Monthly Archives: November 2014

THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS AND ALL SOULS by Fr. Joel

AllSaintsAllSouls-kdThe church established by Jesus Christ is a community of saints and sinners, including both living and death members. This community is classified as follows: Triumphant church (Saints in heaven), militant church (the church on earth), and suffering church (those in purgatory undergoing purification before they will be admitted in heaven).

The month of November is the month dedicated for praying for our departed loved ones. We started with the feast of all saints on the 1st of November. This feast was introduced by Pope Gregory III in the eight century to remember all the saints and ask for their intercession. It was to Christianized the pagan feast of fighting evil spirits called Halloween. Halloween comes from the phrase ‘’all hallows’ eve’’ which means ‘’all saints eve’’ celebrated on October 31st. So, instead of the pagan feast, we Christians celebrate the feast of all saints, asking for their intercession and protection against evil. And then on the 2nd of November we pray for all souls that have departed this world and are not yet in heaven. We pray for God’s merciful judgment on them.  To make sure that no saint or soul of our member is left out in our prayers, since some may not be known to us, we pray for all souls.

PRAYING FOR THE DEATH

We pray for the death because of our belief in the resurrection, that is, life after death. The story of Lazarus’ death and raising him to life by Jesus is a proof of resurrection. Jesus said ‘’ I am the way, life, and resurrection.’’  His resurrection confirmed this. We want every member to make it to heaven that is why we pray for them. The saints in heaven are interceding for the church on earth and for the suffering church as while. The church on earth is in communion with the saints in praying for herself and for the suffering church that is why this day or month is dedicated for such prayers.

‘’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.’’ Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1030.

This is the Catholic Church teaching as regards to purgatory that refers to the state of the souls that are not qualify to go to heaven and at the same time have not been sentenced to hell. And so they need some purification before they can be admitted into heaven. But they are dead and cannot do anything for themselves any more. However, the Church on earth is in communion with the saints in heaven through prayers, so that such souls could be interceded for to obtain their purification which will qualify them to go to heaven. That is one of the reasons we pray for the dead to assist them in obtaining this purification. The follow scriptural passages are there to back up this understanding by the Church.

Mathew 12:32 talked about forgiveness of sins that will be obtained in the age to come. This suggest that the mercy of God extent beyond the grave.

1Cor. 3:12-15 said some will be save by fire- fire of purification.

2Macc. 12:38-42 talked very strongly about the importance of praying for the death.

Finally, this day and month remind us that our bodies are mortals and at the same time our souls are immortal. This means, we shall die but our souls will live on. Our lives after this earth’s life depend on how we live here and now. Every action of ours in this life has a bearing in the next life. Therefore, we must work hard to live good lives now so that we can be in heaven with the saints. We must prepare for the next life by loving God, our neighbors, and avoid evil

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