One of my friends died recently and I was filled with great sadness but was grateful that I could pray for his eternal rest and that his family would be strong in their loss. That is one of the good things about being a Catholic – we are not helpless or hopeless in the face of death as there is something real and effective that we can do through prayer and Sacrament.
I didn’t see Clive and his wife Sara very often. We would meet up every now and then for a special occasion and engage in long conversations as we did when we were young, and we always seemed to pick up the thread where we had left off.
Nowadays, people stay connected through Skype and FaceTime on our mobile phones, or though social media. I send a lot of Christmas cards to in keep in touch with old and new friends but that will probably diminish for me as time goes by. Sacraments – especially the Eucharist – are the major way of staying connected for me.
In helping us understand this, St Thomas Aquinas says that we are all grains of wheat that make the one bread that becomes the Body of Christ the Church. St Paul uses the phrase ‘in Christ’ to describe our life as Christians.
These two images describe connectivity in a way that doesn’t require a mobile phone or a computer. All the Sacraments point to our unity in Christ and at different points in our lives they give us hope that we will all be one in Him. And when my time comes, I will be able to continue my conversation with Clive in heaven.