of saints and the kingdom of God
And therefore we also
having so great a cloud of witnesses over our
head, laying aside every weight and sin which
surrounds us, let us run by patience to the
fight proposed to us. (Hebrews 12.1)
and the Kingdom of God
are Three Divine Persons in One God – which
we call the Most Holy Trinity.
There are, as it were, three bodies in One Church
– which we call the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic
This is not strange at all – since the Church is the
Body of Christ and reflects within itself the Trinitarian
nature of Him in Whom, through Whom, and for Whom it exists.
The Three Divine Persons in the Most Holy Trinity are, of
course: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The three divine bodies in the Holy Catholic Church are:
The Church Militant, the
Church Suffering, and the
Just as there are not three Gods, but three Persons in One
God, There are not three Churches, but three bodies in the
The Church Militant
— that's us, here on earth, battling sin, evil,
all the darkness that surrounds us – and lurks
within us ...
The Church Suffering
— these are the souls in Purgatory who have battled,
won, and died ... but are, as it were, scarred, still
wounded, and cannot yet attain to Heaven until the wounds
are cleansed and healed, the scars that mar the
Imago Dei, the Image of God, in which they were
created in unspeakable beauty, are transformed, like
the wounded body of Christ Himself on the Cross, into
beauty, into glory, through the Resurrection, upon which
the gates of Heaven will be flung open to them.
The Church Triumphant
— these are the souls in Heaven; they have conquered:
the world, sin, evil, and through Jesus Christ,
death itself! They have "fought the good fight",
they "have finished the race" and have acquired the
laurel of victory, of victory over sin and death. They
behold the face of God. Cleansed in the Blood of the
Lamb, of all stain of sin, they have been made the image
of God unmarred, and because they are spotless – they
can see God un-obscured. They have become "like unto
Him". The image of God in which they were created, flawlessly
reflects Him by Whom they were created. They are one
with Him (although they are not Him).
This is the Holy Catholic Church. The Church
Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Victorious
– one Church, the members of whom – on earth,
in Purgatory, in Heaven – are the one Body, the Church ...
inseparable from each other. We all assist each other.
We pray for the souls of our dead who have yet
to attain the Kingdom.
They pray for
us, awaiting the Kingdom!
And those already
in the Kingdom pray for both. And we pray to them,
asking their intercession for us on our often painful journey.
They hear and they help. Would you turn a deaf ear to, step
aside from, your brother, your sister, who entreated your
help here on earth?
do they: the souls in Purgatory, the Saints in Heaven, when
we cry to them in our pain. And they pray for us ... helping
us on our journey to the Kingdom.
Do you not see it now? The Kingdom of Heaven
is within ... it is among you!
Do not ask where it is. It is in your midst. You
"surrounded by a cloud of witnesses",
seen and unseen, and they are, we are, all citizens of the
There IS, however, one catch:
you have to surrender your passport to the world ... you
must trade it for the seal of the Lamb that will bring you
to your real and everlasting home: the hall of the King.
He Who has prepared a place for you ... and all who await
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