October 26, 2016: Of Saints & Souls

~by Susi Pittman


It has been twelve years since the death of my mother, ten years since the death of my father and eight years since the death of my husband. Nothing can bring All Saints and All Souls Day more into focus than losing those you have loved dearly. Your heart’s desire is for them to be about heavenly business.

Do I, or will I know in this life if they are in heaven…I truly doubt it. It is something that I am relying totally on Jesus for. I believe in His teachings and His promises as given to the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, with Peter as its first pope. My parents and Greg were each devout Catholics and loved Jesus, and each of them had a particular loving devotion to the Blessed Mother.

All that the Father gives to me shall come to me, and him who comes to me I will not cast out. Now this is the will of him who sent me, the Father, that I should lose nothing of what he has given me but that I should raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father who sent me, that whoeve beholds the Son, and believes in him shall have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day. ~John 6:37, 38-40

All Souls Day we commemorate all of the faithful departed. As Catholics we pray for the souls of the departed, supported in this act by both the Old and New Testament.

As a reference:

For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them, it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. ~2 Maccabees 12:44-46

And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come. ~Matthew 12:32

The Old Testament tells us to pray, the New Testament tells us that there are some things that must be purified in the life beyond this world before the Beatific Vision can be attained.

In my home, All Saints and All Souls Day is a family day of celebration. I celebrate the memories of the lives of my family and friends who have passed on. I have spent quiet time going over old pictures and reflecting on moments we all shared. Gazing at the faces of my loved ones I am taken into prayer and I thank God for their presence in my life, asking Him that they may see Him face to face in eternal bliss.

Mass on November 1st is the celebration of those we know are saints (and the Church has recognized a legion of human beings who lived lives incredibly immersed in serving Christ) and those we don’t know are in heaven (all souls). In our diocese, the Bishop holds a special Mass on November 2nd at the Diocesan Catholic Cemetery. I have been there for that Mass on beautiful days and cold, rainy days. It is deeply spiritual to join others graveside and offer the Mass for those we loved so much! We share in the Mystical Body of Christ and His Church in the doctrine of the Communion of the Saints.

We rejoice that our family and friends have reached their eternal goal and we also ask that they pray on our behalf so that we, too, may join them in heaven. They now see God and they are heavenly warriors to assist us as we finish our sojourn here in this realm.

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Lord, hear our prayers;

in Your mercy,

bring us to Your place of peace

and light the souls of Your servants,

Bobbie, Richard and Greg,

whom You have summoned from this world.

Call them to be numbered

in the fellowship of Your saints.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild;
a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

*** Visit SUSI WEEKLY ARCHIVE ***

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