As a child, I faithfully repeated, “I believe in the communion of saints.” As an adult I dismissed it as nonsense. I only got interested in investigating it when my son Aaron died. The impulse came from a Benedictine monk in Spain. Below is a short version.
On November 8, a year and four months after Aaron had died of sudden cardiac arrest, I was in the Basilica of Montserrat, close to Barcelona, Spain. When I saw a monk go into the confessional, the idea came to me to join him. Not to confess anything, but to cry with a captured audience.
And cry I did. I cried that my only child had died; I cried that I could not bear to live without him; I cried that life was meaningless and that I wanted to die. The Benedictine monk made no attempt to console me with the traditional platitudes, but sprang up, left the confessional, hugged me fiercely, and said with sure authority:
“Oh, Señora! How very difficult. Your only child to die so quickly. So fast. Without warning. So difficult. But Jesus tells us that he is still here. Your son is still here and you still have a relationship with him. A VITAL relationship. Right now. Your son is not a fleck of dust. He is not just gone. He is here. You are to have a VITAL relationship with him here until you are called. Your work is to become aware of that relationship with your son and develop it – spirit to spirit. This is the message of Jesus.”
“It is?” was all I could say. I had heard about Jesus all my life, but, most certainly, I had never heard this.
Many Christian traditions do not agree with the monk's interpretation about the message of Jesus. In fact, many Christian traditions propagate a fear of developing relationships with the so-called dead. Where does this fear come from?
In my opinion, it can be traced to an unconscious belief in the Newtonian model of the world we live in. This model states that everything, including consciousness, is a result of the activity of matter. This means that without a brain, there is no consciousness. No consciousness – no communion with saints. The solution: better to believe without question than to lose the hope of the possibility.
In my case, hope was not near enough. My inability to find a secular or spiritual model to help me understand my innumerable experiences with Aaron after his passing left me in a place of horrific suffering. There were only two choices:
What did I discover? That the current post-Newtonian model driving current scientific research, not only rejects the old notion that consciousness is a result of the activity of matter, but it validates the ancient spiritual idea that everything in this world, including matter (brain), is a result of the activity of consciousness.
This change of perspective makes all the difference in the universe when it comes to working to understand how a continued relationship with the so-called dead is more than possible.
Now I can honestly say that I do not believe in the communion of saints; I know it to be true. And this is why it is so important to acquire the truth, for yourself, of an inherited true belief - YOU change in the process. This process used to be called, among other things, nurturing spiritual growth. In today’s parlance, it is most often called evolving consciousness. And evolving consciousness/growing spiritually is what we are all here to do.