November 2, 2015

All Souls

The first entry in the Martyrology today:
The commemoration of all the deceased faithful, wherein devout Mother Church--having just encouraged the fitting celebration of all her children rejoicing in heaven-- busies herself interceding before God for all souls who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and who sleep in the hope of resurrection, and also for all those from the beginning of the world whose faith is known to God alone, that, purged of the contagion of sin, they may merit to enjoy the eternal beatific vision.
For the first time in my priesthood, I celebrated today all three Masses of All Souls, according to the privilege granted to all priests by the bull Incruentum altaris of Benedict XVI. The first, concelebrating at the regular conventual Mass, I offered for the deceased of my family. The second and third I offered alone (according to the directions of Fr. McNamara, whom I tend to trust on liturgical questions) for all the faithful departed and for the intention of the Holy Father, as is prescribed. (I still feel scruples about celebrating Mass alone, and wonder if simply desiring to offer the sacrifice is a 'just and reasonable cause,' but priests seem to do it. It's not something I do often.)

All of these things--prayers for the dead, Masses offered for them--speak to me of hope and of a merciful God. A God whose desire for our salvation goes beyond the limits of our earthly life, providing even a means to be purified of our sins after our bodily death. That means we call purgatory, without affirming much else about it.

May all the faithful departed, as well as all the holy souls from the beginning of time whose faith is known to God alone, by his mercy, rest in peace. Amen.


kam said...

God Bless you, father, for celebrating the three Masses for the Dead today. As we know, anytime a Mass is celebrated many graces are poured down from heaven, to be used as our Mother wishes. Just think if all the priests in the world today celebrated the three Masses how many souls would fly to heaven on this day alone! May our Mother shower YOU with special graces for your unselfish act!

Brother Charles said...

Thanks for the encouragement!

Judy Kallmeyer said...

For some strange reason, I have for some time now, felt a certain irritation at the phrase "rest in peace" applied to the deceased. I don't really see Heaven as a place of rest, as in repose, but rather as a place of exultation, as a place of being alive and dwelling in the arms of the Lord. Rest somehow carries, for me, a connotation of sleep and I have difficulty seeing us as sleeping in Heaven. We will be awake and alive and making a joyful noise to the Lord for all eternity. We have tended to think of eternity as a very long time. But I realized that for God there is only now, and we will participate in that forever now. There will be no past or future, but only this moment in the blissful presence of God. What a joy this anticipation gives me. Am I wrong in these thoughts?

Brother Charles said...

Sounds good to me. But I look forward to a rest too.

Judy Kallmeyer said...

Thank you for your comment.