Friday, November 2, 2012

It is a good thing ...

     The Church is aware and acknowledges the fact that it is a good thing to pray for the dead.  Many great societies show a great respect for their ancestors, which adds to their wisdom and character.  We, as Church, look to those who have gone before us, grateful for their legacy and enriched by that legacy.  But what we regularly do, but with a special emphasis in the month of November (and especially today on All Souls' Day), is much more than remembering the past.  We celebrate the life, past and present, that those who have gone before us "marked with the sign of faith" possess.  The Entrance Antiphon for November 2nd (from 1 Thes.) states:

"Just as Jesus died and has risen again,
so through Jesus God will bring with him
those who have fallen asleep;
and as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ will all be brought to life."
      We pray for the dead in thanksgiving and in love. 
      We pray in thanksgiving for all that our loved ones have given us and shared with us, for this is the foundation of our existence.  This thanksgiving is rooted in remembering and pledging to use that which they gave us for the greater good of all.  
     We pray in love for them so that our loved ones, destined for that perfect experience of seeing God "face to face", may be readied and prepared for that beatific vision and eternal joy.  Our prayer adds nothing to God's greatness, but it helps the faithful departed to enter into that greatness as they ready to walk in the quiet of the evening with the Lord in Paradise.
     Those for whom we pray today, during this month of November, and in our daily lives are children of God, destined for that eternal glory reserved for the saints of God.  Their journey has touched and enriched our lives.  It is indeed a good thing for us to pray for them.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace!

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