EDITORIAL| All Souls Day

WE KNOW the month of November especially “All Souls Day,” is traditionally known for visiting the tombs and offering prayers for the dear ones who are no longer with us. We pray for the souls in purgatory who are being purified in order to go to heaven and for those who have nobody to pray for them. On this day the priest is allowed to say three masses—one for a particular intention, one for the souls and for the intention of the Holy Father.

According to our Christian belief after the death the good souls go to heaven. They are eternally united with the Lord and rejoice in praising him for ever and ever. They do not need our prayers as they are in a glorious state of grace. In fact they help us in our spiritual journey towards heaven. The bad ones go to hell as they are for ever condemned to hell fire. As such they do not need our prayers. God’s judgment is final. No amount of prayer would ever help bring them out of hell.

The good or the bad are a small percentage. What about most people who love God but also commit sin? God is kind to them, but such people need purification before they enter the eternal state of purity in heaven. “Nothing unclean ever enters heaven” (Rev 21: 27). Since they can not help themselves, they depend on our prayers and good works. Once they are cleansed in the waters of grace, they will enter heaven. “Just as Jesus died and rose again, so will the Father bring with him those who have died in Jesus” (1 Thes. 4:14). Thus the great anguish and suffering of the souls is removed.

How to prepare oneself for the feast of All Souls? Be in a state of grace after making a good confession and participating in a holy mass. Go to the memorial park and clean the tombs or place of burials. Thank the Lord for all the holy souls. Pray for the people who are living in the state of mortal sin and who are in danger of going to hell. Remember all those who are in purgatory especially from your families. Pray for them.

How long to pray? Pray more on the All Souls day and all through the month of November. If you like to see them soon in heaven that is not enough. Offer holy masses for these souls and pray for them on Sunday or everyday mass or in the daily family rosary. You can also pray every first Fridays to the Sacred Heart of Jesus or on first Saturdays to the Blessed Mother.

Is offering of prayers alone enough for the soul’s purification in purgatory? No, we need to pay forward for their sins and the harm they did for others. I know a big company owner who made great fortune but at the expense of the workers. He paid them very meager wages. When his son took over the business after the death of his father, he built a housing colony for all his employees. A mother, who aborted a baby, later sponsored the studies of four children.

The holy Mother Church gives us inspiring time and intense spiritual support to pray for the souls. For the whole month of November the liturgical prayers and the readings are very rich in meaning and message. The prayer book of priests, the breviary, is profoundly rich with the readings on dead from the Fathers of the Church. They all repeat the comforting message of Jesus who said, “I am the resurrection and life. If any one believes in me, even though he dies, he will live” (Jn 11-25). Hence, let us embrace this holy season of prayer for the souls with true spirit of prayer, penance and works of charity. Charity forgives multitude of sins. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor 9: 7).

Loving Father, thank you for the gift of life.

Thank you for all the dear ones.

Help me to pray and do penance

for the souls who are in purgatory.

Lord, be merciful to forgive

and grant them the joys of heaven.

Lord, bless me with the purity of heart, Amen.

Repeat many times daily: COME LORD JESUS, COME INTO MY LIFE. BLESS ME, HELP ME, HEAL ME.

(For prayer requests, healing and deliverance, email: fr.swamy@yahoo.com or text: +639173181213 or +639228931354.)

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