During the month of November, the Church focuses on one of the most beautiful of her doctrines—that of the Communion of Saints. This Communion of Saints is made up of three groups, who collectively make up the Church.
The first, which we celebrate this Sunday, November 1, is the Church Triumphant—the Saints who have already arrived at their eternal home and know the perfect peace, joy and happiness of being face-to-face with God the Father and with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow, on the Feast of all Souls, we recall the Church Suffering, those “poor souls” who are in Purgatory. See the next item in my column.
Finally, there is the Church Militant, which is made up of those followers of Christ still living in this world who are fighting the good fight and who long for our final and eternal reward of being one of the Saints in Heaven.
The Saints are our elder brothers and sisters who constantly intercede for us before the throne of God. We know this of Mary, the Queen of Saints and the Mother of Jesus and Mother of Church. We also acknowledge this intercessory role in saints of certain particular needs—Saint Anthony for lost things, Saint Jude for desperate situations, Saint Joseph for fathers, Saint Gerard for mothers and for fertility issues, Saint Peregrine for cancer.
There are many more. But all of the saints are intercessors for us. This includes those anonymous saints, which probably include ancestors and friends of ours who have passed away. Saint Paul tells us that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, praying for us and encouraging us along the way. Turn to them and ask their help.
Also, we look to the Saints as our heroes and role models. They show us that it is possible for mere humans to live lives of heroic virtue and to embrace the Gospel as a way of life. Their sanctity is a victory of God’s grace, and if we become saints, it will be God’s grace at work in us that allows that to happen.
Finally, remembering the Saints reminds us of our final destination. There is a saying that tells us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you probably won’t get there.” If I know that I want to get to Arizona, that knowledge will guide the choices that I must make to arrive where I want to be.
Knowing that my eternal destination is Heaven, with the Saints, will help me recognize the choices that I must make. To get where they have arrived, I must do what they have done.
— Fr. Mike Comer