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Onward to Advent

  /   Thursday, November 30, 2023   /   Comments(0)

The month of November will be over soon, probably by the time most people read this. As we have been remembering our beloved dead, now we can prepare for the coming of the king who will bring them eternal life. It’s time to think about this and how death is not the end but is the way in which everyone who isn’t alive at the second coming is going to get to meet God face to face.

As I’ve said before, the Church knows better than to allow these great feasts, like Christmas, to just happen. We prepare. By preparing, we have a fuller celebration when the feast day arrives.

Advent is kind of difficult for me because I’m not exactly sure what to do during Advent. It has never been all that clear. Besides that, these times can be ridiculously busy.

An important thing to do is to try to live our life and especially our faith as intentionally as possible. Don’t be carried by the wind. We have to deliberately set aside time to reflect on what we are about to celebrate and do everything in our power not to let anything interfere. No matter what this world throws at us, we must remember that, though we are in the world, we are not of the world.

Category: Spirituality

Praying for the Dead

  /   Sunday, November 12, 2023   /   Comments(0)

November is the month where we especially remember to pray for those who have gone before us in the Church. We often hear at (or in anticipation of) someone’s funeral about how someone who has died is not suffering anymore. The truth is that they may be undergoing their final purification, and they will still be suffering.

For some reason, 2023 has been a year where a lot of people I have known have died. I’ve had my uncle (and my godfather), a coworker, a childhood friend, a former manager, and two priests whom I knew die this year. Because of this, it’s been important to me to make a point to offer a Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Mass intention, and whatever I can remember to pray for them.

If they are indeed in Purgatory, there is nothing they can do for themselves. Once in Purgatory, the time for cooperating with or rejection the grace of God is over. Because of this, it also means that, once there, Hell has been avoided forever. They now have only to wait for God’s purifying fire to cleanse them so that they are able to be in the presence of God for all eternity.

While they can’t help themselves, we, the living, who can still choose to cooperate with or reject God’s grace, can help them with our prayers and sacrifices. We can aid their purification. It has long been an important part of my prayer life to do this. I’ve heard one priest say that, if we don’t offer assistance to the souls in Purgatory, we won’t be able to receive any assistance when we are there. I don’t know where he got this or if it is exactly true, but if it is, then I can certainly see God’s justice in it.

One simple thing to do is to pray every time you pass by a cemetery for he people there. On our fall break, our route to our destination took us by a number of cemeteries near Protestant churches. I find it especially important to pray for those souls. Since nearly every Protestant is ignorant of or rejects the fact that there is a final purification, it’s unlikely that these congregations are praying for their dead. So, when I pass their cemeteries, I figure that I’ll pray for them.

Don’t forget that, if you were a help to someone during their final purification, they are not going to forget you when they reach Heaven. You better believe that people in the presence of God for all eternity are capable of talking to him. They will be praying for you so that you will be able to join them someday.

Category: Cathechesis, Catholic, Spirituality


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