In Part I we looked at sainthood and sanctity as part of justification. We had to do this because we needed to establish that God can and does make people holy, and that we are all called to that holiness as part of our life in Christ. Sainthood is the result of justification through God’s sanctifying Grace.
Now we look at saints and their role within the Christian community. As I said before, the Church doesn’t make saints; rather, saints make the Church. And this is a wholly orthodox position:
After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’ Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints”(Nicetas of Remesiana, Explanation of the Creed 10)? The communion of saints is the Church (CCC 946).
We see in the New Testament that St. Paul addresses his letters to those “called [to be] holy [hagiois]” (Rom 1:7; cf. 1 Cor 1:2, 2 Cor 1:1, Eph 1:1, Phil 1:1, Col 1:2). In narrow scope, the communion of saints is the communion of Christians as the Body of Christ (Rom 12:4-5; cf. 1 Cor 6:15, 12:20-27; Eph 5:30). But that’s the horizontal axis; the vertical axis is through time: We are bound not only with Christians today but with Christians throughout history.