WHEN PEOPLE TALK about “the Church.” we know what they mean—or at least we think we do. It’s the parish we attend on Sundays that has really good preaching and music (or maybe not). Or it’s that big old institution that we’re part of, that’s kind of hard to explain, and that lets us down sometimes.
[But] the Church we sometimes forget is the heavenly Church…not a different Church or yet another denomination. It’s the true Church, the Church in its essence—in its essential perfection. It’s the Church where Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and all the angels and saints live today—in glory. And we are united with them—by grace—just as they are totally invested in us—by love, to help the pilgrim Church to live on earth more and more like they do in heaven.
The Church [in] its three states (militant, suffering, and triumphant)… is a perfect society…. [That] essential perfection can’t be seen. It’s heavenly. There are not two churches, one earthly and one heavenly. God does not segregate his finished, heavenly elite from the multitude of ordinary schleps who warm the earthly pews. No, [we] believe in a Church that is at once heavenly and earthly. In that Church the saints are present and available to us. They are family to us…. They want to help us become as they are (holy). They want to help us get all the way home.
Scott Hahn, Angels and Saints (New York: Image, 2014) Pages 9, 10, 11. Used with permission.