Wednesday, November 4, 2009
November, Month of the Holy Souls In Purgatory
During the month of November it is a tradition to pray each day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
This belief, held from the beginning of the Church, is sometimes forgotten or ridiculed by even Catholics, who should know better.
Our monastic community visits the cemetery each day from November 2nd to the 10th with prayers, psalms, and Scripture to pray for the Faithful Departed and to gain a plenary indulgence for the Holy Souls. It is our privilege to pray for all of the deceased in this way. But all the faithful should make a point to do the same, even if only for one or two days.
I am convinced that Purgatory is God's Mercy made manifest; how can we even think that most of us (including religious, even monastics!) can enter Heaven with all of our "baggage"...the resentments, the attachments to creatures and creaturely things, the lack of charity and our own sinful tendencies? God wants us to be completely FREE...completely HIS! And our lack of devotion and attentiveness to His Will is a constant obstacle to being free.
Purgatory is a great Mercy.
We should not forget our loved ones, our friends, our enemies, and the most forgotten...those who have no one to pray for them after death. It is a great act of charity to remember the souls of the faithful departed. Not just in November, but always.
Not to bring attention to myself, but I always try to remember those most forgotten at the Memento of the Dead at Holy Mass. Hopefully, when I die, they will be there to escort me to my place of purification, and ultimately, to the Kingdom of God.
Pray for the dead.
They will be eternally grateful. And you will make friends for everlasting life.