Friday, November 1, 2013

All Saint's/Soul's Day

All Saint’s Day…The day we celebrate all the Saints, and all the saints.  As a priest reminded us this morning, God willing we are in heaven someday this is going to be our feast day.  Maybe some of us will make it on the calendar but either way today is a big day for our fallen brothers and sisters who are looking on God’s face.  I told Father after Mass that his homily made me long for death, and it wasn’t out of boredom this time.  It was because I long for heaven.  To see God’s face, to be in perfect union with him…that’s worth everything.  It’s worth every sacrifice, every struggle, every confusion of this life to have that eternity. 

I think sometimes we can lose sight of that goal.  I’m studying to be a priest and when I’m struggling with a brother seminarian or with my classes I look to the future where I will, God willing, be serving the people of God as a Father.  It truly is a beautiful thing to mediate on.  Maybe it’s married life for you, or to be a sister but either way looking to a found and fulfilled vocation would excite anyone.  Not often however do I mediate upon heaven when things are falling apart.  I don’t know why because it would seem looking to the brightest end of the tunnel would bring the most peace.  Today I’ve spent the day baking and listening to Praise and Worship music.  Every song sings about how good God is and dang right He is but He’s not just good.  He’s perfect.  He loves me.  My biggest desire is to someday hear Him say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  I get goosebumps thinking about my loving Heavenly Father speaking those words.  Seriously though. Think about it. Ahhhhhhh! GOD IS SO BIG!  I don’t know what you are going through right now but I can imagine some of you are having a hard time.  I want you to know that I’m praying for you.  It’s all worth it.  Even in the most difficult times remember that you are loved.  As I’ve said before let that love guide you; don’t be afraid to take a moment to think about the glorious destination though.  When we live our lives with Christ as the center, our eternity will have Christ as the center. 

All Soul’s Day.  This day we remember and pray for the holy souls in purgatory.  I spoke of the joy in being in heaven and celebrating the face of God but for most of us we will first be purified.  The idea of purgatory has two levels for me.  Firstly, there is great excitement in reaching purgatory for that means that you will be in heaven with God after you are purified of sin.  However there is one aspect that has brought a bit of sadness to me.  Sometimes in the intercessions it is mentioned to pray for all the souls in purgatory especially those who have no one to pray for them.  There are souls in purgatory that have no one to pray for them.  This was even mentioned by the main character in the movie Gravity.  She said she didn’t want to die because she would have no one to pray for her.  I petition you to remember the souls tomorrow and every day.  If you have time in the next couple days make a visit to a local cemetery and say some prayers for the souls in purgatory.  It carries with it a plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory.  What this means is that you could be responsible for a soul being released from purgatory and entering heaven.  I can imagine that new saint would be very grateful and would pray for you in return.  That’s a pretty sweet deal. 
In a special way though please remember the priests of your diocese who have passed away.  I don’t pray for the priests I know here on earth nearly enough but I have greatly neglected those who have gone before us.  Our priests deserve the love and support of their spiritual children but I think we take them for granted.  I could write an entire post on the many things priests do for us but for the sake of meditation just take a few examples.  Our spiritual father’s listen to our problems and carry that weight much like our earthly parents would.  They sacrifice for us that we may grow closer to God.  They unify us as a family and show us how to be brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.  The priests in my life have been some of the greatest leaders spiritually and in every other aspect of life as well.  Tomorrow when we are praying for the holy souls in purgatory, our family members and friends who have left this earth let us not forget our spiritual fathers.  I hope in however many years when I am on my way to see God there is someone shooting up a prayer for me.   God bless all of you.

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