Saturday, November 01, 2014

Worthy of Himself

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.  Wisdom 3:3-4

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.  Romans 5:5

“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”  John 6:37

The Mystical Body of Christ is where our piety gives us a home. We belong to the faithful departed as family and friends. How we continue to reach out to those we loved who have died before us is part of our Spirituality. How we remember those who we shared our life with is in the reliving of moments shared as life goes on as we walk toward our destiny in Christ. Christ will not let any of those that belong to him fail to arrive at heaven, which is the goal of all of us. Those who have gone before us have shown us the way.

Our friendships are built around the intimacies of life. What we have done with others comes alive in the repeats that we now live out with new people. What remembrances do is bring back old friends to our memory and allow us to pray for the faithful departed even as we miss their participation in what we are doing with new friends. Friends are an essential part of life and without them we are incomplete in what we do now that we used to do with missing friends. Missing good friends we shared vacation with makes vacation in old ways hard to repeat. Good friends cannot be replaced. They can only be remembered.  It is not hard to see why they were important when we miss them in what we did together. It is too easy to forget that they could still need our prayers. I think of Purgatory as the powder room of heaven where we can pretty up ourselves for heaven. None of us are perfect and we need others to help us make up the difference between what we did and what we should have done. Remembrance of the Faithful departed includes remembering all they did for us and offering what they need from us in our prayers for their wellbeing that they might be accepted into heaven. Christ atoned for our sins and we are part of his atonement when we make up the differences missing for their readiness for heaven.

This is the perfect time to pray and offer sacrifices for the Souls in Purgatory. It is a wonderful thing we do when we pray for those who have no one to remember them. Prayer, fasting and good works can open the gates of heaven to those who need an earthly boost. What we do for others will be done for us. 

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