The Healing of the Family Tree and the Communion of Saints
We read in 1474 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The Christian who seeks to purify himself of his sin and to become holy with the help of God’s grace is not alone. “The life of each of God’s children in joined in Christ and through Christ in a wonderful way to the life of all of other Christians brethren in the supernatural unity of the Mystical Body of Christ, as in a single mystical person.”
And we read in 947 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “ Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others… We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of good in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head…Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments. As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she received necessarily become a common fund.”
These statements from the catechism remind me of something that I read many years ago in Hans Balthasar’s book, “Two sisters in the Spirit Therese of Lisieux and Elizabeth of the Trinity. “
He wrote how in heaven we will learn that all is grace and that everything we do that is good is the fruit of another person’s prayer. In his section on the theology of St Therese he wrote how in heaven the greatest theologian will be the best friend of a poor shepherd boy, because in heaven the theologian will see that all of his insights were the fruits of the prayers and good work of the poor shepherd boy.
So two people who on the surface had nothing in common in this life, will be the best of friends in heaven. Hans Balthasar, in commenting on the theology of St Therese, says God does this so that no one may boast of their accomplishments but will learn that , “All is Grace”.
St Augustine says so beautifully that in heaven there is no envy or jealousy. We will rejoice in the good of another as if it were our own. We will rejoice because we will see that all the faithful form one body.
As you read this reflect for a moment on the reality that every good thing that you have done is because of the prayers of another. Maybe this person lives on the other side of planet, maybe a person that lived 100 years ago?
I often think of all the people that pray for me. I am grateful for their prayers, and I will always try to remember that any good that I do is because of their prayers.
May we begin to live the life of Heaven now. May we remember that we are one body one Body in Christ and that any gift that I have is yours and any gift that you have is mine.
Together we form the beautiful Body of Christ.