The Magnificent Communion of Saints

Richard Salbato February 04, 2012

Now that I am reaching the end of my days, I have been reflecting on what has been and is the most important part of my life. In fact, before the end, what would I never give up for any reason? I look out at the stars and I do not see the wonders of God’s creation and the vastness of space. I see an analogy of what I cherish the most, THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS.

I am a member of the Communion of Saints, and I cherish this more than life itself. This is the family God created little by little from the time He created the Angels in Heaven until He opened the gates of The Kingdom when He died on the Cross.

We in this Kingdom share in all the good works and prayers of all the members in Heaven, Purgatory and Earth. I am not alone. I do not have to depend on just myself for salvation because I have billions of people and angels praying for me. I do not have to depend on myself because I have the Mother of God praying for me everyday and even cleaning up and presenting to God my prayers. I do not have to depend on myself because I have Christ offering his sacrifice on the Cross at each and every Mass throughout the world everyday and every minute of everyday as the mornings pass from time zone to times zone around the world. I do not have to depend on myself because when I receive Communion Christ’s blood passes from me to you and from you to every other member in His Kingdom making us the Spiritual Body of Christ and each of us being a cell that shares in all the good.

Being a member of this Communion of Saints and remaining in it is the most important guarantee of my eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Christ Teaches the Kingdom

What then is the Communion of Saints and how am I a member? How do I remain a member? The answer to these questions comes from Christ’s teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven. When He started his teaching He taught the Kingdom of Heaven over and over. In fact, John the Baptist warned his people that the Kingdom of Heaven was coming upon them. Finally towards the end of His teaching He set up His Kingdom of Heaven on Hearth by picking Peter to be the authority, the Apostles to have the power to ordain priests and leaders, and the means to enter. “Go out and baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” and this was the entrance into the Kingdom. He later added faith in His teaching and a strange commandment. “Unless you eat My body and drink My blood you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” He repeated this six times because it scandalized the Jews, who were taught that even the blood of animals was sinful. All this was preparation for His Kingdom, His family created on His last day, his Last Supper and Death. He gave the apostles the power to explain all this in more detail.

He explained how we might loose membership in the Communion of Saints and then be restored by Sacramental Confession. For me, if I ever did anything that I even thought might make me loose membership; I would wake a priest up in the middle of the night to hear my confession.HHolyeH


My membership lets me share in billions of beings in Heaven, Purgatory and Earth and all their prayers and good works but non of their sins (even though they do) can contaminate the Kingdom. This is hard to understand but no sin, even small ones can contaminate the Body of Christ but just fall off like flakes of skin. That is why the Church is Holy even though it has sinners in it. These sins, even the very bad ones done by priests or bishops do not change the Holiness of the Church. They fall off like sweat on a hot day.

Other Beliefs

Would you believe that most Christians do not believe that the Saints in Heaven can pray for you. In fact many Christians do not believe anyone has gone to Heaven yet, and that they will not until the end of the world. They attack me for praying TO the saints and Mary but I do not pray to the saints. I only ask the saints to pray for me, I do not pray TO them.  Can you say I pray to you if I simply ask you to pray for me?

I am not going to give all the hours of proof that Heaven is already full of saved Saints. I will simply use the same statement Saint Paul used when he was arguing with other Christians who were teaching different than he was. “I do not come with the wisdom of words but with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

What did he mean? He backed his words up with miracles. I depend on proof by the many miracles performed by saints that have already gone to Heaven and there are millions of miracles. I will continue to pray – Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.”

What about other faiths?

All I know for sure is without the conditions stated above you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I know this because Christ said so and it was unconditional. However, before He started teaching and setting up this Kingdom, a man asked Him:

“Rabbi, what must I do to have everlasting life?”

“Keep the commandments.”  

Christ did not mention Baptism or Communion but He also did not mention the Kingdom. This makes me wonder if the Kingdom of Heaven and heaven are not different types of eternal life. In fact although we Catholics believe that Christ brought all the good people in from the Old Law into Heaven on the day of His Resurrection, we are not sure in what way they are saved. Therefore do not call them saints, we say Moses but not Saint Moses.

What about Vatican II

"The conciliar reflection 16 of "Lumen Gentium" gravitates around the affirmation that non-Christians can attain eternal salvation and that such salvation is realized through grace that operates in persons. A careful description is given in this number of God's action in the innermost conscience of men who are ignorant of the Gospel. However no mention is made of the other religions as mediations of grace or ways of salvation. In no page is explicit mention made of religions as ways of salvation.

Ecumenical dialogue takes place in an intra-Christian context, between believers of different denominations but united in faith in Jesus Christ. This type of dialogue should aspire to achieve the reconstitution of the unity of Christians -- it still does not exist. It only exists in the Catholic unity. Dialogue with individuals is possible but with faiths it is not.

There is no such possibility by the very fact that neither Hinduism, Buddhism nor Islam constitute in each case a unity presided over by a reference authority. There are very different Buddhisms, Islams and Hinduisms among themselves, although united by some distinctive elements. This diversity, at times radical, would not be taken into account if one of these religions was considered as an indistinct denomination. Instead, there is the possibility to dialogue with individuals who belong to one or another tradition of a specific religion.

Best Example of Communion of Saints

In the Diocese of Branganca a Shrine was erected following a Church approved miracle, worked by Saint Ambrose during a dream, resulting in the cure of Armando Fernandes who had become incurably blind. His son, António Joaquim Fernandes, was just a little boy at the time. They had moved to Brazil from Branganca in Portugal to make a better life, but as the father became blind the family was in great poverty. Back in the parish of Branganca, Portugal, the pastor had often preached about Saint Ambrose, the great Doctor of the Church and the teacher of Saint Augustine. Saint Ambrose wrote on the qualifications to become a priest, which was used in the seminaries for the next 1000 years. He wrote that a priest is higher in honor and dignity to even the Emperor of the World, and he once kept the Emperor from coming into Church because of his sins. He also refused to allow the Emperor from sitting in the altar chairs with the priest as was the custom, saying, "On this holy ground beyond that Altar Rail, only priests and servers are allowed." The Emperor had to sit with the common people and did.

Fernandes' son, António used to sing songs about his father's cure when just a little boy of six to ten years of age. He sang in the Churches and began to write songs. In time his fame as a singer spread throughout Brazil and he began to make money for the family through singing. He would sing about nothing but God, His Mother and Saint Ambrose and the people loved him. As he gathered a professional band and manager he changed his name to a simple Roberto Leal. For the next 50 years he preached God through music and toured both Brazil and Portugal, coming back to his home town shrine every year for the feast of Saint Ambrose. He donates almost all his profits to the poor and to religious causes.

 Because Saint Ambrose is my favorite saint of all time and because I love what Roberto Leal was doing I helped him and ended up on the stage with him in front of thousands of Portuguese. He asked me to testify my faith. This is what I said and what I believe.

"I am from America, but I am not American. I am Catholic. I am here in Portugal now, but I will never be Portuguese. I will be Catholic. Catholic means Universal. We (you and I) are all brothers because we share the Body and Blood of Christ. We are all one family. A thousand years ago the whole world was Catholic and it will be again. I came to Portugal because I believe we will have a Catholic World again and it will start here with the Portuguese people, who have not and will not loose the faith. I found a man, Roberto Leal, who believes this and works towards it. I will help him to bring this about, will you?"

Richard Salbato

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