I want to share this news story with our New Age blog friends. It contains a teaching from Archbishop Dolan on the Communion of saints and why this means Catholics have been enjoying “harmony with the universe” much longer – and in a much more authentic way – than New Agers who are always carping about wanting to be “one with the universe.”
New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan offered reflections on his blog about the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, saying that people who leave the Church for the New Age in order to be “more in harmony with the universe” must have missed school the day they were taught about the Communion of the Saints because Catholics have believed in this “harmony with the universe” for two millennia.
He began his reflections by telling the story of a Hollywood star who appeared on a recent talk show and claimed she left the Church for the New Age in order to be “more in touch with the universe.” The woman was raised a Catholic but said that after becoming a more “enlightened, liberated” adult, she shed her faith for the more exotic New Age movement.
“I watched her tell the talk-show host how she had left the faith of her family because it left her so ‘isolated’ and ‘out of touch’ with the cosmos. Seems her new religion is big on the ‘inherent harmony of the universe,’ which provides a valuable sense of unity for her. She finds it provides her a real feeling of closeness to all of those who have gone before her and are now in eternity, and a union with all her brothers and sisters throughout the world who share her belief.
“This is new?” the Archbishop asks. “Was she home with the measles when the Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints was covered in her religion class? We Catholics have believed in this ‘inherent harmony of the universe’ for two millennia, and at the heart of our faith is a sense of union with God, with the faithful departed, with the saints in heaven, and with all of our brothers and sisters in the Church throughout the world.”
On November 1, All Saints Day, we praise God for all those citizens of heaven who now reign in the Church Triumphant with Christ the King, he writes. On November 2, All Souls Day, “we remember with reverence and gratitude those who have died, whether they are now with Jesus in heaven, or await their goal of heaven as they undergo a period of purification in purgatory, members of the ‘Church suffering,’ who deserve our prayers.” Those of us who remain on earth comprise the “Church militant” and must continue to persevere in grace, fighting the ancient enemies of sin, Satan, and selfishness, he says.
“Thus, we belong to the greatest family of all, the communion of saints, and are intimately united to all who share residence in the household of the faith,” the Archbishop writes. “The limits of time and space fade away in this deep unity, and never do we feel alone or isolated. All creation is in harmony under Christ the King, whom we hail the last Sunday of this month of November.”
He ends his blog with a prayer for “our friend in Hollywood” that she might rediscover this ancient doctrine of the Church can realize that she doesn’t need the New Age to find “harmony with the universe.”