The Family of GOD...

The Communion of Saints

The Church is a family. The Church Militant (on earth), Church Suffering (in Purgatory), and Church Triumphant (in Heaven) are not three divisions of the Catholic Church, but are united in one family in the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints is a communion of the living, not of the dead. The Communion of Saints is the Church, CCC 946. The Church, then, is 'The Holy People of GOD', and her members are called 'saints', CCC 823.
(CCC is the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

The Family of GOD was built up by GOD through the covenants He made with man.

The first covenant GOD made with man is the one with Adam. This can be seen as the marital covenant, the first step of a family organization.

The second covenant was made with Noah, and this can be seen as the household covenant, since Noah and his family were the only ones who were saved in the ark.

Next came the covenant with Abraham, or the tribal covenant. Abraham became the patriarch of many families united into one 'tribe'.

Then came the covenant with Moses where the various tribes were united into a national covenant.

After that came the Davidic covenant of the kingdom where there was formed a national kingdom.

Lastly, the new covenant of Jesus Christ, was instituted, where all men are united into one body, the body of Christ in an international world wide family of GOD, the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

"I am the GOD of Abraham, and the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob.
I am not the GOD of the dead but of the living."
Mt 22:32, Mk 12:26-27

"And behold, two men were talking with Him. And these were Moses and Elias, who, appearing in glory, spoke of His death, which He was about to fulfill in Jerusalem."
Lk 9:30-31.
Not only were these two Saints alive, but they spoke, and they even spoke to Him about future happenings.

"And I tell you that many will come from the east and from the west, and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."
Mt 8:11
Does it sound like these three heroes of the Old Testament are not alive?

"And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose; and coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they came into the city and appeared to many." Mt 27:52-53.
Many who died, and now are alive, moved themselves and appeared to others.

"In which also He went and preached to those spirits that were in prison."
1Pet 3:19.
They were spirits, yet they lived, and He preached to them.

" And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth.“"
Rev 5:8-10

"And with the prayers of the saints there went up before GOD from the angels hand the smoke of the incense."
Rev 8:4.

Clearly, the saints in heaven live.

Note that the word "pray" has two meanings:
1. To utter or address a prayer or prayers to GOD...
2. To make a fervent request or an entreaty...

When it is said that Catholics "pray" to the Saints, it is the second meaning.

"And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you...""
Luke 1:35.
Here is an example of a heavenly being, archangel Gabriel, speaking to a human being.
"For you are all children of GOD through faith in Christ Jesus."
Gal 3:26.
"...but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of GOD."
Rom 8:15-16.

"He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ as His sons, according to the purpose of His will."
Eph 1:5.

"But to as many as received Him He gave the power of becoming sons of GOD; to those who believe in His name."
Jn 1:12.

"For as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, many as they are, form one body (family), so also is it with Christ."
1Cor 12:12.

"Therefore, you are now no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are citizens with the
Saints and members of GOD's household: you are built upon the foundation of the Apostles
and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief corner stone. In Him the whole structure
is closely fitted together and grows into a temple holy in the Lord; in Him you too are being
built together into a dwelling place for GOD in the Spirit."
Eph 2:19-22

"For in one Spirit we were all Baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free; and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many."
1Cor 12:13-14

"So we, the many, are one body in Christ, but severally members one of another."
Rom 12:5.

"That there may be no disunion in the body, but that the members may have care for one another. And if one member suffers anything, all members suffer with it, or of one member glories, all the members rejoice with it."
1Cor 12:25-26.

"...there will be joy among the angels of GOD over one sinner who repents."
Lk 15:10.

"Rather are we to practice the truth in love, and to grow up in all things in Him who is the head, Christ."
Eph 4:15.
Christ is the head of the body, the family.

"For from the whole body (being closely joined and knit together through every joint of the system according to the functioning in due measure of each single part) derives its increase to the building up of itself in love."
Eph 4:16.

"Therefore, you are now no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are citizens with the saints and members of GOD's household; you are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole structure is closely fitted together and grows into a temple holy in the Lord; in Him you too are being built together into a dwelling place for GOD in the Spirit."
Eph 3:19-22.
We are citizens in the family of GOD.

"Now you are the body of Christ, member for member."
1Cor 3:27.

"Be you yourselves as living stones, built thereon into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to GOD through Jesus Christ."
1Pet 2:5.

"And GOD indeed has placed some in the Church, first Apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers; after that miracles, then gifts of healing, services of help, power of administration, and the speaking of various tongues. Are all Apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have the gift of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"
1Cor 12:28-30.
Family members have different skills.

"And He Himself gave some men as Apostles, and some as prophets, others again as evangelists, and others as pastors and teachers, in order to perfect the saints for a work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ."
Eph 4:11-12.

"Now the multitude of the believers were of one heart and one soul, and not one of them said that anything he possessed was his own, but they all had things in common."
Act 4:32.

" body and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one Baptism; one GOD and Father of all, who is above all, and throughout all, and in us all."
Eph 4:4-6, CCC 946-962.

Written by Bob Stanley, September 18, 1998
Updated June 11, 2001
The section regarding covenants is from a talk by Dr. Scott Hahn.

Back to Home Page...