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The Profession of Faith

249

II.

T

he

C

ommunion of

the

C

hurch

of

H

eaven and

E

arth

954

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’”:

492

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.

493

955

“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.”

494

956

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

helped.”

495

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

life.

496

I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.

497

957

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

492

LG

49; cf.

Mt

25:31;

1 Cor

15:26-27; Council of Florence (1439): DS 1305.

493

LG

49; cf.

Eph

4:16.

494

LG

49.

495

LG

49; cf.

1 Tim

2:5.

496 St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.

497 St. Thérèse of Lisieux,

The Final Conversations,

tr. John Clarke (Washington:

ICS, 1977), 102.

771

1031

1023

1370

2683

1173