Nov 2, 2016

All Souls - The Faithful Departed


When we pray for the dead, for the holy souls, we acknowledge that our love is never wasted, that friendship and love can reach out over the dark expanse of death.  Out of this close bond of affection and love we pray in the direction of heaven, that as those who have gone before us approach the judgment seat of God, that they will not be afraid but trust all the more that God is a merciful God. And if the trajectory of their lives, motivated by God's grace, points them to union with God, we pray that before entering into the purity of God’s presence, they may have the courage to let go of every distracting attachment of their earthly lives.

We are often distracted from our journey towards union with God. Even the memory of sin in our minds must be purged and our focus must be completely and freely directed towards God and God alone. This purging of unworthy attachments to this world, to all things that are passing, we call “purgatory”.

It is a necessary purifying we must freely embrace as we journey literally through life. On our journey into the heart of God, each one of us, must allow ourselves to be open to the gentle dawn of heaven’s light, where our mind, our body and soul is cleansed and purged of imperfections. For in heaven there is no place for any lingering shadows, only perfection to which we can finally assert that "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

Becoming completely Christlike, so that when our heavenly Father looks at us, He can see the face of Christ perfectly radiating through you and me - that movement into Him can be as painful as it is beautiful. It is like "the blows of a sculptor’s chisel against the hard rough surfaced rock" as the beauty of Christ is slowly revealed and defined in us. Because of our common humanity, our common God-given dignity, that does not end in death, we can and must make prayers and supplications out of love for all our brothers and sisters, even those who, through the gateway of death, are entering into the presence of God. Our hope is that our Father will see and recognize the life of Christ His Son in each of them too.

Let us pray for our beloved dead that they will see God through the eyes of Christ and rejoice in His presence forever. Let us pray also for ourselves - that as we approach the hidden Lord through the veil of the Sacrament of the Mass, that one day we will see Him face to face and in the company of all our loved ones, whom we pray for in particular during this month of November. We do so because we know our love and God's grace can reach beyond death, even to the shores of heaven itself.

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