Pope Francis has repeated again and again that the love of money is the definitive, destructive faith of our time. It wrecks communities in this life—and could lead to even worse in the next life by rejecting God's love.
† "Persevere in labors that lead to salvation. Always be busy in spiritual actions. In this way, no matter how often the enemy of our souls approaches, no matter how many times he may try to come near us, he'll find our hearts closed and armed against him." — St. Cyprian of Carthage
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Many are heading straight on for purgatory. They live until their last hour, even though they are seriously ill, even on their deathbed, as if everything is all right. Exclusively directed to the earthly, they don't think at all about calling upon the mercy of God. Although by doing so they would be spared at least a severe purgatory. For God is infinitely merciful for all who call upon Him and trust Him." AN EXCERPT FROM Hungry Souls
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Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Saint of the Day for November 2
The Story of the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
The Church has encouraged prayer for the dead from the earliest times as an act of Christian charity. "If we had no care for the dead," Augustine noted, "we would not be in the habit of praying for them." Yet pre-Christian rites for the deceased retained such a strong hold on the superstitious imagination that a liturgical commemoration was not observed until the early Middle Ages, when monastic communities began to mark an annual day of prayer for the departed members.
In the middle of the 11th century, Saint Odilo, abbot of Cluny, France, decreed that all Cluniac monasteries offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was finally adopted throughout the Roman Church.
The theological underpinning of the feast is the acknowledgment of human frailty. Since few people achieve perfection in this life but, rather, go to the grave still scarred with traces of sinfulness, some period of purification seems necessary before a soul comes face-to-face with God. The Council of Trent affirmed this purgatory state and insisted that the prayers of the living can speed the process of purification.
Superstition easily clung to the observance. Medieval popular belief held that the souls in purgatory could appear on this day in the form of witches, toads or will-o'-the-wisps. Graveside food offerings supposedly eased the rest of the dead.
Observances of a more religious nature have survived. These include public processions or private visits to cemeteries and decorating graves with flowers and lights. This feast is observed with great fervor in Mexico.
Whether or not one should pray for the dead is one of the great arguments which divide Christians. Appalled by the abuse of indulgences in the Church of his day, Martin Luther rejected the concept of purgatory. Yet prayer for a loved one is, for the believer, a way of erasing any distance, even death. In prayer we stand in God's presence in the company of someone we love, even if that person has gone before us into death.
"Be still and know that I am God". Lord, may your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world.
Lord grant me the grace to have freedom of the spirit. Cleanse my heart and soul so I may live joyously in Your love.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
The Word of God
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls) Readings Audio
Reading 1 Wis 3:1-9
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. or: R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. or: R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me. He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. or: R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. or: R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me. Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. or: R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
Reading 2 Rom 5:5-11
Brothers and sisters: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Or Rom 6:3-9
Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.
For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with him, so that our sinful body might be done away with, that we might no longer be in slavery to sin. For a dead person has been absolved from sin. If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.
Alleluia Mt 25:34 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 6:37-40
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, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ Our reading today celebrates that extraordinary power and compassion on the part of Jesus in giving life back to the young man and uplifting the heart of his mother.
▪ Today we celebrate the remembrance of all the faithful departed and in so doing we share, through the gift of our memory and the power of our prayers, this compassion of Jesus.
▪ In remembering the dead, we are also reminded that our time of passing too will come.
Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words. You can see into my heart. You know my desires and you know my needs. I place myself into your hands.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)
God proves his love for us. (Romans 5:8)
Numerous studies have shown that babies raised in environments like crowded orphanages, where there is very little affirmation or human interaction, can suffer lasting emotional and psychological damage. These studies prove a basic truth of our faith: we are made for love. When we know we are loved, we are more peaceful and confident. We feel valued and begin to understand our worth.
This is why knowing and receiving God's love are fundamental. They help us see how precious and valuable we are to him. They give us the confidence we need to live in this world.
How can we see God's love for us? Here are a few ways:
• Listen to the Scriptures. In today's second reading, St. Paul makes it clear: he does not want anyone to doubt that God's whole desire is for us to be with him, now and for eternity. Why else would he send his Son to die for our sins? Why else would he pour his Holy Spirit into our hearts?
• Prayerfully receive the Eucharist. Each time we receive Communion, we receive God's love. Each time we hear "the Body of Christ" and say "Amen," we are agreeing: God is still laying down his life for us out of love.
• Sharpen your eyes of faith. As you start paying attention, you'll begin to see more evidence of God's love in your everyday life. You might recognize how he guided you through a complicated decision. You might see that he helped you arrive somewhere at just the right time. He is intimately involved in the details of your life because he loves you.
You are loved by God—never forget that! So practice cultivating your spiritual perception. Every day, ask for another glimpse of his love. Let it give you the confidence and peace of a treasured child, a beloved friend.
The more convinced you are of God's love, the more confidence you can have for your loved ones who have gone before you. On this All Souls Day, let's ask the Lord to bless all of them. Let's ask him to continue to purify them and bring them fully into his presence.
"Lord, show me your love. You are the reason for my hope!"
We read today "But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." You know, honestly, to many, and even myself, I have to honestly ask myself if I really care what Christ did for me, or for us, on that cross. It's like, it sounds nice, someone did something nice for me, or for us, a long LONG time ago. But I didn't know Him, I really haven't had a relationship with Him. It's like, me, telling my little boy, "hey, my grandpa risked his life, gave his life in the dark nights through dark mountains, crossed the Rio Grande and because of what he did, we are here, able to live a better life." Well, my son would be like me, "that's nice". But he didn't know my grandpa. So it wouldn't mean too much. But if one knows them, like I knew my grandpa personally, it means so much more. And so, the only way you will care more is if you get to know Him better. Because, grandpa passed away, but Jesus is more alive than ever, and it is Jesus that controls life giving love...mercy, a compassionate love that knows no boundaries.
We prayed today "...Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side" and "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want." I want you to learn this next time you are afraid, learn this verse, grab a hold of His hand by repeating these verses. "You are at my side". This goes well with our cursillo motto "Christ and I are an overwhelming majority". If Christ is with us, then who can be against us? This means God's love does not fail, and it does not end!
In comes the Lord of our lives today " this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day." I read various reflections before writing to you. One said that many suffer supposing they are ok with the Lord, and die not having pleaded for mercy. We should never believe we are "Ok". This is to be complacent in your faith, lazy in a way, as if to celebrate victory without crossing the finish line. And this is the problem we face in our generation; complacency mixed with moral relativism. You make up a god in your opinions and thoughts, and then you live satisfied with that god you have made up, never seeking the full truth, never wanting more. I say this because, the Eucharist should lead us to hunger for more of Him. I say this because confession should lead to look for the next confession, a hunger. I read a book they gave us at the men's conference, and it was about battling pornography. It is there I learned some important things. But if I would've said "nah, I'm ok, I don't need that book", it would be the same as those who don't need the bible or the Mass, or the Holy Sacraments. It is available to illuminate your life, put light into darkness, and we should hunger for more and more light. One thing the book said was that we should learn to break from sin (addictions) by making the time between the sin and confession shorter. Of course we say sorry to God personally kneeling before our bed, but to be absolved in the Holy Sacrament is a whole other story, to be unified in Communion with the Holy Church. It is a swearing, like getting married, renewing your vows with the Lord and His Holy People. And this love of His people is quite something. To see people remembering "the dead" today. In Mexico they go all out on celebrations, here...not so much. Like on the day of Saint John the Baptist, they go around celebrating and splashing each other with water...and here? Just a slight mentioning. On this day, crowds go to cemeteries, they visit tombs, they pray, some take food as if the dead would take it, but it is a sharing of their lives, because the dead...well, they ain't dead! We step into a whole other world when we die.
We used to have this older white man working here as an electrician and handy man. He just needed a few bucks because he could hardly get around. Ronny was his name. He wasn't much of a church goer, his long white hair and pony tail and beard and balding scalp made for a face you can't forget, especially his blue eyes. He hobbled because of his crippling bones. He loved my kids, gave them gifts, he didn't have kids of his own, just a step son. He felt good working with us, but I think because he knew we spoke to him about God and faith. He gave me crosses and would show me a medal he found and carried. Now that he passed away, who will remember him? Not very many were related to him. I remember him often, when I pray at Mass. I pray for Ronny. I pray for the dead. This year I've lost my grandma, my cousin, an uncle, and last week we laid to rest another cousin. But they have tons of faithful family to remember and pray for them. When we die, who will pray for us? I love the Holy Catholic Church because they remember the dead in a special way...we are united to them through JESUS. We can pray for their souls if they ain't made it to Heaven. I LOVE that. I hope people pray for me, and I hope I pray more. Because our prayers on earth are powerful. One more story, I know it's long now, but my mom lost her dad when she was 11 years old. Her mother was faithful, her dad was not. She prayed unceasingly for him for about 30 years, and one day as she was going to receive the Holy Eucharist in Holy Mass, as she approached the altar she saw her dad coming to her saying "thank you for your prayers!". She was amazed. Suddenly, the Holy Communion with saints and those departed is taking on a whole new meaning and world... I BELIEVE!!