The Profession of Faith
The three states of the Church.
“When the Lord comes in
glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all
things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his
disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being
purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating ‘in full light,
God himself triune and one, exactly as he is’”:
All of us, however, in varying degrees and in different ways
share in the same charity towards God and our neighbours,
and we all sing the one hymn of glory to our God. All,
indeed, who are of Christ and who have his Spirit form one
Church and in Christ cleave together.
“So it is that the union of the wayfarers with the brethren
who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on
the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this
union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.”
The intercession of the saints.
“Being more closely united to
Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more
firmly in holiness. . . . [T]hey do not cease to intercede with the
Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on
earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ
Jesus. . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly
Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death
and I shall help you then more effectively than during my
I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.
Communion with the saints.
“It is not merely by the title of
example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek,
rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the
union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened.
Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings
us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to
15:26-27; Council of Florence (1439): DS 1305.
496 St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.
497 St. Thérèse of Lisieux,
The Final Conversations,
tr. John Clarke (Washington:
ICS, 1977), 102.