All Souls Day
On All Souls Day, from today’s Mass readings, we read this verse:
But 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. -Wisdom 3:1-6, NAB
Halloween gets most of the attention from mainstream society, and many Catholics recognize All Saints Day. But today, All Souls Day, is an important day, as well. May we take time today to remeber those souls still in Purgatory.
Purgatory exists. I won’t go into the theology of it all, but as Catholics, it is something that we believe. We acknowledge its existence, but how often do we remember the souls there? How regularly do we pray for them? If you were in Purgatory, wouldn’t you hope someone was praying for you?
The concept of Purgatory seems to be one that we only think about when we lose someone close to us, which is why today is a great day to remind us of them. Whether we know someone who recently passed or not, these souls could use our prayers.
Today’s verse should give us hope – hope for our loved ones, fellow Catholics and Christians, mankind in general, and even ourselves. This passage from Wisdom assures us that there is something beyond this life.
None of us know how God will judge us. Some may go directly to Heaven, some to Purgatory, and some to another place entirely. Whatever our fate may be, we have reason not to give up. We have a reason to believe.
All Souls Day is a special time when we take a moment to say a prayer for the souls in Purgatory. May God accept them into His arms and give them the eternal peace we all hope and strive for.