Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - There is " a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world","the souls in purgatory and those who are already in Heaven ." A "shared union" that should propel us to seek God's help and that of our brothers in times of "insecurity, loss and even doubts on our journey of faith", which "we have all experienced", even the Pope, "none of this should surprise us because we are human beings, we are fragile, we have limits, all we have".
The meaning of the "communion
of saints", a "very beautiful reality of our faith " was illustrated
today by Pope St. Francis to 80 thousand people present in St Peter's Square
for the general audience. As usual the
Pope toured among the throng for almost half an hour in his white jeep, from
which he alighted several times to greet people, especially an enthusiastic group
of dozens of altar boys from Paris, for one of whom he signed a cap. And while
the jeep was stationary, a child of 4 or 5 years climbed up next to Francis,
who spoke to him for a few moments in a low voice. And once more today, a loyal
group of Argentines brought a bottle of "mate" which the Pope drank
through a straw.
At the end of the general audience the Pope announced his pending meeting with a delegation of Iraqi authorities and representatives of the various religious groups, "who are the wealth of the country". In his catechesis instead he pointed out that with the "communion of saints" the Catechism refers to two realities: communion with holy things and communion with holy people. This second meaning is "one of the most comforting truths of our faith, because it reminds us that we are not alone, that there is a communion of life between all those who belong to Christ. A communion that is born of faith, in fact, the term saints refers to those who believe in the Lord Jesus and are incorporated in Christ through Baptism in the Church".
"The Church, in its deepest
truth is in communion with God, intimacy with God, a communion of love with
Christ and with the Father in the Holy Spirit , which continues in a fraternal
communion. This relationship between Jesus and the Father is the" matrix
"of the bond between us Christians: if we are intimately included in this
"matrix" in this ardent furnace of love that is the Trinity, then we
can become truly one heart and one soul among us, because the love of God
burns our selfishness , our prejudices, our internal and external divisions . God's
love burns even our sins. "
"If we are rooted in the source of Love, which is God, then there is also a reciprocal movement : from my brothers to God, the experience of fraternal communion with God leads us to be united among ourselves, it leads us to be united with God, in this connection with God who is our Father . Our faith needs the support of others, especially in difficult times. And if we are united, the faith is strong. How beautiful it is to support one another in this wonderful adventure of faith! I say this because the tendency to retreat into the private has also influenced the religious sphere, so that it is often hard to ask for the spiritual help of those who share the Christian experience with us. Who among us - everybody, everybody! - who among us has not experienced insecurity, loss and even doubts on their journey of faith ? Everyone! We've all experienced this, me too. Everyone. It is part of the journey of faith, it is part of our lives. This should not surprise us, because we are human beings, marked by fragility and limitations. We are all weak, we all have limits: do not panic . We all we have them".
"However, - continued the Pope - in these difficult times it is necessary to trust in God , through prayer, and at the same time, it is important to find the courage and the humility to be open to others and ask for help, to ask for a hand : 'Give me a hand , I have this problem.' How many times have we done this? And then, we overcame the problem and found God again. In this communion - communion which means ' common union ', all united , common union - in this communion we are a big family, all of us, where all the components help and support each other . "
The communion of the saints, then, "goes beyond the earthly life, goes beyond death and lasts forever. This union between us goes beyond and continues in the afterlife. It is a spiritual union that comes from Baptism, that is not broken by death, but, thanks to that Christ who is risen, is destined to find its fulfillment in eternal life. There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world, among us, and those who have crossed the threshold of death into eternity. All the baptized here on earth, the souls in Purgatory and all the saints who are already in heaven form one big family . This communion between earth and heaven is realized especially in the prayer of intercession".
"This beauty, the memory of the faith: it is our reality, that makes us brothers, that accompanies us on the journey of life , and we will meet again up there in Heaven . Let's make this journey with confidence, joy. A Christian must be joyful, with the joy of having so many baptized brothers and sisters who walk with us, and even with the help of our brothers and sisters on this journey towards Heaven, and also with the help of brothers and sisters who are in Heaven and Jesus who pray for us. Move forward on this road , and with joy . "