The Communion of Saints – from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey

We often limit the Church to the organisation of people who identify themselves clearly as its members.  But the Church as all people belonging to Christ, as that body of witnesses who reveal the living Christ, reaches far beyond the boundaries of any human institution.  As Jesus himself said:  The Spirit “blows where it pleases” (John 3:8).   The Spirit of Jesus can touch hearts wherever it wants; it is not restrained by any human limits.

There is a communion of saints witnessing to the risen Christ that reaches to the far ends of the world and even farther.  It embraces people from long ago and far away.  It is that immense community of men and women who through words and deeds have proclaimed and are proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus.

For further reflection…

“For none of us lives to our self alone and none of us dies to our self alone.  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” – Romans 14: 7, 8 (NIV)


If we try to see what is good in others and to accept what is broken in ourselves, we will come closer together, accepting one another as human beings created and loved by God. This spiritual growth is a double movement: growth in wonderment and growth in humility.

-from The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Relationship