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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE TENTH ARTICLE: "The Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins."
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THE TENTH ARTICLE: "The Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins."

 

As in our natural body the operation of one member works for the good of

the entire body, so also is it with a spiritual body, such as is the

Church. Because all the faithful are one body, the good of one member is

communicated to another: "And every one members, one of another."1 So,

among the points of faith which the Apostles have handed down is that there

is a common sharing of good in the Church. This is expressed in the words,

"the Communion of Saints."2 Among the various members of the Church, the

principal member is Christ, because He is the Head: "He hath made Him head

over all the Church, which is His body."3 Christ communicates His good,

just as the power of the head is communicated to all the members.

 




1. Rom., xii. 5.

 



2. "The evangelist St. John, writing to the faithful on the divine

mysteries, tells them that he undertook to instruct them on the subject;

'that you,' he says, 'may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship be

with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ' (I John, i. 3). Now, this

fellowship consists in the Communion of Saints. . . This Article is, as it

were, a sort of explanation of the preceding one, which takes up the unity,

sanctity, and catholicity of the Church. For the unity of the Spirit, by

which she is governed, establisha among all her members a community of

spiritual blessings, whereas the fruit of all the Sacraments, particularly

Baptism, the door, as it were, by which we are admitted into the Church,

are so many connecting links which blnd and unite them to Jesus Christ."

The "Roman Catechism" makes the Communion of Saints the last part of the

Ninth Article of the Creed; and the Tenth Article is the forgiveness of

Sins ("Roman Catechism," "loc. cit.," 24-25).

 



3. Eph. i. 22.

 






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