All Saints & All Souls
Some people do not believe in praying for the dead. They say that our departed relatives and friends either do not need our prayers or cannot benefit from them anyway.
The relatives and friends that I have known certainly need somebody's prayers. I love them dearly, but I am not sure that I would want to spend all eternity with their constant demands and irritating little habits. When alive they were nice in doses, but not all the time. Even husbands and wives need to get away from one another at times, if they are ever going to live together in some kind of love and harmony.
The trouble with my friends aced relatives is that they are too much like me. They are still plagued by their insecurities, still tempted to selfishness, still much too demanding. Like me they are far from perfect, and I have no reason to think that they are suddenly going to be turned into perfect Saints the moment they die. We all have a lot of growing to do, we all need some radical surgery before we will be completely fit for heaven.
All Souls' Day is a celebration of God's mercy, the assurance that R never gives up on us. It is the good news that the veil drawn between life and death, between our sinful humanity and heaven, is not a: tightly drawn as we might think We can continue to pray for those we love even after they have died and by God's own love for them and us, our prayers can help ad support them in their pilgrimage towards their heavenly perfection.
Heavenly perfection! That's the goal of our earthly lives. We are all called to be Saints, and just one Saint is all that is necessary to prove that the grace of God really works and that His promises are true.
So it is that before we keep the feast of All Souls, we celebrate the feast of All the Saints, of those who show us the way, those who continue to support us on our pilgrimage their prayers, those who have won., the victory over their own sinfulness, those who have proven that being human really is worthwhile.
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