Sunday, November 2, 2008

All Soul's Day

Yesterday, we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints Day. They are those who have made it to heaven and yes they are all saints, both with a big S and a little S. They are triumphant and enjoying eternal bliss in heaven. We also call them the Church Triumphant. Today, we commemorate our dear departed, who we hope are either in heaven now or are still undergoing a process of purgation in the next life. We call them the Church Suffering. They are those who died in God's friendship but are yet to be purified of their wrongdoings and sins in order for them to gain entry to heaven. Although they are suffering terribly in the purifying fires of Purgatory, they are already assured of their eternal salvation. It's only a matter of time before they will enter Heaven.
It's a consoling to know that our Church has set a day to remember them and that we as a people cherish their memories by going to the cemeteries. But apart from all this, what they really really need from us is prayer. Though your relative died many many years ago, you can never assume that they are already enjoying the Beatific Vision up above. They may still be in Purgatory and so we must continue to offer them Masses, prayers, and sacrifices for their eternal repose. This practice is a spiritual act of mercy - praying for the dead - and very very few people remember their dear departed apart from today's celebration. We are in fact all guilty of neglecting to offerer prayers for them somewhat because we assume they are already in the Lord's company when in fact they may be not.
If you want to find out how you can help the Poor Souls, you may want to join this organization (Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls). You can visit their website at Pray for these souls and when they reach heaven they will pray incessantly for you as well. Remember, there are no ungrateful souls in Heaven.

Below is an article on dying well from

Since death is the end of life, a good death is the finale of a good life. Everyone who lives well up to the end cannot die badly. He who lives badly will die badly and if one has never lived well, he is liable to die badly.

But how could the thief who lived a bad life end up with a good death? He lived a good portion of his life, while on the cross, in a holy manner. . .he openly defended Christ from the calumnies of the wicked and corrected his own blaspheming companion, "Do you not even fear God. . .we are receiving what our deeds deserve; but this man has done nothing wrong." He entered the vineyard late, but entered he did.

However, it is dangerous to put off conversion from sins until the end of life. Happier are they who carry the yoke of God's law "from their youth."

Let our first thesis remain that the rule of dying well depends upon the rule of living well.

St. Robert Bellarmine

"Bury my body anywhere; it does not matter. Do not let that disturb you. This only I ask - that you remember me at the altar of God wherever you may be." - St. Monica to her sons as she lay dying far from home

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