June 25, 2008

The Creed - The Holy Spirit and the Church

My friends,

For the past weeks (1, 2, 3), I've asked you to consider the words of the Apostles' Creed - those on God and Jesus Christ. That leaves the last line of the Creed, one that covers quite a few topics in quick succession:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, he forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

While it may seem a "miscellaneous" category - a catch-all at the end of the Creed - there is a connection between all of the things in this final line.

The Holy Spirit is described in the later Nicene Creed as proceeding from the Father and the Son - God's Spirit that came down to the apostles and prophets. It is the Holy Spirit that inspired Sacred Scripture, inspired the acts of the apostles, and continues to inspire each of us today. It is the Holy Spirit of God that binds all of us - those alive today and those who have "gone to sleep in Christ", as Paul wrote - the communion of saints.

We are all part of the communion of saints - the Holy Catholic Church on earth and in heaven. Those alive today are members of this Church, of this communion of saints, because Christ forgives our sins. We will be members still after our death because death has been defeated, we will be resurrected into bodies again, and we will be with God forever.

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