Sunday, November 1, 2009

For MONDAY, All Souls Day 2009

In Saint Paul's letter to the Romans, one of the readings included in today's Eucharistic liturgy, we have an opportunity to consider, once again, the remarkable love of God for each sinner.

We might think for a few moments about the consequence of God's love for us. His love is so strong, his love is so personal, that we are granted forgiveness for the sins in our lives. We at welcomed to his heavenly kingdom despite our failure to love him and one another as the two greatest commandments call us to live.

Today we begin a month of remembering those who have died before us. Not a time for just remembering, but a full month of praying each day that God gives to those who have died the fullness of the redemptive promise guaranteed to each of us through the suffering and death of his Son, Jesus Christ.

Why the need for our prayers? Atonement. We are called to atone for the sins of our lives. And how many sins may there be for which we did not make atonement. An interesting read is to Google "Purgatory Catholic Church." Read especially some of words of the great saints in their teachings about indulgences. Important is to remind ourselves again why "indulgences" have a place in the theology of sin.

During this month let us help those who have died and not fulfilled their obligatory atonement for the sins in their lives by offering our prayers and explicit sacrifices for the atonement of the sins of those who are still awaiting that fullness of Jesus' redemptive act of love, his death.

Pope John Paul II included these words in a Wednesday Audience, August 4, 1999: "For those who find themselves in a condition of being open to God, but still imperfectly, the journey towards full beatitude requires a purification, which the faith of the Church illustrates in the doctrine of "Purgatory." The Pope continued on to say that "Every trace of attachment to evil must be eliminated, every imperfection of the soul corrected. Purification must be complete, and indeed this is precisely what is meant by the Church's teaching on purgatory. The term does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence. Those who, after death, exist in a state of purification, are already in the love of Christ who removes from them the remnants of imperfection ...."
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