Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Praying for the deceased

the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. 

How many of us still behave like the foolish? We talk as if they are dead. We talk about them living on "in our hearts and minds" as if that is the only way they live on. 

As the month of November is the time to pray for those who have passed from this life, this reading reminds us that we need to pray for them. 

The other mistake often at funerals is the well-intentioned but erroneous canonization. Some funeral homilies sound as if the person instantaneously upon dead went straight to heaven. While we all hope for heaven, we cannot simply presume.  

We recognize the reality of sin and the need for purification  and so let us pray for all those whose earthly life has ended. Let us pray that they may be welcomed into the fullness of life with God in heaven.