Tuesday 14 November 2017
In the Catholic faith, the month of November is dedicated to all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. We commemorate the dead at every single Mass, as part of the Eucharistic Prayer. This month gives us an opportunity to reflect in a special way, not only on the souls in purgatory but also on us who are left behind to live this moment. The topic may sound morbid, but in fact it contains a secret to tremendous joy.
At death no one leaves the world to appear before God free of sin, perfect, holy, so that he or she does not need the mercy and Grace of God. All of us, living and dead are members of one Church and are bound together by one Faith and are unworthy children of the merciful God. Therefore it is our duty to ask God to be merciful towards the sinful souls of our departed brothers and sisters. The prayers of the living can speed up the process of purification. That is why we pray daily for the souls in Purgatory.
As a priest, I have the chance to participate in many funerals, and I can tell you I have noticed a tremendous difference in the kinds of funerals we celebrate. Where there is little or no active faith in the deceased or the family of the deceased, the funeral experience is really quite gloomy and despairing. But when there is faith present, a living and active faith, the atmosphere is quite different: there is sadness, but the mood is much lighter -- more confident, even with flashes of joy.
Let us pray that we may always live in Christ and enjoy the heavenly glory in the life to come.