The Splendor of Communion

We often hear about "fellowship" today in our parishes. Does fellowship exist by the mere fact that we have gathered together... or is their something more that we long for? The Church has always offered us a much greater reality and that reality is communion. Communion comes from the Latin words cum (with) unione (union). Union with another is not merely an external proximity, rather communion is the fundamental reality that goes to the very core of those engaged in communion by uniting them so intimately that they become one with each other while at the same time not being mixed or confused. Marriage is certainly the highest natural expression of this communion of persons.

In Pope Benedict's recent Book Jesus of Nazareth, he says the following, "But what has Jesus really brought, then, if he has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God!" (Jesus of Nazareth - Pope Benedict XVI) Precisely by giving us God, does Jesus give us the true possibility of communion. When we are in union with Jesus, we are in union with God the Father Who pours out His Holy Spirit abundantly on all of us. Therefore, the more someone is in communion with God, the closer is their union with their neighbor. This resembles the two greatest commandments discussion (Mt 22:35-40) because the mystery of communion permeates the whole of reality which was created and is sustained in being by the Creator Who is a perfect communion of Persons.

This brings us to our second and last point. When one is a faithful Catholic and living the life of grace he has a deep and abiding union with all men. "And this communion, which we call "Church", does not only extend to all believers in a specific historical period, but also embraces all the epochs and all the generations. Thus, we have a twofold universality: a synchronic universality - we are united with believers in every part of the world - and also a so-called diachronic universality, that is: all the epochs belong to us, and all the believers of the past and of the future form with us a single great communion." (Wednesday Audience April 26, 2006 - Benedict XVI)

I can't finish this post without saying where to go to experience this communion most richly. Go to Jesus in the Eucharist, the Sacrament appropriately named "Holy Communion". He waits patiently for us in the tabernacle as a "prisoner of love" (The Priest is Not His Own - Archbishop Fulton Sheen). There you can be with all the Saints, known and even the great "anonymous saints" (Benedict XVI, Homily with the Youth at Loreto - September 2, 2007); past, present and future.

May this short post help you to appreciate the wonderful gift of communion.

Please see the following paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for outstanding reading on the gift and mystery of communion:
1476, 787-796, 953, 951, 958, 954-957, 2790, 959, 1119, 949, 1108, 946-948

  1. gravatar

    # by Here Comes Everybody - September 2, 2007 at 11:39 PM

    Clear exposition of communion. Ironically, it appears that the liturgy of the mass invites this communion through our "vertical" worship as opposed to "horizontal" gestures such as hand-holding at the Our Father.