Scriptural images portray eternal life as light and peace and St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians tells us of: "the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him" (1: Cor 9).
Hell on the other hand is the state of eternal separation from God. Jesus warns us in the Gospel that those who shall be separated from Him are those who were without love and compassion on earth. That is those who chose to ignore the plight of the needy, the poor, the hungry, the orphans, the sick who could not care for themselves, but instead indulged themselves when they might have helped a starving child (Mt. 29:31-46).
By praying for the souls in purgatory we come to encounter the living Christ.
All our recent Popes remind us of the importance of prayers for the dead, especially the offering of Mass for them, so that once purified, they can come to the beatific vision of God. In helping those who have gone before us to be saved, we will have done the utmost for our own personal salvation as well.
Jesus came to earth as a human being to identify with our suffering, through is passion and death on the Cross. This was to show us that like Him, we will rise again from suffering and death in this life into one without either, if we live as He lived; with love and compassion for all we meet on the journey.
Holy Mother Church loves the dead. It calls out their names in Holy Mass, at Funerals, at Memorial Masses, at the Graveside. Offering prayers for them, for the Holy Souls, is one of the most important Christian commitments in our life. Every Mass, in every language commends the holy souls to God’s love and mercy.
Thank you for continuing to pray for those who have been called from life on earth. They, leave behind family, friends and memories for us all to cherish. Your love and prayers, Masses are offered, Rosaries prayed; bless their souls in the sight of God.
Our month of the Holy Souls this year has seen us praying for many who were with us last year, last Christmas. Our November Deceased List gets longer every year. Those who have left us for their meeting with Almighty God are on that very specific list.
May their Names be Written in the Book of Eternal Life.
May they all Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!