2/28/2010 6:49

The sharing of the holy ones

I believe in the communion of the saints. Although I do not fully understand what it means, I do have stories about it.

Just 3 years ago yesterday, on February 27, early in the morning, I was suddenly awakened. I had the sort of physiological response one expects if there were the smell of smoke or a cry of pain, but without a sense of needing to do anything or even to get up. It was sufficient that I be awake and sharing. At that moment I did not know what I might be sharing in. After a little while, I lay back down and slept until I was awakened again by a phone call informing me that my friend Marchia had died.

The experience of awakening was nearly the same as I had less than a week earlier (on February 22) also early in the morning, when my mother needed me in the hospital. The difference was that in the earlier case I felt a powerful need to get up and go to her.

Similar experiences are attested by tradition both scriptural and legendary. The experience is difficult to convey since it is so internal and any external and objective reality varies with the situation. Stories from the past often gain an accretion of culturally dependent interpretation, making them even harder to identify clearly.

There are some typical features: sudden awareness, strong emotional and physiological involvement, complete certainty, and close correlation in time with a significant event in actual reality. How these sharings are perceived is likely to be a function of how we work as human beings. That these sharings occur is a reality of a different order.