I believe in the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints…
Father Courtney Edward Krier
On November 1st, we, the Church Militant, celebrate with the Church Triumphant; and on November 2nd we prayed for the Church Suffering. We know that November ends with the Last Sunday of Pentecost, reflecting on the end of the Church on earth, having begun with Pentecost Sunday, the birth of the Church on earth. We will say in the Nicene Creed: I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. It may be that we lack a church structure, with its four walls and roof. The various uses of the word Church can lead to a misunderstanding of what is the Church and, to the detriment of the faithful, causes the Modernists to employ the use of the term “Church” to imply something not contained within the Catholic Faith. It is therefore necessary that we have a clear concept of the terms Church and apply it accordin gly.
I want to begin with the distinction of Church and church. Church, with a small “c” in English, refers to the physical structure, the house of God, domus Dei. It is derived from the Greek word kyrikon (or kyriakon) and was introduced into German as Kirche. I do not know the Czech word. The physical structure is a type of the temple the soul becomes with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. It is consecrated as a temple as is the soul after baptism. It is adorned, as is the person with a white garment (and the girl with a veil). It is pure and immaculate as is the presumption of the soul in whom God’s Love dwells. Within this temple one finds the Living God.
Church, with a capital “c” refers to “the assembly of the faithful”, “ecclesia” in Latin, and “ekklesia” in Greek, a translation of the Hebrew word “Kahal”. This is different from the “assembly of believers” as I wish to point out later.
Catholics in the United States have been taught: “The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him” (Baltimore Catechism). This is in reference to the Church on earth in its visible constitution. It corresponds to the text of the Catechism of the Council of Trent in what signified the word “Church”: “In common Scripture usage, however, the word was subsequently employed to signify the Christian society only, and t he assemblies of the faithful; that is, of those who are called by faith to the light of truth and the knowledge of God, that, having forsaken the darkness of ignorance and error, they may worship the living and true God piously and holily, and serve Him from their whole heart. In a word, The Church, says St. Augustine, consists of the faithful dispersed throughout the world'” (on Ps. xxiv. serm. ii, 10; Roman Catechism I, 10, ii).
We know from Scripture and Church teaching (cf. Pius XII, Mystici Christi) the Church is the Body of Christ and includes the whole of mankind united to the Body of Christ. Here, in these words, we have the “Communion of Saints”. This is not only in relation to the circulation of grace among the members of the Church, but in its union with Christ, its Head. It is in this sense that we should grasp the Church in its essence: All of mankind who have the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in their souls. The Holy Ghost dwells in the Church, in its members: The saints in heaven, the souls in purgatory, and the faithful on earth. This encompasses the Old Testament as also the New Testament. By Christ’s death on the Cross we (those who are sanctified by the Blood of the Lamb, washed by the laver of water—cf. Hebrews 10:10; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26; Apoc. 7 :14) were all incorporated into His Body, the Church. It is only because of this incorporation into the Body of Christ that we are one (Romans 12:5) and which allows the circulation of grace to its living members (1 Corinthians 12:26; Luke 20:38). The circulation system of the human body only circulates among the living members of the body. This comparison expresses exactly the Church as a living organism. Though there may be dead members attached to the body, these are not living members and do not receive directly the benefits of the living body. Only through a “resurrection from the dead”, only through the Sacrament of Confession, can the dead soul be raised back to life.
We want to see the living Church as the Communion of Saints. Everyone who has sanctifying grace, from Adam and Eve to the just baptized child or adult, belong to this Communion. Those in the Old Testament were received into the Church, the Body of Christ, with the Redemption and entered into heaven at the Ascension of Christ. We see this typified in the triumphant victory of the Roman General who enters Rome through the Triumphant Arch followed by his army and the conquered: Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Samuel, David, Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, Ruth, Judith, Esther, Susanna, etc. And, coming afterwards, all the saints in the New Testament: Stephen, Peter, Paul, Francis, Anthony, Boniface, Wenceslas, Priscilla, Lucy, Agnes, Clare, Elizabeth, etc. All the souls in Purgatory, who must go through purification before appearing before the Face of God, having His Love, but not pure enough. Our Lord said, “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
The Church Suffering are in Purgatory. The existence of Purgatory, denied by Protestants and Modernists alike, finds its place in Catholic faith in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. The elder Tobias tells his son: “According to thy ability be merciful. If thou have much give abundantly: if thou have a little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little. For thus thou storest up to thyself a good reward for the day of necessity. For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness. Alms shall be a great confidence before the most high God, to all them that give it (Tobias 4:8ff). Judas Machabeas provides the reason for sending twelve thousand drachmas of silver to the Temple: “for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) And because he c onsidered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins (2 Machabees 12:43ff). Saint Paul declares that:” Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abides, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:12ff). The Hebrew faith has prayers for the dead. These souls in purgatory are the Church Suffering.
Finally, the Church militant is here on earth struggling with the cares of this world to reach eternal salvation. The Church on earth is not merely a community of believers, but a people faithful to God. It is the bride of Christ, “not having spot or wrinkle, or any; such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). And this union with Christ, this espousal is seen through the Baptismal Promises. The Communion of Saints is seen through the reception of a Saint’s name in Baptism.
The Church, then, is like water in its three states. Be it vapor, liquid, or ice, it is still water because it has the essence of water. The essence of the Church is the incorporation of the members to Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, or the Life of God, since pneumati, or spirit in Greek, denotes life. Be they members in heaven, purgatory or on earth, they are the Church. This is why the Church insists on Baptism and recognizes only those who have been baptized as members of the Church.
When we speak of the Constitution of the Church (cf. Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum), we are speaking of the Church here on earth. Christ gave it an organizational structure to accomplish His will on earth, the salvation of souls. Today I will not discuss the Church in context of its marks and attributes.
Now opposed to this concept of the Church are the Modernists. If you read their works, the Modernists quote each other and the Second Vatican Council, which they wrote the documents, but do not support their writings from the previous Councils, from Scripture understood by previous by the Church, or from Fathers of the Church. If they do quote Scripture, it is with a new interpretation, an interpretation which they claim is according to the “historical-critical” method.
Vatican II promulgated Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, where we read:
This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the Successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him (13), although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity.
Benedict XVI has supported the idea from the “subsistit”.
Without ignoring the introduction of this idea, most Catholics were appalled that the Council could speak of sanctification being available outside Catholic Church. Sanctification comes through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost dwells only in the Church Christ founded, the Catholic Church. To claim the He dwells in others not within the Catholic Church implies that the Church is only one means of salvation, and God has chosen others. The understanding of “subsists” (and never used before by the Catholic Church) then becomes: The Church exists in the Catholic Church, just as it exists in other Churches or religions, which also provide means of sanctification. This why Joseph Ratzinger could write a book about “Many Covenants” still existing as valid covenants and not replaced by the New Covenant of Christ.
In continuing, since whatever happens to one part of the body affects the rest of the body, so, too, whatever happens to one part of the Body of Christ affects the rest of the Body of Christ. There is that circulation of Grace, the Life of the Church, throughout the Body of the Church that provides for the distribution of good works and intercession where needed; and, as long as the member is living, he can contribute. This was denied by Martin Luther and the Protestants. The denial of Purgatory by Modernists and the lack of any prayers seen in the celebration with white vestments and the proclamation the soul is now in heaven therefore conforms to Protestant belief.
Also opposed to this concept is the opinion of the Modernists. This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church, written under John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger’s direction, states:
Par. 752 In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly,  but also the local community  or the whole universal community of believers. 
These three meanings are inseparable. "The Church" is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ's Body.
Totally acceptable to Protestants, since the Church is not dependent upon baptism and the indwelling of God’ Spirit in each individual, but upon an assembly devoted to the Bible and an obscure Christ. It is acceptable to the concept that everyone is God’s People who have faith (as the Protestants believe) without defining what faith is, although the “Joint Declaration on Justification” between the Modernist Church and the Lutherans seems to indicate that faith is trust in the Bible.
Par. 8: Our common way of listening to the word of God in Scripture has led to such new insights…
Par. 31: We confess together that persons are justified by faith in the gospel "apart from works prescribed by the law" (Rom 3:28).
Par. 35: In trust in God's promise they are assured of their salvation, but are never secure looking at themselves.
This is why the denial of Limbo is one more step toward Liberal Protestantism, as recently reported by the AP Press on April 21, 2007 (Asbury Park Press [New Jersey])
“If there’s no Limbo and we’re not going to revert to St. Augustine’s teaching that unbaptized infants go to Hell, we’re left with only one option, namely, that everyone is born in the state of grace,” said the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.…. “Baptism does not exist to wipe away the “stain’ of original sin, but to initiate one into the Church”, he said.
I wish to conclude that this departure from sanctification inherent in our belief in the Communion of Saints is the cause of the falling away of Catholics from the Faith just as the rejection of Mary as Mother of God led others to the denial of Jesus Christ as God. Our devotion to the Saints and our prayers for the Souls in Purgatory preserves our belief in the Church as the Communion of Saints.
With God's blessing and my prayers.
In His Service,
Father Courtney Edward Krier