When he created us, God placed inside us the desire to know him and to be united to him. Just as we experience physical hunger pangs when we need to fuel our bodies, we experience spiritual hunger pangs—angst that nothing in this world can satisfy—when we need to fill our souls. —from the book Born to Soar: Unleashing God's Word in Your Life by Melissa Overmyer
✞ "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
¤ TODAY'S FEAST DAY ¤
⛪ ALL SOULS DAY November 2nd is All Souls Day, sometimes called the Day of the Dead. On this day, and during the month of November, the Church prays in a special way for the souls of the faithful departed, and individuals pray especially for those whom they have known and loved. The Holy Souls in purgatory died in the mercy of God, thus they are called "holy." However, because they still had attachment to sin at the time of their death, they must undergo the spiritual purification of their souls before they are able to fully love God with their whole heart, mind, and soul for all eternity. As they are nevertheless part of the communion of saints, they depend upon us to help ease their suffering and quickly advance them through their purification so that they can join the saints in heaven. Those in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, this is why they are also called "poor." They can no longer merit anything for themselves and rely entirely on living souls to pray and make sacrifices on their behalf.
☧ VERSE OF THE DAY "I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25
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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.
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed
Lectionary: 668 The following are a selection of the readings that may be chosen for this day.
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."
Meditation: John 6:37-40
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls' Day)
This is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life. (John 6:40)
What a hope-filled promise Jesus makes here! Everyone who lives and dies in Christ will be raised up on the last day. Because this promise is for everyone, it creates a special link between all of us who are baptized into Christ. It makes us all members of one family, binding us together in ways that go beyond simple church membership. In a sense, we all depend on one another because we are all members of the one body of Christ. And that means that our prayers for each other—the dead as well as the living—are more than good thoughts and wishful thinking. They have power because we are all united with each other.
Pope Francis speaks of feast days like All Saints and All Souls as "days of hope" and reminds us, "Hope is like leaven that expands our souls. There are difficult moments in life, but with hope the soul goes forward and looks ahead to what awaits us. . . . Our brothers and sisters are in the presence of God and we shall also be there . . . if we walk along the way of Jesus" (Homily, November 1, 2013).
Saints and sinners alike, we place our hope in the mercy of God—the God who gave his Son for our salvation. As St. Paul tells us, "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" (Romans 5:5).
The love of God is stronger than death. It reaches across time to bind us together. It bridges heaven and earth. It convinces us that nothing can separate us from our heavenly Father. So as we reflect today on everyone who has gone before us, let's remember that our prayers can benefit one another. Whether we are praying for someone we know here and now or someone who has already died, God hears us. Surely it pleases him to see his children caring for one another!
"Father, thank you for the people you have put in my life, especially those who now sleep in faith. Together we place our hope in your promise of resurrection."
Wisdom 3:1-9 Psalm 23:1-6 Romans 5:5-11
my2cents: "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". I read these words throughout the year because I help at so many funerals, doing vigils and rosaries and so forth. The day of the dead and faithfully departed for me, is a good day, and it always should be at the forefront of our minds and prayers, because we too are no different than all the others who have died, at least in this manner we are all the same...No one gets out of here alive, but the soul....that's what we are talking about. The faithfully departed souls, and our faithfulness is at hand.
We pray today "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me." One of the only ways I can connect with my father in law who I never met, is by remembering that I was told Psalm 23 was his favorite scripture, and many of these are of the Psalm. We then, are connected through scripture, where death has no hold. It is a passing, a thing, a thing of passing like labor.
"For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection."
Our Lord spoke ""Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me..." This is the truth, He also said "knock and it shall be opened". He's talking about the coming to Him. Knock on His door and it shall be opened. Sadly, it is knocked on very little, and if any, just to ask Him for things and then "see you later". There is no holiness in asking the Lord for something and being ungrateful. That there is the ungrateful dead. Instead, ask for mercy and let mercy thrive in your soul, where you are healed, where you share mercy. Where mercy does phenomenal things with the soul and even touches the body. There is then this argument about praying for the "dead". Well, that right there is a bad statement. They are not dead, not if God said. I will pray all my life for my loved ones departed. I know my mom did for her dad she lost decades ago. Fast forward a couple decades of nonstop prayer, she had this amazing experience when walking in line to receive the Eucharist in Holy Mass, she suddenly saw her dad with wide open arms saying "thank you for your prayers". Indeed, Mass is SUPER SPECIAL. It is the maximum amount of Heaven on Earth because this is where they meet, with angels and departed souls. Some weird phenomena happens with souls. My cousin died last year, Joe Jr., and in those few days between death and the funeral Mass, I heard of a couple of "sightings" where people swore they seen him. Both times they saw him on the same highway at different spots but he disappeared. After his funeral Mass....no more sightings. For as long as I live I will pray for souls....because "WHAT IF"? What if they DO need our prayers? Would you not care enough to be insured in this way? Help. Help each other to Heaven! That is our duty if we are a "little less than angels" as Scripture says.
Today, don't just "remember" by thinking of them, but REMEMBER by praying for them and being with them through prayer, through our Lord!
God is supremely Awesome, His thoughts are beyond ours, and we could never match one thought except this...common connector....LOVE and even that ....is GOD!