Purgatory, the Church Suffering and the Church Militant. Why should we pray for the souls of those who have gone before us?
By Suellen Dusek
5:30 AM Thursday, November 8, 2018
This morning the dome of heaven is swaddled in heavy, gray clouds, but the air is light and crisp and paper-thin, like the translucent veil which divides the Church Militant from the Church Suffering. During November—the Month of the Holy Souls—one can almost sense our loved ones’ presence and pleas for prayer. Perhaps we will join them sooner than later. Let us pray. No, really, LET US PRAY!
Why should we pray for those who have gone before us? Quite simply, the Poor Souls cannot pray for themselves. Therein lies the depth of their poverty. Because they no longer have bodies, neither can they enjoy the benefits and graces that flow from the reception of the sacraments, unless we offer those graces up on their behalf. However, they can and do pray for us. We pray for them and they pray for us. See how that works? It’s a sort of trickle-down economics of grace. Grace, however, is not subject to gravity. It flows where it will in every direction. And grace is not subject to greed, as is money, so that one can hoard it and lock it away for one’s own pleasure. It is abundant and readily available to all.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)
Unlike our worldly economic system which is based on the belief that resources are finite and that there’s fierce competition for scarce resources, grace is both abundant and renewable. There is a never-ending pipeline of grace available to us flowing from the Cross of Christ. So, let us seek God’s grace through prayer, adoration and worthy reception of the sacraments, both for ourselves and for our dear departed loved ones. Remember, praying for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Hi, my name is Sue. I grew up in the Midwest where the land is stable and doesn’t shift under our feet. No earthquakes here, but we do have an occasional tornado or blizzard. This place shaped me into what I am: a practical, down to earth, family-loving, sensible, occasionally comedic, cradle Catholic who has struggled with my faith and remaining in relationship with God and others all my life. I make progress in baby steps, not miles. I hope to offer something that is spiritually edifying to others on this earthly journey. Keep me in your prayers, please. God’s blessings to you all!