Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 12: Other Means of Reconciliation

Pope John Paul II rounds out the discussion on the Church’s role in God’s reconciliation with humankind. We’ll look briefly at Other Means of Reconciliation in this post and the two that follow.

When we speak of the Church, we discuss people in three places, a union described by the Holy Father as a mystery.

12. The mission of reconciliation is proper to the whole church, also and especially to that church which has already been admitted to the full sharing in divine glory with the Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints, who contemplate and adore the thrice-holy God The church in heaven, the-church on earth and the church in purgatory are mysteriously united in this cooperation with Christ in reconciling the world to God.

Across the universe, believers unite in communication to God. We petition directly for mercy, and we remember to offer prayer on behalf of others.

The first means of this salvific action is that of prayer. It is certain that the Blessed Virgin, mother of Christ and of the church,(Cf Pope Paul VI, Allocution at the Closing of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, November 21, 1964) and the saints, who have now reached the end of their earthly journey and possess God’s glory, sustain by their intercession their (sisters and brothers) who are on pilgrimage through the world, in the commitment to conversion, to faith, to getting up again after every fall, to acting in order to help the growth of communion and peace in the church and in the world. In the mystery of the communion of saints, universal reconciliation is accomplished in its most profound form, which is also the most fruitful for the salvation of all.

The path to salvation finds people on an ongoing journey. Some just beginning, some long on the way, and some have already been received into a final sojourn. It’s important to be careful not to underestimate prayer. Clergy are not always available, nor are trusted friends, nor the opportunity to reconcile with an estranged someone. The believer knows any moment is a time to utter words to God.

This document is copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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