Our configuration to Christ makes us more and more like Him. St. Paul, for example, had a strong desire to visit the people in various churches. “I hope to visit you soon,” he wrote in 1 Timothy. The desire to be with more and more people is a key feature of the missionary vocation, and is a hallmark of the missionary’s configuration to Christ. Did not God desire to reconcile the world to Himself? And was it not on account of this desire that He sent His only Son to us? God wants to be with us, and the missionary shares in God’s desire to be with more and more people. Insofar as the missionary possesses this desire, he or she is like God.
What about the anchorites, the monks and nuns who seek God alone in solitude, and who flee from populated areas? Christian anchorites, it seems to me, do not reject human companionship entirely, but rather they seek to elevate it to a higher level, where we become closer to each other by becoming closer to God.
Fellowship with the saints, then, should be something that every Christian desires, and that desire is a hallmark of our configuration to Christ. Whether we desire fellowship with saints on Earth or in Heaven, we must not tire of seeking them out.