Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jn 6:37-40 All Souls Day

All Souls Day
(Click here for readings)

Jesus said to the crowds:  "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me..."

The Day of the Dead.  The Romans and the Greeks celebrated the Day of the Dead every year in February.  The timing could not have been better, for it was that time of year when leaves fell to the ground and life turned cold and gray. 

February became not only the month of the dead but also of burning:  collecting leaves and other dead things and burning them.  

February was the month to tidy things up.

Every soul a candle.  On this day, we, at All Saints Catholic Church, light a candle to remember those members of our community who have gone to their final resting place this year.  Each candle represents the life of one of our own parishioners.  I am proud to say I knew many of them.  It was not uncommon for me to see them every Sunday.  In fact, as I write this meditation, I am reminded of one individual who would struggle every day to take his seat.  His socks would be up to his knee caps and his wife (or daughter) would carry a pillow used to soften the hardness of our pews.  This man was a good man, a humble man, a man who, by the example of his perseverance and courage, inspired me to be more sacrificial.  A few days ago he passed away.

I announced our loss this morning at Mass.  Almost every parishioner at the 9:15 am Mass knew to whom I was referring to.  And so we prayed for him.

It was important we tidy things up.

Tidy things up.  What does it mean to tidy things up?  It means to put things in their right places. 

When someone dies, family or friends must close his eyes; cover his face; wash his body; dress him; carry him; and bury him.  Dead people need our help.  This is the way things are.  And don't believe it for a second that we do all these things because of germs.  No!  People were doing these things long before germs were ever discovered!

We do these things for the dead because they can't do it for themselves.  They need us. And we, the living, must do it for them. 

We have a tremendous responsibility towards our deceased brothers and sisters. 

In a way, it is up to us to tidy things up for them.

Isn't this what happened not too long ago in Pennsylvania? 

Seven weeks ago, Cpl Byron Dickson was shot dead by an assassin's bullet.  Dickson, 38, was married with two small kids.  He was a Marine veteran and had spent the last seven years as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.  His death was met with anger and sadness throughout the country.  After seven long weeks, his assassin, Eric Fein, was captured and brought to face justice.  He was cuffed with Dickson's cuffs and placed in Dickson's squad car.  Why?  Because it was left up to us to tidy things up for the fallen hero - to bring justice where an injustice took place.

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."

Now you are fully aware of how our world is full of inequalities, of unfinished business and justice; and how we rely on one another for help, especially during our struggles and in our death.  Let's be honest:  we know the injustice we have lived, of how little we have suffered and how much we have sinned!  We know!!  You know!!  God help us!  Therefore, it is important we take our Christian duty seriously and tidy things up for those who have gone before us.  It's important we pray for the souls in Purgatory. 

Purgatory.  Just as we help the dead make it to their final resting place, we must pray to help them get to their true and final resting place:  Heaven.

Prayers remove stains, and purgatory is the place where the tough and final stains are removed.  It's no different from what we are constantly attempting to do on earth. 

Are you not constantly purging yourself from sins and filth? Are you not washing your souls like clothes, over and over again?  Are you not constantly trying to get tough stains removed? 

Purgatory is last cycle in the washing process, and it is our grave responsibility to pray for those who cannot pray for themselves.

Prayers for the deceased show love, and we know that love conquers all things.  And though death may physically separate us, love will keep us together forever (cf. Rm 8:38).

This week, please pray for the souls in purgatory.  We are their friends who help tie lose ends and tidy things up for them.

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