God.”–1893, Sermon 2303
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon Gems)
Transmogrification,” Langdon said. “The vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints. Pictograms of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived son Horus became the blueprint for our modern images of the Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. And virtually all the elements of the Catholic ritual—the miter, the altar, the doxology, and communion, the act of “God-eating”—were taken directly from earlier pagan mystery religions.
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
We must be constantly aware of our responsibility in the Communion of Saints, without giving our honored predecessors the final say or making them an "alternatvie source," independent of scripture itself. When they speak with one voice, we should listen very carefully. They may be wrong. They sometimes are. But we ignore them at our peril.
N.T. Wright
contact, the goal for which we are striving, is as vague and obscure as communion with the saints or the coming of the Messiah.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
If the Holy Communion touched my teeth, I thought that was a mortal sin
Edna O'Brien (Saints and Sinners)
Let the Christian world forget or depart from this true gospel salvation; let anything else be trusted but the cross of Christ and the Spirit of Christ; and then, though churches and preachers and prayers and sacraments are everywhere in plenty, nothing can come of them but a Christian kingdom of pagan vices, along with a mouth-professed belief in the Apostles’ Creed and the communion of saints. To this sad truth all Christendom both at home and abroad bears full witness. Who need be told that no corruption or depravity of human nature, no kind of pride, wrath, envy, malice, and self-love; no sort of hypocrisy, falseness, cursing, gossip, perjury, and cheating; no wantonness of lust in every kind of debauchery, foolish jesting, and worldly entertainment, is any less common all over Christendom, both popish and Protestant, than towns and villages. What vanity, then, to count progress in terms of numbers of new and lofty cathedrals, chapels, sanctuaries, mission stations, and multiplied new membership lists, when there is no change in this undeniable departure of men’s hearts from the living God. Yea, let the whole world be converted to Christianity of this kind, and let every citizen be a member of some Protestant or Catholic church and mouth the creed every Lord’s day; and no more would have been accomplished toward bringing the kingdom of God among men than if they had all joined this or that philosophical society or social fraternity.
William Law (The Power of the Spirit)
The violence we preach is not the violence of the sword, the violence of hatred. It is the violence of love, of brotherhood, the violence that wills to beat weapons into sickles for work
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
gospel, and a cheap ministry, and a cheap membership, and a cheap communion of saints, etc. But when his obedience comes to be chargeable, when his obedience to divine commands may cost him his health, his strength, his liberty, his riches, his estate, his friends, his credit, his name, etc., then he retires, then he cries out, It is a hard saying, who can bear it? John 6:60. This is a hard commandment, who can obey it?
Thomas Brooks (The Works of Thomas Brooks)
One might think that those who feast most often on communion with God are least hungry. They turn often from the innocent pleasures of the world to linger more directly in the presence of God through the revelation of his Word. And there they eat the Bread of Heaven and drink the Living Water by meditation and faith. But, paradoxically, it is not so that they are the least hungry saints. The opposite is the case. The strongest, most mature Christians I have ever met are the hungriest for God. It might seem that those who eat most would be least hungry. But that’s not the way it works with an inexhaustible fountain, and an infinite feast, and a glorious Lord. When you take your stand on the finished work of God in Christ, and begin to drink at the River of Life and eat the Bread of Heaven, and know that you have found the end of all your longings,
John Piper (A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer)
They say stars have greatest influences when they are in conjunction with the sun; then sure the graces of a saint should never work more powerfully than in prayer, for then he is in the nearest conjunction and communion with God. That
William Gurnall (The Christian in Complete Armour: The Ultimate Book on Spiritual Warfare)
Back home, my favorite part of Mass was during communion, when I'd stand at the rail and hold a little gold platter under people's chins. The pretty girls would line up for communion (I confess to Almighty God). They'd kneel (and to you my brothers and sisters), cast their eyes demurely down (I have sinned through my own fault), and stick out their tongues (in my thoughts and in my words). Their tongues would shine, reflected in the gold platter, and since the wafer was dry, the girls would maybe lick their lips (and I ask Blessed Mary ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters) before they swallowed (to pray for me to the Lord our God). It was all I could do not to pass out.
Rob Sheffield (Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time)
Poverty for the poor of El Salvador, and the poor of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, means death, and those who do not die slowly from hunger and disease, die quickly from violence and repression. That has been the fate of the poor in El Salvador for a very long time.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Romero was like St. Vincent de Paul—a mass of poor people always followed him around. Of course, with his way of thinking, he always got the rich people to pay alms so that he could give them to the poor. That way the poor could have some relief for their problems and the rich could relieve their consciences.48
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Civilians, not insurgents, were the principal victims of this war; the poor who lived in rural areas were especially hard hit. Little attempt was made by the government to address the structural injustice that was the cause of the conflict. What reforms they attempted were secondary to the massive repression of the people.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
himself. “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Maria, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Erec Stebbins (Extraordinary Retribution (INTEL 1, #2))
He never wrote down his homilies. Never. It seemed like he did, but he didn’t. The most he ever took to the cathedral was an outline, a letter-sized sheet of paper with two or three ideas written down. It makes me laugh when someone who never knew Monseñor Romero says that other people used to write his sermons. If anyone wrote them, it was the Holy Spirit!226
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
I remember the sad case of a very godly man whom I knew who had two daughters who were the most excellent women. They had reached middle life when I met them. They lived, in a sense, for the things of God, and yet neither of them had ever become a member of a Christian church, or ever taken communion at the Lord's Table. As regards their life and conduct, you could not think of better people, and yet they had never become members of the church and they had never partaken of the bread and the wine. Why? They said they did not feel they were good enough. What was the matter with them? They were looking at themselves instead of at the finished, perfect work of Christ. You look at yourself and, of course, you will miserable, for within there is blackness and darkness. The best saint when he looks at himself becomes unhappy; he sees things that should not be there, and if you and I spend our whole time looking at ourselves we shall remain in misery, and we shall lose the joy. Self-examination is all right, but introspection is bad. Let us draw the distinction between these two things. We can examine ourselves in the light of Scripture, and if we do that we shall be driven to Christ. But with introspection a man looks at himself and continues to do so, and refuses to be happy until he gets rid of the imperfections that are still there. Oh, the tragedy that we should spend our lives looking at ourselves instead of looking at Him who can set us free!
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Out of the Depths)
Someone once asked the celebrated biologist, Sir Frederick Grant Banting, why he cared so much about daily Communion. “Have you ever reflected,” he answered, “what would happen if the dew did not fall every night? No plant would develop. The grass and flowers could not survive the evaporations and the dryness that the day’s heat brings in one way or another. Their cycle of energies, their natural renewal, the balance of their lymphatic fluids, the very life of plants requires this dew….” After a pause, he continued: “Now my soul is like a little plant. It is something rather frail that the winds and heat do battle with every day. So it is necessary that every morning I go get my fresh stock of spiritual dew, by going to Holy Communion.
Stefano M. Manelli (Jesus Our Eucharistic Love: Eucharistic Life Exemplified by the Saints)
I am glad, brothers and sisters, that our church is persecuted precisely for its preferential option for the poor and for trying to become incarnate on behalf of he poor. And I want to say to all the people, to rulers, to the rich and powerful: If you do not become poor, if you do not concern yourselves for the poverty of our people, as though they were your own family, you will not be able to save society.” —July 15, 1979
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
The saints chose, when possible, to set no time limit on thanksgiving after Communion, which consequently might last for them at least half an hour. St. Teresa of Jesus told her daughters, “Let us entertain ourselves lovingly with Jesus and not waste the hour that follows Communion. It is an excellent time to deal with God and put before Him the matters that concern our soul. …As we know that the good Jesus remains within us until our natural warmth has dissolved the breadlike qualities, we should take great care not to lose so beautiful an opportunity to treat with Him and lay our needs before Him.
Stefano M. Manelli (Jesus Our Eucharistic Love: Eucharistic Life Exemplified by the Saints)
Because individualism is the first challenge, it’s important to realize that a discipleship approach to racial justice and reconciliation depends on a community of Christians. There’s nothing especially innovative about this; for generations, Christians have gathered for corporate worship and, by participating in shared liturgical practices such as singing and Holy Communion, have together had their desires aimed toward the kingdom of God. By its very nature the Christian life is communal; individuals find new life within the locally expressed body of Christ. It’s not that we lose our individuality when we become Christians, but that who we are as individuals finds fuller and truer expression within the community of saints.
David W Swanson (Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity)
I believe creeds aren't worth the paper they are written on...But I still believe in God. I believe that if you look at my life, you'll only sometimes see what I believe. I believe that if we have two coats, we should give one away (though I don't do it). Today I don't believe in anything; tomorrow who knows. I sometimes believe in God- one who existed before time, beyond gender or fathom. Make of heaven and earth and ginger (all good things), whales, two-hundred-foot cliffs, cloud banks, shipwrecks, And in Jesus Christ, God's only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost- how? Born of a fourteen-year-old, Mary, scared out of her wits. Was crucified, dead, and buried, and I used to believe in the penal substitution theory of atonement, but now I just see a violent death and struggle to see how violence can ever be redemptive... He descended into hell, or was hell all around him all the time? The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into safety of abstraction, away from having to feel this, from dealing with this, And sits, maybe sprawls, on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. I believe in me; I believe in the Spirit, Sophia, wisdom... The holy catholic (i.e., everybody) Church; The Communion of saints; does this mean me? LOVE The Forgiveness of sins (but I still feel shame); (don't you?) The Resurrection of the body. I believe in singing the body electric And the life everlasting, A life we find right here in our midst
Peter Rollins (The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction)
I believe creeds aren't worth the paper they are written on...But I still believe in God. I believe that if you look at my life, you'll only sometimes see what I believe. I believe that if we have two coats, we should give one away (though I don't do it). Today I don't believe in anything; tomorrow who knows. I sometimes believe in God- one who existed before time, beyond gender or fathom. Maker of heaven and earth and ginger (all good things), whales, two-hundred-foot cliffs, cloud banks, shipwrecks, And in Jesus Christ, God's only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost- how? Born of a fourteen-year-old, Mary, scared out of her wits. Was crucified, dead, and buried, and I used to believe in the penal substitution theory of atonement, but now I just see a violent death and struggle to see how violence can ever be redemptive... He descended into hell, or was hell all around him all the time? The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into safety of abstraction, away from having to feel this, from dealing with this, And sits, maybe sprawls, on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. I believe in me; I believe in the Spirit, Sophia, wisdom... The holy catholic (i.e., everybody) Church; The Communion of saints; does this mean me? LOVE The Forgiveness of sins (but I still feel shame); (don't you?) The Resurrection of the body. I believe in singing the body electric And the life everlasting, A life we find right here in our midst
Peter Rollins (The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction)
Every time, it’s a miracle. Here are all these people, full of heartache or hatred or desire, and we all have our troubles and the school year is filled with vulgarity and triviality and consequence, and there are all these teachers and kids of every shape and size, and there’s this life we’re struggling through full of shouting and tears and laughter and fights and break-ups and dashed hopes and unexpected luck—it all disappears, just like that, when the choir begins to sing. Everyday life vanishes into song, you are suddenly overcome with a feeling of brotherhood, of deep solidarity, even love, and it diffuses the ugliness of everyday life into a spirit of perfect communion. Even the singers’ faces are transformed: it’s no longer Achille Grand-Fernet that I’m looking at (he is a very fine tenor), or Déborah Lemeur or Ségolène Rachet or Charles Saint-Sauveur. I see human beings, surrendering to music.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
There is much in our Lord's pantry that will satisfy his children, and much wine in his cellar that will quench all their thirst. Hunger for him until he fills you. He is pleased with the importunity of hungry souls. If he delays, do not go away, but fall a-swoon at his feet. Every day we may see some new thing in Christ. His love has neither brim nor bottom. How blessed are we to enjoy this invaluable treasure, the love of Christ; or rather allow ourselves to be mastered and subdued in his love, so that Christ is our all, and all other things are nothing. O that we might be ready for the time our Lord's wind and tide call for us! There are infinite plies in his love that the saint will never be able to unfold. I urge upon you a nearer and growing communion with Christ. There are curtains to be drawn back in Christ that we have never seen. There are new foldings of love in him. Dig deep, sweat, labour, and take pains for him, and set by as much time in the day for him as you can; he will be won with labour. Live on Christ's love. Christ's love is so kingly, that it will not wait until tomorrow, it must have a throne all alone in your soul. It is our folly to divide our narrow and little love. It is best to give it all to Christ. Lay no more on the earthly, than it can carry. Lay your soul and your weights upon God; make him your only and best-beloved. Your errand in this life is to make sure an eternity of glory for your soul, and to match your soul with Christ. Your love, if it could be more than all the love of angels in one, would be Christ's due. Look up to him and love him. O, love and live! My counsel is, that you come out and leave the multitude, and let Christ have your company. Let those who love this present world have it, but Christ is a more worthy and noble portion; blessed are those who have him.
Samuel Rutherford
We should not, therefore, be too taken aback when unexpected and upsetting and discouraging things happen to us now. What do they mean? Why, simply that God in His wisdom means to make something of us which we have not attained yet, and is dealing with us accordingly. Perhaps He means to strengthen us in patience, good humour, compassion, humility, or meekness, by giving us some extra practice in exercising these graces under specially difficult conditions. Perhaps He has new lessons in self-denial and self-distrust to teach us. Perhaps He wishes to break us of complacency, or unreality, or undetected forms of pride and conceit. Perhaps His purpose is simply to draw us closer to Himself in conscious communion with Him; for it is often the case, as all the saints know, that fellowship with the Father and the Son is most vivid and sweet, and Christian joy is greatest, when the cross is heaviest…. Or perhaps God is preparing us for forms of service of which at present we have no inkling.
Rory Noland (The Worshiping Artist: Equipping You and Your Ministry Team to Lead Others in Worship)
Prayer was the rhythm of the Holy Father’s life. He made time to pray before and after his meals, and interspersed his Breviary prayers (the Liturgy of the Hours) throughout the day and night, calling it: “very important, very important.” At six in the morning, at noon, and again at six in the evening, he would stop whatever he was doing to pray the Angelus, just as he had done while working in the chemical plant in Poland. He prayed several Rosaries each day, went to confession every week, and did not let a day pass without receiving Holy Communion. Each Friday (and every day in Lent), he prayed the Stations of the Cross, and preferred to do this in the garden on the roof of the Papal Apartments. During Lent, he would eat one complete meal a day, and always fasted on the eve of our Lady’s feast days. He remarked, “If the bishop doesn’t set an example by fasting, then who will?” The Holy Father knew that his first duty to the Church was his interior life. He declared, “the shepherd should walk at the head and lay down his life for his sheep. He should be the first when it comes to sacrifice and devotion.” Each night, he looked out his window to Saint Peter’s Square and to the whole world, and made the sign of the cross over it, blessing the world goodnight.
Jason Evert (Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves)
The late American golfing coach and writer, Harvey Penick, held that any who played golf was his friend – in the politer sense of Arcades ambo, I gather. … I myself hold with Honest Izaak that there is – and that I am a member of – a communion of, if not saints, at least anglers and very honest men, some now with God and others of us yet upon the quiet waters. … The man is a mere brute, and no true angler, whose sport is measured only in fish caught and boasted of. For what purpose do we impose on ourselves limits and conventions if not to make sport of a mere mechanical harvest of protein? The true angler can welcome even a low river and a dry year, and learn of it, and be the better for it, in mind and in spirit. So, No: the hatch is not all that it might be, for if it is warm enough and early with it, it is also in a time of drought; and, No: I don’t get to the river as often as I should wish. But these things do not make this a poor year: they are an unlooked-for opportunity to delve yet deeper into the secrets of the river, and grow wise. … Rejoice, then, in all seasons, ye fishers. The world the river is; both you and I, And all mankind, are either fish or fry. We must view it with judicious looks, and get wisdom whilst we may. And to all honest anglers, then, I wish, as our master Izaak wished us long ago, ‘a rainy evening to read this following Discourse; and that if he be an honest Angler, the east wind may never blow when he goes a-fishing.
G.M.W. Wemyss
The Blue Sphere Exercise Seat yourself comfortably, and relax. Try not to think about anything. 1. Feel how good it is to be alive. Let your heart feel free and affectionate; let it rise above and beyond the details of the problems that may be bothering you. Begin to sing softly a song from your childhood. Imagine that your heart is growing, filling the room – and later your home – with an intense, shining blue light. 2. When you reach this point, begin to sense the presence of the saints (or other beings) in which you placed your faith when you were a child. Notice that they are present, arriving from everywhere, smiling and giving you faith and confidence. 3. Picture the saints approaching you, placing their hands on your head and wishing you love, peace, and communion with the world – the communion of the saints. 4. When this sensation becomes strong, feel that the blue light is a current that enters you and leaves you like a shining, flowing river. This blue light begins to spread through your house, then through your neighborhood, your city, and your country; it eventually envelops the world in an immense blue sphere. This is the manifestation of the great love that goes beyond the day-today struggle; it reinforces and invigorates, as it provides energy and peace. 5. Keep the light spread around the world for as long as possible. Your heart is open, spreading love. This phase of the exercise should last for a minimum of five minutes. 6. Come out of your trance, bit by bit, and return to reality. The saints will remain near. The blue light will continue to spread around the world. This ritual can and should be done with more than one person. When this is the case, the participants should hold hands while they do the exercise.
Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
A Prayer for Grace and Illumination Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will. Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company. Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile! Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but, the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You! Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for. Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen. —Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Patrick Madrid (A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living)
Beginning in 1519 and continuing until the end of his life, Luther expounded a theme that the Sacrament brings and means a fellowship of love and mercy: "This fellowship consists in this, that all the spiritual possessions of Christ and his saints are shared with and become the common property of him who receives this sacrament. Again all sufferings and sins also become common property; and thus love engenders love in return and [mutual love] unites . . . It is like a city where every citizen shares with all the others the city's name, honor, freedom, trade, customs, usages, help, support, protection, and the like, while at the same time he shares all the dangers of fire and flood, enemies and death, losses taxes and the like. For he who would share in the profits must also share in the costs, and ever recompense love with love . . ." For Luther, unity with respect to the Sacrament meant both doctrinal agreement and love. When the prerequisite to church fellowship is defined merely (however important!) in terms of doctrinal fellowship, it can end in a Platonic pursuit of a frigid and rigid mental ideal. Doctrinal unity, true unity in Christ's body and blood, is also a unity of deep love and mercy. If I will not lay down my burden on Christ and the community, or take up the burdens of others who come to the Table, then I should not go to the Sacrament. Close(d) Communion is also a fellowship of love and mercy with my brother and sister in Christ as Luther taught in the previous citation.
Matthew C. Harrison (Christ Have Mercy: How to Put Your Faith in Action)
At that time, I no longer had the slightest doubt that what she had written in her diary about receiving Holy Communion from an Angel was really true” (Memoirs
Maria Faustyna Kowalska (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul)
The Corinthians are identified as “Those who were made holy” and who were “called out as saints [i.e., holy ones]” (1:2). They were getting drunk at Holy Communion and shouting insults at each other. One of them was sleeping with his mother-in-law. The prophets (preachers) were all talking at once in their worship services and some of the women were chatting and not listening to anyone. They had split into factions, and some thought that polished language was more important than historical realities like the cross. Others denied the resurrection. Yet Paul called them “saints.” Remarkable! Clearly, for Paul, “a saint” meant a person who had received the Holy Spirit and not a person who had reached some undefined stratospheric level of piety. The troublesome Corinthians were saints!
Kenneth E. Bailey (Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians)
Love is communion between two saintly souls, and prayer is a kind of spiritual intimacy or intercourse between you and the universe. Learn by prayer to feel that you are with God and hence you will have the vision of God.
Raju Ramanathan
We may be sure of this, and we must pray in the assurance of it, in a full assurance of his faith, that wherever God finds a praying heart, he will be found a prayer-hearing God; though the voice of prayer be a low voice, a weak voice, yet if it come from an upright heart, it is a voice that God will hear, that he will hear with pleasure, it is his delight, and hay he will return a gracious answer to; he hath heard thy prayers, he hath seen thy tears. When therefore we stand praying, this ground we must stand upon, this principle we must stand to, nothing doubting, nothing wavering, that whatever we ask of God as a father, in the name of Jesus Christ the Mediator, according to the will of God revealed in the Scripture, it shall be granted us either in kind or kindness; so the promise is, John 16:23, and the truth of it is sealed to by the concurring experience of the saints in all ages, ever since men began to call upon the name of the Lord, that Jacob's God never yet said to Jacob's seed, seek he me in vain, and he will not begin now. When we come to God by prayer, if we come aright we may be confident of this, that notwithstanding the distance between heaven and earth, and our great unworthiness to have any notice taken of us, or any favour showed us; yet God doth hear our voice, and will not turn away our prayers or his mercy.
Matthew Henry (Daily communion with God)
In communion with Christ, you and I are members of his body, his Church, together with our fellow Christians
Scott Hahn (Angels and Saints: A Biblical Guide to Friendship with God's Holy Ones)
life in the Spirit that is denoted by the term “deeper life” is far wider and richer than mere victory over sin, however vital that victory may be. It also includes the thought of the indwelling of Christ, acute God-consciousness, rapturous worship, separation from the world, the joyous surrender of everything to God, internal union with the Trinity, the practice of the presence of God, the communion of saints and prayer without ceasing.
A.W. Tozer (Tozer on the Holy Spirit: A 365-Day Devotional)
Church historians often ask, ‘Is the church a movement or an institution?' . . . I think it is both. . . . I believe the people of God in history live in a tension between an ideal--the universal communion of saints--and the specific--the particular people in a definite time and place. The church’s mission in time calls for institutions: special rules, special leaders, special places. But when institutions themselves obstruct the spread of the gospel rather than advancing it, then movements of renewal arise to return to the church’s basic mission in the world.
Bruce L. Shelley (Church History in Plain Language)
I believe baseball and the Church are deeply kindred spirits—both feature obscure rules that make sense only to initiates, both have communions of saints, both reward patience, and in both, casual fans can dip in and out, but for serious devotees the liturgy is a daily affair.
Robert Barron (To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age)
Without conversion of heart we cannot serve God on earth. We have naturally neither faith, nor fear, nor love, toward God and His Son Jesus Christ. We have no delight in His Word. We take no pleasure in prayer or communion with Him. We have no enjoyment in His ordinances, His house, His people, or His day. We may have a form of Christianity, and keep up a round of ceremonies and religious performances. But without conversion we have no more heart in our religion than a brick or a stone. Can a dead corpse serve God? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion we are dead toward God. Look round the congregation with which you worship every Sunday. Mark how little interest the great majority of them take in what is going on. Observe how listless, and apathetic, and indifferent, they evidently are about the whole affair. It is clear their hearts are not there! They are thinking of something else, and not of religion. They are thinking of business, or money, or pleasure, or worldly plans, or bonnets, or gowns, or new dresses, or amusements. Their bodies are there, but not their hearts. And what is the reason? What is it they all need? They need conversion. Without it they only come to church for fashion and form’s sake, and go away from church to serve the world or their sins. But this is not all. Without conversion of heart we could not enjoy heaven, if we got there. Heaven is a place where holiness reigns supreme, and sin and the world have no place at all. The company will all be holy; the employments will all be holy; it will be an eternal Sunday. Surely if we go to heaven, we must have a heart in tune and able to enjoy it, or else we shall not be happy. We must have a nature in harmony with the element we live in, and the place where we dwell. Can a fish be happy out of water? We know it cannot. Well, without conversion of heart we could not be happy in heaven. Look round the neighborhood in which you live and the persons with whom you are acquainted. Think what many of them would do if they were cut off for ever from money, and business, and newspapers, and cards, and balls, and races, and hunting, and shopping, and worldly amusements! Would they like it? Think what they would feel if they were shut up forever with Jesus Christ, and saints, and angels! Would they be happy? Would the eternal company of Moses, and David, and St. Paul be pleasant to those who never take the trouble to read what those holy men wrote? Would heaven’s everlasting praise suit the taste of those who can hardly spare a few minutes in a week for private religion, even for prayer? There is but one answer to be given to all these questions. We must be converted before we can enjoy heaven. Heaven would be no heaven to any child of Adam without conversion. Let no man deceive us. There are two things which are of absolute necessity to the salvation of every man and woman on earth. One of them is the mediatorial work of Christ for us, His atonement, satisfaction, and intercession. The other is the converting work of the Spirit in us, His guiding, renewing, and sanctifying grace. We must have both a title and a heart for heaven. Sacraments are only generally necessary to salvation: a man may be saved without them, like the penitent thief. An interest in Christ and conversion are absolutely necessary: without them no one can possibly be saved. All, all alike, high or low, rich or poor, old or young, gentle or simple, churchmen or dissenters, baptized or unbaptized, all must be converted or perish.
J.C. Ryle
In the communion of saints, we believe that our relationships are stronger than death.
Francis George
When the psalmist saw the transgression of the wicked his heart told him how it could be. ”There is no fear of God before his eyes,” he explained, and in so saying revealed to us the psychology of sin. When men no longer fear God, they transgress His laws without hesitation. The fear of consequences is not deterrent when the fear of God is gone. In olden days men of faith were said to ”walk in the fear of God” and to ”serve the Lord with fear.” However intimate their communion with God, however bold their prayers, at the base of their religious life was the conception of God as awesome and dreadful. This idea of God transcendent rims through the whole Bible and gives color and tone to the character of the saints. This fear of God was more than a natural apprehension of danger; it was a nonrational dread, an acute feeling of personal insufficiency in the presence of God the Almighty. Wherever God appeared to men in Bible times the results were the same - an overwhelming sense of terror and dismay, a wrenching sensation of sinfulness and guilt. When God spoke, Abram stretched himself upon the ground to listen. When Moses saw the Lord in the burning bush, he hid his face in fear to look upon God. Isalah’s vision of God wrung from him the cry, ”Woe is me!” and the confession, ”I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.” Daniel’s encounter with God was probably the most dreadful and wonderful of them all. The prophet lifted up his eyes and saw One whose ”body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” ”I Daniel alone saw the vision” he afterwards wrote, ”for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” These experiences show that a vision of the divine transcendence soon ends all controversy between the man and his God. The fight goes out of the man and he is ready with the conquered Saul to ask meekly, ”Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”  Conversely, the self-assurance of modern Christians, the basic levity present in so many of our religious gatherings, the shocking disrespect shown for the Person of God, are evidence enough of deep blindness of heart.  Many call themselves by the name of Christ, talk much about God, and pray to Him sometimes, but evidently do not know who He is. ”The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,” but this healing fear is today hardly found among Christian men.
A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy (Annotated))
testified of blessings that come to those who attend temple dedications in a spirit of sincere worship: “The sweet whisperings of the Holy Spirit will be given to them and the treasures of Heaven, the communion of angels, will be added from time to time, for [the Lord’s] promise has gone forth and it cannot fail!”37 He wrote of one such experience, which he had at the dedication of the Logan Temple:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff)
The best churches don’t have stained glass windows or statues of dead saints or even ceilings and walls. You don’t need a building to find forgiveness. You don’t need communion wafers and holy water to be blessed. And miracles are everywhere. All you have to do is look.
J.T. Geissinger (Sin With Me (Bad Habit, #3))
Reading the Bible, for Christians, is a matter of expecting to be surprised by Jesus again.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Delight is a social phenomenon. It is imitative. We delight in what we see others delighting in—especially those we admire. ... All other projects of group enthusiasm are pale imitations of what the church is meant to be—a body of believers incandescent with Christ’s love.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
All is not lost. In fact, as ever with Augustine, God uses our sin to move us toward salvation. The theologian for whom the fall is a “happy fault,” felix culpa, —since redemption will be sweeter after the fall than it would have been without it— argues that God can make use of our hard-headedness in teaching and being taught.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
But Jesus is stubbornly, ferociously committed to his church. ... he'll be there. That's the batch of people through whom he is redeeming the world, impossible as that seems.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
A puzzle is something you figure out and you’re done with—a crossword, sudoku, a Rubik’s cube. A mystery is more like the face of someone you love. The more you know, the more there is to be known, and the more you want to know. ... a mystery has no bottom.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
... the nature of desire is the same. We notice others’ desire. It shapes ours. ... Desire is what makes us human. No wonder—God planted it in us to lure us back to God’s self.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Our delight is tickled as we see Christ concealed in the Old and revealed in the New.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
The point of the Bible isn't to learn what it says. The point of going to church isn't to be more religious. The point of both is to be made into nothing but love of God and neighbor.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Every Christian in every age has been tempted to paper over scripture’s cracks, explain away its oddities, show it’s no different or more demanding than what we hearers already think we know about God and the world. This is a mistake. Scripture is spectacularly odd.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
We are far past liberals’ suggestion that we take scripture ‘seriously but not literally,’ or conservatives’ that it all has to be one-dimensionally true, like a newspaper or science book. Here, Christ’s word has to become true in us. Origen’s acts of interpretation show that to be open to the words of scripture is to have one’s own soul laid bare, operated on, and returned to the wholeness. No wonder liberals, conservatives, ancients, and moderns alike are uncomfortable with Origen. He points out that Christ is wielding a scalpel. And we’re the ones under the knife.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Modern, technique-based ways of reading have their place, but reading scripture is not complete until the church loves God and neighbor more.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
If you can read the Song of Songs without blushing a little, you’re doing it wrong, and Origen wants us to do more than blush.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
With an eye trained for finding this God, an ear tuned to his voice, we learn to find him again and again. Every beloved loves her lover in his specificity—his face, his hands, his voice— and love leads her to “act in all respect and regulate her every movement in a manner designed to please the man she loves”.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
The only way that apple trees, lilies, marriage and sex, gender and procreation, or even Bibles or language can reveal to us so much about the nature of God is that they’re good gifts that bear the imprint of their divine Maker.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
St. Augustine imagines standing on tiptoes, trying to catch a glimpse of a God who is unbound by time and space, who knows all, is all-powerful, and is entirely unbearably good. We can’t imagine such a God. All our thoughts are bounded by time, space, weakness, our own sinfulness. But we can just brush up against the underside of such thoughts as we reach reach reach . . . and then we trip over the crucified slave who is washing our feet.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
One of the first things we learn from our earliest teachers in the church is that the bible has a purpose, a point, a goal, a telos. It wants to save us. Or rather God wants to save us, and the whole world that God created in the first place, and all who bear the gospel to us leave their fingerprints on it as they transmit goodness to us.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
The gospel he [St. Paul] received already had someone else’s fingerprints on it. And this is nothing to lament. Christianity is the sort of gift you cannot receive without giving it away. Our fingerprints add to the many layers of those already there. And here’s the most glorious thing of all—God has fingerprints. God is a Jew from first-century Palestine.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Rowan Williams analogizes between Mary and other believers. When any of us trusts, things get born. New life comes. Things that were not there before are now there, nearly miraculously. Mary trusts so much she gets pregnant.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
God will stop at nothing to get through to us, overwhelming us with symbols, piling them up one on another without carefully codifying whether and how they all make sense. One thing they are not is tragically empty, distant, cold. They are humming, hot-blooded, and full of life.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
This [the Lord’s Supper] is a strange meal indeed, in which Jesus is the host and also the guest and also the food.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
The key to interpretation, as Augustine once told Deogratias, is your delight as an interpreter. Your delight is what your listeners will notice. It is what will return you to the text for more. It is what has a chance to draw in your hearers. It is the tether God has left in your soul with which to draw you to God’s self, and others through you.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
If you want to know where God is, look where God is unendingly sharing the divine presence. The space between us and the bible isn’t a tragically empty vacuum. It is a resplendent party, full of angels and saints and not a few rogues, and there’s a place for you and me. The host is Jesus alone.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
I am convinced that the Bible is a delight and that studying the Bible is about learning to see that delight.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
The desire to become a different sort of person is precious. It rarely happens to us. But one way it can happen is if someone we admire sees in us a better sort of person than we presently are. And praise it, until it comes into being. This is finally what church is for. It is what reading the Bible is for: becoming a different sort of a person. The sort of person the church calls a saint.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Desire is what makes us human. No wonder—God planted it in us to lure us back to God’s self.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
God, on Christian lights, isn’t just high, lofty, far away, distant, unsullied with us. God, in Christian thought, is Jewish. Human. Not just great and holy but little and lowly. ... God becomes our neighbour. ... If it takes a neighbour’s desire to set ours alight, then the one living and true God will become that flesh-and-blood neighbour.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
God does not demand anything of us that God has not already done. In fact, God does not just ask us to do what God has done; God enables us to take that step.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
All we can do is work on our own delight. And encourage others' delight. Teach with the sort of passion that marks the best teachers.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
Christians throughout the ages have sought the wisdom of our earliest teachers, those who were closer in space and time to Jesus. They are heroes we have in common among denominations, unlike later saints who are treasured by one or the other church but not by all. For the sake of this book, the church’s earliest teachers are like odd and strange aunts and uncles in an extended family. They are embarassing at family gatherings. It’s harder to figure out what to talk to them about than it is with someone whom you would choose voluntarily as a friend. And yet these unchosen cranks make you you. And if you can overcome that initial awkwardness, there is wisdom there, and even love.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
One reason we misunderstand allegory is that we moderns think that reading is a matter of garnering information. For ancient Christians, reading scripture is a matter of being changed from one degree of glory to another, of being transformed (2 Cor. 3:18).
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
So you shall find, that if you are religiously trained and tutored, and become “pious,” as they call it, and yet are not renewed in heart, nor visited by the Holy Ghost, you will not live the secret life of the child of God. You may show many of the outward marks of a Christian; you may be able to sing, and to pray, and to quote Scripture, and perhaps to tell some little bits of imaginary experience; but you must be born again to know in very deed and truth the fellowship of the saints, communion in secret with the living God, and the yielding of yourself to him as your reasonable service. The child of the promise abides with God’s people, and counts it his privilege to be numbered with them.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (According To Promise (Spurgeon Classic Series #1))
When I am preparing for Holy Communion, I picture my soul as a piece of land and I beg the Blessed Virgin to remove from it any rubbish that would prevent it [80r°] from being free; then I ask her to set up a huge tent worthy of heaven, adorning it with her own jewelry; finally, I invite all the angels and saints to come and conduct a magnificent concert there. It seems to me that when Jesus descends into my heart He is content to find Himself so well received and I, too, [5]am content.
Marc Foley (Story of a Soul The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Study Edition)
In the way of judgment this may be the case, and, if so, be it mine to consider the reason of such a visitation, and bear the rod and him that hath appointed it. I am not the only one who is chastened in the night season; let me cheerfully submit to the affliction, and carefully endeavour to be profited thereby. But the hand of the Lord may also be felt in another manner, strengthening the soul and lifting the spirit upward towards eternal things. O that I may in this sense feel the Lord dealing with me! A sense of the divine presence and indwelling bears the soul towards heaven as upon the wings of eagles. At such times we are full to the brim with spiritual joy, and forget the cares and sorrows of earth; the invisible is near, and the visible loses its power over us; servant-body waits at the foot of the hill, and the master-spirit worships upon the summit in the presence of the Lord. O that a hallowed season of divine communion may be vouchsafed to me this evening! The Lord knows that I need it very greatly. My graces languish, my corruptions rage, my faith is weak, my devotion is cold; all these are reasons why his healing hand should be laid upon me. His hand can cool the heat of my burning brow, and stay the tumult of my palpitating heart. That glorious right hand which moulded the world can new-create my mind; the unwearied hand which bears the earth's huge pillars up can sustain my spirit; the loving hand which incloses all the saints can cherish me; and the mighty hand which breaketh in pieces the enemy can subdue my sins. Why should I not feel that hand touching me this evening? Come, my soul, address thy God with the potent plea, that Jesus' hands were pierced for thy redemption, and thou shalt surely feel that same hand upon thee which once touched Daniel and set him upon his knees that he might see visions of God.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Evening by Evening)
When we read the Bible christologically, we are not smuggling Jesus in -- we are discovering him there, to our and others' delight. To say otherwise is to fail to read Paul or Luke well. It's to miss that all creation hollers praise. It is to leave the world ungraced, uncharged by the grandeur of God, with no witness to the One who creates and redeems it in Christ.
Jason Byassee (Surprised by Jesus Again: Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints)
In its manuals for priestly confessors, the church enumerates the sins we must all confess, listing these in order of seriousness from the least (venial) to the most serious (mortal), to those so grave as to entail formal excommunication from the Communion of Saints and, therefore, requiring special dispensation, such as a writ of forgiveness issued by a bishop or pope.
Thomas Cahill (Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World (Hinges of History))
Where did we get the idea that older folks need to be given a “kid-free” environment with other “golden oldies,” and that men’s groups and women’s groups are more meaningful than the communion of saints?
Michael S. Horton (Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World)
Contrast the upbeat contemporary perspective with that of theologian Karl Barth, who was a prominent figure in the church’s resistance to Nazism (one of the offspring of Nietzsche’s philosophy). Each Sunday, notes Barth, the church bell is rung to announce to the village that God’s word is to be proclaimed: “And if none of these things help, will not the crosses in the churchyard which quietly look in through the windows tell you unambiguously what is relevant here and what is not?”5 The sanctuary did not see the world through rose-colored windows but through clear glass that brought reality home. But that was when we had graveyards on church grounds. Today, we have conveniently removed death, and with it the communion of the saints, and relegated it to nondescript secular cemeteries with euphemistic names like “Forest Lawn.” The average person today is about as likely to come in contact with the dead and dying as with the sources of daily bread. We now have supermarkets for everything, with cheerful music soothing any inconvenient questions, doubts, or fears about how we are dealing with life and death. Even our churches can exhibit this tendency.
Michael S. Horton (A Place for Weakness: Preparing Yourself for Suffering)
Prayer is conversation with God. ~ Shirley Tye         What Is A Prayer Partner?     “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).     As a teenager, I read Dale Carnegie’s book, How To Win Friends and Influence People. His simple advice to win friends by becoming genuinely interested in them intrigued me. To show interest all you needed to do was to ask questions and listen to their responses.   But for me, even better than being listened to is being prayed for. I am delighted to have formal prayer partners and to be a member of prayer groups.   One such partner is JoAnn. We met briefly at a 3-day women’s conference. When we first arrived at this conference, the organizers took our photos. On the last day, we were given the picture of another woman – our prayer partner. I keep a picture of her beside my computer. She is posed in front of a stone fireplace with a shy smile. On the back of the photo, I have written her name and address with the names of her husband and two grown children. Although I have not talked to JoAnn in many years, I still pray for her and I am confident that she prays for me.   I am also a member of a Christian writers’ group, The Word Guild. I have joined a smaller team within this group, aptly called the Prayer Team. Members of the Guild submit their prayer requests via email, and we pray for these people. On top of that, the organizer picks four specific members to pray for each week. Many of these people I may never meet and may know nothing more than their names. But I pray for them regularly and I am confident that they pray for me.   Lastly, at my church, a program called Secret Sisters has been introduced. I filled out an information form, including my favourite scripture verse, and submitted it to the organizer. In return, I received the name of a church “sister” to pray for over the next year. At the end of the year, we will reveal ourselves to our secret sisters. I pray for my sister regularly and am confident that she prays for me.   I hold these partners in high esteem and count them as some of my best friends. There is power in prayer. If you are not already praying for someone specific, I challenge you to seek out a partner.       Prayer is talking to Him and listening to Him, too. Sweet communion! ~ Pat Gerbrandt        
Kimberley Payne (Feed Your Spirit - a collection of devotionals on prayer)
the wafer in prayer to God, Jesus, Mary and the saints and declares it to have physically changed into human flesh and blood he makes an idol out of it. Even in the case of consubstantiation, which says it does not physically change but God is spiritually present in the wafer, it is still an idol. The idea of God entering the communion bread came about from a Gnostic heretic named Marcus in the first century. Marcus taught that when he blessed the cup of wine, the Holy Spirit would enter the cup and anyone who drank from it would be filled with the Holy Spirit. In this case, the transmuted communion would impart the Holy Spirit. Today the idea is that the transmuted communion will impart a grace that forgives some sins. About transubstantiation, ancient church father Irenaeus said clearly:   “Pretending to consecrate cups mixed with wine, he contrives to give them a purple and reddish colour, so that Charis [the Holy Spirit], should be thought to drop her own blood into that cup through means of his invocation… the church has never taught such a thing… all who follow such a demonic teaching are crack-brained.” Irenaeus Against Heresies 1.13
Ken Johnson (Ancient Prophecies Revealed)
As I walked the grounds memories crowded my mind: countless Christmas Masses at midnight in the warm, sensuous church; my first communion; serving Sunday High Mass with its Latin prayers, rituals, and ringing bells; walking to and from school in all manner of weather; the crowded classrooms, and the strict Sisters of Saint Joseph
Michael Shurgot (Could You Be Startin' From Somewhere Else?: Sketches From Buffalo And Beyond)
is made of the “conversion” of Oscar Romero to the poor upon the death of his friend, Father Rutilio Grande, who was assassinated on March 12, 1977. The word “conversion” is used to mean “a turning point” in Romero’s life. Jon Sobrino makes this point: “I think that, as Archbishop Romero stood gazing at the mortal remains of Rutilio Grande, the scales fell from his eyes.”91 Ignacio Martin-Baro, one of the six Jesuit martyrs, makes a similar point: “For Romero, the assassination of Father Grande…was the crucial moment in his conversion: the road to Aguilares was to be his road to Damascus.”92
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Bishop Arturo Rivera y Damas, who succeeded Romero as Archbishop of San Salvador, also believes the death of Rutilio Grande was the key moment in Romero’s transformation: One martyr gave life to another martyr. Before the cadaver of Father Rutilio Grande, Monseñor Romero, in his twentieth day as archbishop, felt that call of Christ to overcome his natural human timidity and to be filled with the fortitude of the apostle. From that moment, Monseñor Romero left behind the pagan lands of Tyre and Sidon and marched with freedom toward Jerusalem.93
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
The motivation of love motivates us to give our lives for others. In sum, Rutilio Grande embodied all three of these, and “died loving others,” pardoning his enemies. “Who knows if the murderers that have now fallen into excommunication are listening to a radio in their hideout, listening, in their conscience to this word. We want to tell you, murderous brothers, that we love you and that we ask of God repentance for your hearts, because the church is not able to hate.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
What has happened to the people of El Salvador since the end of the war? Many who were poor before the war are even poorer today. The poor live on the edge of life in a daily struggle to survive. Those who did not die during the war wage a daily battle against poverty, hunger, and disease. The violence of the war and death squad assassinations has given way to a more subtle, but pervasive, criminal violence and gang activity.24
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Oscar was the second of eight children in a family of six boys and two girls. His sister Zaida recalled the order: “There was Gustavo, then Oscar, Zaida, Aminta, who died when she was little, Romulo, who died when he was older, Mamerto, Arnoldo, and Gaspar.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
His father, however, did not want Romero to continue his studies but to learn a trade. He was apprenticed by his father to one of the local carpenters, where he learned to make doors and tables,
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Your word is pardon and gentleness for the penitent, Your word is holy instruction, eternal teaching; It is light to brighten, advice to hearten; It is voice of help, fire that burns, Way, truth, sublime splendor, Life—eternity.” —Poem written in the minor seminary
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Throughout his life, he continued to rely on the Jesuits for spiritual direction and confession. When he became a bishop, he took a phrase from the spiritual exercises, Sentir con la Iglesia—“to be of one mind and heart with the Church”—as his episcopal motto.44
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Blessed are the poor, for they know that their riches are in the One who being rich made himself poor in order to enrich us with his poverty, teaching us the Christian’s true wisdom.” —January 29, 1978
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Here is the essential movement. The reality of the church emerges out of the saving action of God in Christ through the Spirit; the church is the providential means and sphere through which persons are enabled to participate in eternal life. The birth of the church of Jesus Christ is engendered by the regenerating power of the Spirit. The nurture of the church occurs by grace through Word and Sacraments. The present church shares in the communion of saints in time and eternity. In this way, the flowing sequence of classic Christian teaching draws all post-Ascension topics of theology into coherent order (John of Damascus, OF 3.1, 6, 19).
Thomas C. Oden (Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology)
In the words of Jon Sobrino, Romero has become “the most universal Christian at the end of the twentieth century.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Peasants without land and without steady employment, without running water or electricity in their homes, without medical assistance when mothers give birth, and without schools for their children…Factory workers who have no labor rights, and who get fired from their jobs if they demand such rights, human beings who are at the mercy of cold economic calculations…Mothers and the wives of those who have disappeared, or who are political prisoners…Shantytown dwellers, whose wretchedness defies imagination, suffering the permanent mockery of the mansion nearby.216
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
But the days when the people could demonstrate peacefully were over. El Salvador was on the eve of civil war, and Romero did everything he could to prevent it.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
I repeat what I told you once before when we feared we might be left without a radio station: God’s best microphone is Christ, and Christ’s best microphone is the church, and the church is all of you.” —January 27, 1980
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
A preaching that does not point out sin is not the preaching of the gospel. A preaching that makes sinners feel good so that they become entrenched in their sinful state betrays the gospel’s call…A preaching that awakens, a preaching that enlightens—as when a light turned on awakens and of course annoys a sleeper—that is the preaching of Christ, calling Wake up! Be converted!” —January 22, 1978
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Midnight Mass was required, and at Saint Aloysius, it lasted ninety minutes. Because the church was crowded with what Mother called “one timers” who attended Mass only on Christmas Eve, we arrived at 11:00 p.m. to get a seat near the front. The church was splendidly decorated. Poinsettias bloomed everywhere, huge wreaths and sprigs of holly tied with red bows hung on every pillar, potent incense enveloped us, and six tall candles burning on the main altar lighted our way out of the long, cold darkness. Carols sung from the choir loft filled the church and evoked the sensuous beauty and mystery of this holy night. While other children chatted with friends and showed off their holiday apparel, My PareNTs, gail aNd i, Mara aNd NiCho- las; ChrisTMas, 1974; CaNToN, ohio I sat quietly, awaiting the chimes that announced the first minutes of Christmas and heralded the solemn service: the priest’s white and gold vestments, his ritualized gestures, the Latin prayers, the incense, the communion service with the transfigured bread and wine, and the priest’s blessings from the high altar that together
Michael Shurgot (Could You Be Startin' From Somewhere Else?: Sketches From Buffalo And Beyond)
With the younger girls it was worse. After having them like that, tied up like iguanas, they did vulgar things to them. They stood in line for their turn, as though they were possessed by the devil, and they violated them, you know, in their private parts. One man after another raped them.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Faith and politics ought to be united in a Christian who has a political vocation, but they are not to be identified [as one]…Faith ought to inspire political action, not be mistaken for it
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
We live in a time of saints and martyrs. The twentieth century created more victims of war and terror, but it also gave birth to more saints and martyrs than any other century.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Romero is a prophet, saint, and martyr for our time. His death, like that of Jesus of Nazareth, was the dramatic conclusion of a life lived in fidelity to God that brought him into conflict with the political authorities of his nation.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
Romero’s assassination in 1980 drew attention to another phenomenon of the conflict: the persecution of the church. Nine months after Romero’s assassination, the Salvadoran National Guard killed three North American nuns and one laywoman. Between 1977 and 1989, a dozen and a half priests were killed, including six Jesuits assassinated along with their housekeeper and her daughter on November 16, 1989.
Scott Wright (Oscar Romero and the Communion of Saints: A Biography)
What I learned is that of all the creatures that I can see in this landscape, the geese best represent the communion of saints. They depend on one another. The lead goose does the most work, but when it is tired, it falls back and another takes its place. To be able to rely on others is a deep trust that does not come easily. The geese fly in the wake of one another’s wings. They literally get a lift from one another. I want to be with others this way. Geese tell me that it is, indeed, possible to fly with equals. GUNILLA NORRIS
June Cotner (Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating our Pets)
the dogma of the Communion of Saints. All the members of Christ's mystic body are organi cally connected with one another and enjoy spirit ual benefits in common. 52 A natural consequence of this communion is the ap plicability to others of fhe satisfactory merits which the saints in Heaven and the righteous still living on earth have gained by their penitential works, but do not need for themselves. There must be a wealth of such accumu lated merits. Think of the overflowing satisfactions of our Blessed Lady, who is justly called the Mother of Sorrows, of St. John the Baptist, and many others who practiced austere penance. 53 Though all these satisfac tions are as nothing compared with the infinite merits of Christ, they nevertheless constitute a fund having its existence in the knowledge and free acceptation of God. This fund must have a purpose, though it is of a purely finite nature and, apart from the merits of Christ, might conceivably in course of time be exhausted. 54
Joseph Pohle (The sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise, Vol. 3)
To live in the world as if there were no God ! "-but hon esty to the Gospel, to the whole Christian tradition, to the experience of every saint and every word of Christian litu rgy demands exactly the opposite : to live in the world seeing everything in it as a revelation of God, a sign of His presence, the joy of ·His coming, the call to communion with Him , the hope for fulfillment in Him
Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)
A Christian who is willing to take up arms against another Christian is a Christian who has traded in his membership in the post-Babel communion of saints for membership in a nation governed by refurbished stoicheic values. They have traded in their loyalty to the temple of the Spirit for loyalty to the flesh. Christians who make war against other Christians are Galatians, bewitched by the lure of patriotism, which is simply the lure of flesh. They are no longer in the ranks of the Spirit.
Peter Leithart
Lasserre got Bonhoeffer thinking along lines that would lead him to become involved in the ecumenical movement: “Do we believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, or do we believe in the eternal mission of France? One can’t be a Christian and a nationalist at the same time.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
He expressed his own thoughts and teachings thus: “the holy universal Christian Church is a fellowship of the saints and a brotherhood of many pious and believing men who with one accord honour one Lord, one God, one faith and one baptism.” It is, he said, “the assembly of all Christian men on earth wherever they may be in the whole circle of the world”; or again, “a separated communion of a number of men that believe in Christ”, and explained,—“there are two churches, which in fact cover each other, the general and the local church,… the local church is a part of the general Church which includes all men who show that they are Christians.” As to community of goods, he said it consists in our always helping those brethren who are in need, for what we have is not our own but is entrusted to us as stewards for God. He considered that on account of sin the power of the sword had been committed to earthly Governments, and that therefore it was to be submitted to in the fear of God. Such gatherings were frequently held in Basle, where Hubmeyer and his friends zealously searched the Holy Scriptures and considered the questions brought before them. Basle was a great centre of spiritual activity. The printers were not afraid to issue books branded as heretical, and from their presses such works as those of Marsiglio of Padua and of John Wycliff went out into the world.
E.H. Broadbent (The Pilgrim Church)
For that is the curious quality of the discotheque after you have gone there a long time: in the midst of all the lights, and music, the bodies, the dancing, the drugs, you are stiller than still within, and though you go through the motions of dancing you are thinking a thousand disparate things. You find yourself listening to the lyrics, and you wonder what these people around you are doing. They seemed crazed to you. You stand there on a floor moving your hips, wondering if there is such a thing as love, and conscious for the very first time that it is three-twenty-five and the night only half-over. You put the popper to your nostril, you put a hand out to lightly touch the sweaty, rigid stomach of the man dancing next to you, your own chest is streaming with sweat in that hot room, and you are thinking, as grave as a judge: What will I do with my life? What can any man do with his life? And you finally don’t know where to rest your eyes. You don’t know where to look, as you dance. You have been expelled from the communion of the saints.
Andrew Holleran (Dancer from the Dance)
If we would find Christ, we must get into communion with His people, we must come to the ordinances with His saints.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
When they partook in purely Christian meetings, they would leave the synagogue and gather instead in the home of one of the congregationalists, where they could pray together, learn together, and share in the earliest truly Christian ritual: the Holy Communion, which in those days was celebrated through the sharing of a ritual meal.
Wyatt North (The Life and Prayers of Saint Paul the Apostle)
April 14 Inspired Invincibility Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. Matthew 11:29 “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.” How petty our complaining is! Our Lord begins to bring us into the place where we can have communion with Him, and we groan and say—“Oh Lord, let me be like other people!” Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke—“My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together.” Are you identified with the Lord Jesus like that? If so, you will thank God for the pressure of His hand. “To them that have no might He increaseth strength.” God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a psalm of praise. The only way to know the strength of God is to take the yoke of Jesus upon us and learn of Him. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Where do the saints get their joy from? If we did not know some saints, we would say—“Oh, he, or she, has nothing to bear.” Lift the veil. The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too. The burden God places squeezes the grapes and out comes the wine; most of us see the wine only. No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God in a human spirit, it is an inner unconquerableness. If you have the whine in you, kick it out ruthlessly. It is a positive crime to be weak in God’s strength.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
This Jesus, who is our only Savior, never comes alone. He comes with His mother, the Virgin Mary, and all the saints. This communion is made visible in the Eucharist.
Francis George
This Jesus, who is our only Savior, never comes alone. He comes with His mother, the Virgin Mary, and all the saints. This communion is made visible in the Eucharist.
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we can even share in the very lives of the Saints. All their hard-won experience gained in surmounting the most stubborn difficulties and frustrations of life, in sustaining an extraordinary variety of trials, in ultimately beating down the most persistent temptations—all this wealth of experience has been handed down by the Saints as a rich legacy for us to assume. Their counsels are the fruit of triumphant living. Together with the shining example of their holy lives, they form a perfect complement to the stream of spiritual riches which we receive from them through the Communion of Saints.
Francis Johnston (The Voice of The Saints: Counsels from the Saints to Bring Comfort and Guidance in Daily Living)
[T]here was a prophetic medieval Italian abbot, Joachim of Floris, who in the early thirteenth century foresaw the dissolution of the Christian Church and dawn of a terminal period of earthly spiritual life, when the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, would speak directly to the human heart without ecclesiastical mediation. His view, like that of Frobenius, was of a sequence of historic stages, of which our own was to be the last; and of these he counted four. The first was, of course, that immediately following the Fall of Man, before the opening of the main story, after which there was to unfold the whole great drama of Redemption, each stage under the inspiration of one Person of the Trinity. The first was to be of the Father, the Laws of Moses and the People of Israel; the second of the Son, the New Testament and the Church; and now finally (and here, of course, the teachings of this clergyman went apart from the others of his communion), a third age, which he believed was about to commence, of the Holy Spirit, that was to be of saints in meditation, when the Church, become superfluous, would in time dissolve. It was thought by not a few in Joachim’s day that Saint Francis of Assisi might represent the opening of the coming age of direct, pentecostal spirituality. But as I look about today and observe what is happening to our churches in this time of perhaps the greatest access of mystically toned religious zeal our civilization has known since the close of the Middle Ages, I am inclined to think that the years foreseen by the good Father Joachim of Floris must have been our own. For there is no divinely ordained authority any more that we have to recognize. There is no anointed messenger of God’s law. In our world today all civil law is conventional. No divine authority is claimed for it: no Sinai; no Mount of Olives. Our laws are enacted and altered by human determination, and within their secular jurisdiction each of us is free to seek his own destiny, his own truth, to quest for this or for that and to find it through his own doing. The mythologies, religions, philosophies, and modes of thought that came into being six thousand years ago and out of which all the monumental cultures both of the Occident and of the Orient - of Europe, the Near and Middle East, the Far East, even early America - derived their truths and lives, are dissolving from around us, and we are left, each on his own to follow the star and spirit of his own life.
Joseph Campbell (Myths to Live By)
Since our reasoning brain is a gift from God, there is undoubtedly a legitimate place for scholarly research into Biblical origins. But, while we are not to reject this research wholesale, we cannot as Orthodox accept it in its entirety. Always we need to keep in view that the Bible is not just a collection of historical documents, but it is the book of the Church, containing God's word. And so we do not read the Bible as isolated individuals, interpreting it solely by the light of our private understanding, or in terms of current theories about source, form or redaction criticism. We read it as members of the Church, in communion with all the other members throughout the ages. The final criterion for our interpretation of Scripture is the mind of the Church. And this means keeping constantly in view how the meaning of Scripture is explained and applied in Holy Tradition: that is to say, how the Bible is understood by the Fathers and the saints, and how it is used in liturgical worship.
Kallistos Ware (The Orthodox Way)
Valuing creeds, confessions, and catechism is kneeling down in humility to the wisdom of the past and confessing our connectedness to the communion of saints before us and to the Head of the body.
Mathew B. Sims (We Believe: Creeds, Confessions, & Catechisms for Worship)
*Meditate on His sacrifice. Remember what He did for you. If you’ve committed any sins, confess them and repent. If you feel inclined by the Lord to take communion, then do so now in the secret place. Worship Him and meditate on His loving justice for you. In so many ways, He has had justice for you, by defending you against evil people and convicting the wicked to repent. Remember the love of God and turn your heart to Him now.* “For the LORD loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.” Psalm 37:28
Adam Houge (30 Prayers Of Praise: Becoming A Habitual Worshipper Through 30 Days Of Prayer)
Thus [the altar] brings heaven into the community assembled on earth, or rather it takes the community beyond itself into the communion of saints of all times and places. We might put it this way: the altar is the place where heaven is opened up.
Benedict XVI
My friend Peter Schneider, the great novelistic chronicler of Berlin life, once researched and wrote a true story about a wartime episode. It involved the sheltering of those Berlin Jews who had violated the Nazi race laws by marrying Aryans. Some hundreds of these people were saved, in an informal arrangement whereby some thousands of ordinary Berliners provided a bed for the night here, a ration book there. Peter thought that the publication of this account would be well-received; there is always a market for stories about decent Germans. Instead the reaction was a surly one. It took him some time to realise that by describing the brave and generous but low-level and unheroic conduct of so many citizens, he had undermined the moral alibi of many thousands more, whose long-standing excuse for their own inaction had been that, under such terror, no gesture of resistance had been possible. This depressing discovery need not blind us to the true moral, which is that everybody can do something, and that the role of dissident is not, and should not be, a claim of membership in a communion of saints. In other words, the more fallible the mammal, the truer the example.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
In the Catholic Church the Communion of Saints is a lot like those fellow trail hikers in the Grand Canyon. The saints are our intercessors, our coaches, our fans along the path to the finish line. They go before us, and they walk beside us. They want to help you and pray for you from their seats of honor in heaven. Let them! Learn about them! Write about them! While compiling this book, I learned a great deal about St. Francis de Sales—how his character was so gentle and how he won many souls by practicing his own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.”32 He is also said to have coined the term “Grow (bloom) where you are planted”—a personal favorite of mine and the meaning of which I have journaled about quite often, unaware that it was a quote generated by a saint! Reading about the saints or reading the writings of the saints can give you much fodder for your journal. You can even pick a Prayer Partner Saint—your baptism or confirmation saint, perhaps? What questions can you ask him or her? How can this saint help you along your trail? TTBH #4: LISTEN UP!
Mary Beth Weisenburger (Praying With a Pen: The Girlfriends' Guide to Stress-Free Prayer Journaling)
When I, at 6:00 am arise for Prime, I join all the other Benedictines and fixed-hour pray-ers in my time zone. For those few minutes and regardless of where we physically are as individuals within our time zone, we are together in the communion of our prayers. The words we speak to our God are the words that have been raised only an hour before in the time zone just to the east of us; and when we are done, they are the words that will be raised before Him by our fellow Christians in the time zone immediately to the west of us, until the globe itself has been circled by our prayers and each day brought to its ending so another may begin. It is the communion of the saints horizontally and across all space.
Phyllis Tickle
The communion of saints, then, means an intimate and loving sharing together of certain spiritual blessings by persons who are on an equal footing before the blessing in which they share.
A.W. Tozer (Man the Dwelling Place of God: What it Means to Have Christ Living in You)
Communion des Saints n’est pas nécromancie.
Arnaud Segla (Le Cri de la Calebasse: II. Perles d’exil)