Orthodoxy and Communion with the Saints

Has a passage from Saint Paul ever leaped out at you like never before? Has Saint David spoken to you in the Psalms in such a way that you will never forget? Have you been comforted by any of the Saints?

We need to be comforted by the Saints! If we do not receive comfort from them then how can we really say that we are completely a part of the Body of Christ? The Body of Christ is not just the visible but it is also the invisible, the invisible reality of the Kingdom of God that Christ speaks of in the Holy Scriptures.

One may say, “I am comforted by the Holy Spirit,” He is my comforter as Christ says! Well, that is very exciting but what is equally exciting is becoming a part of what Christ says in Matthew 16:19; that the kingdom is accessed through the Saints, the “cloud of witnesses” that Hebrews 12:1 proclaims. Access to the Saints and the kingdom is essential to our wellbeing in Christ. The Saints are here for us to fellowship with, through prayer and other forms of “intercession” such as meditation, thoughts of truth, conviction and overall comfort. It is all done through the Holy Spirit of course, but without the Saints, Holy Spirit “activity” easily turns more into a facade of feminine emotionalism and just plain craziness.

The union that we have with the Saints is indeed isolated. There is a one on one relationship happening with them as we embrace them and worship with them. One reason why credit is given to the “Holy Spirit” when one encounters the truth of the Saints is because these Christians are completely unaware of the Canon of Scripture and what it means to embrace the Canon. The Canon of Scripture is a confirmation of certain writings of certain Saints…and also a confirmation of certain writings of unknown Saints. The Canon/Bible is not a unified book dropped out of the sky from the Holy Spirit. The Canon is a collection of saintly communications. If we want to participate in these communications we must be a part of the Saints that actually wrote the letters themselves, as well as the Church that harbors them.

If there is disagreement to what has just been said, it is unwarranted. If one says that they do not need the Saints to know the Bible, because they have the Holy Spirit, then they have a very serious misunderstanding of pneumatology, the actual way that the Holy Spirit operates. By this standard of pneumatology, anyone, even Muslims and other unbelievers can fully and salvifically participate in the Canon of Scripture. But a proper perspective of the Canon and the communion of saints is that anyone can tap into both but not on a salvific level, a level of salvation.

Remember, to know the Bible is to know the bishopric. The bishopric created the Bible and one cannot possibly believe in the Bible without the bishopric.

The bishopric herds the flock together and guards her from the enemy. It is the very authority and embodiment of the Church. The Saints are within this authority and embodiment, and they have a word to share with us. Get to know them and become a member of their One Holy and Apostolic Church. Start with an icon or two, or simply meditate on their presence within the Orthodox Church and I promise that you will be blessed.

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