BL. JOHN HENRY NEWMAN ON THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
“This then is the special glory of the Christian Church, that its members do not depend merely on what is visible, they are not mere stones of a building, piled on one another, and bound together from without, but they are one and all the births and manifestations of one and the same unseen spiritual principle or power, ‘living stones,’ internally connected, as branches from a tree, not as the parts of a heap. They are members of the Body of Christ.
That divine and adorable Form, which the Apostles saw and handled, after ascending into heaven became a principle of life, a secret origin of existence to all who believe, through the gracious ministration of the Holy Ghost. This is the fruitful Vine, and the rich Olive tree upon and out of which all Saints, though wild and barren by nature, grow, that they may bring forth fruit unto God.”
(Bl. John Henry Newman, 1837)