It is 2nd November 2018. We celebrate the solemn Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed as the All Souls Day. The Church proclaims in the Catechism No.1030 and 1031 “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607St. Ambrose (d. 397) preached, “We have loved them during life; let us not abandon them in death, until we have conducted them by our prayers into the house of the Lord.” Let us help and commemorate them. The entire month is dedicated in the Church to remember our loved ones. It is good to visit the cemetery of our loved ones not only with the flowers in our hands but heart full of prayers. When did we pray for our loved ones who had gone before us? How often we visit their resting place? May we make efforts to pray throughout the month for the souls so that we can empty the Purgatory as much as possible. We are encouraged from the Scripture to pray for those who died. “Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out… Thus, made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin.” (2 Maccabees, 12:26 and 12:32) and again, “Therefore, I say to you, O nations that hear and understand, await your shepherd; he will give you everlasting rest, because he who will come at the end of the age is close at hand. Be ready for the rewards of the kingdom, because the eternal light will shine upon you for evermore. (4 Ezra 2:34,35) The Catechism of the Church No.1032 strongly recommends in the following lines: “This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” From the beginning the Church has honoured the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead.” The Church prays in the Catechism No.1058 that no one should be lost: “Lord, let me never be parted from you.” If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him “all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).” The readings are from Isaiah 25:6-9; and the Gospel from Mt. 25:31-46. The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.” (Ps.23:4). In the first reading the prophet Isaiah boldly confesses that God has destroyed death for ever. “God will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; (Is.25:8). We will all have to face the reality of death in our families, in the church and in the friends and relatives circle. We need to remember them. It is easy to say I love you but to listen and follow the words of the ones who have left the words and memories is the true remembrance and honour indeed. The Gospel teaches us that we will either be punished or rewarded at the end. “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Mt.25:46). So we can be confident that our loved ones, even if they apparently did not live good and righteous lives, are in purgatory, or are already in heaven. They need our prayers. “There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to savour the sweetness of the Lord, to behold his temple.” (Ps.27:4). “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.” It is time to show our love to the ones who have gone before us. At least say a prayer for the forgotten souls. May you have a good day.

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