The Feast of All Souls is an opportunity to pray for all who have gone before us. Do they need our prayers? The Church teaches that if we’re not ready to see God face-to-face, the prayers of the faithful can help us. Do we really understand what that means? Not really. No one has come back from the dead except the Lord Jesus and his message was peace, eternal life, freedom from fear. So…what to do on this solemn day? I suggest we make a visit – not to grave or columbarium – but a visit with them in our hearts. When we image the face of a loved one and remember the love we shared, the love returns to us in prayer. Though beyond our sight, they come very close because they miss us, too. Should we worry about the state of their souls? I suppose we could but real faith in God means trusting the promises expressed in today’s readings. Jesus says, “I will not reject anyone who comes to me [John 6].” The psalmist prays, “even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side [Psalm 23].” And in Wisdom we hear, “they seemed to the foolish to be dead; and their passing away was thought and affliction and their going forth from us utter destruction. But they are in peace [Wisdom 3].”
When my Mother died in 1990, it was faith that saved me. What Jesus said from the cross to the Good Thief kept me from despair. “This day you will be with me in Paradise [Luke 24].” “This day,” Jesus said - not tomorrow or next week or fifty years from now. When I pray for my Mother and all my beloved dead, I pray as if they are in the fullness of God’s embrace. It feels right. It feels true. They are at peace.
Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki