Thursday, November 02, 2006

Feast of All Saints, Feast of All Souls

These two great feast days have grown to be immensely important to my general spiritual life. Ever since becoming a Catholic in 1997, my appreciation and understanding concerning the mystical reality of the Communion of Saints and, indeed, the communion of all the baptized in the grace of Christ has grown in leaps and bounds. The realization that has most fostered my devotion to the holy souls in Purgatory is the realization that the connection we share with them and with the saints in heaven is not unlike that connection that all the baptized share, particularly those of us living here on the earth. We are all baptized into the same Christ, into His death and resurrection.

Sometimes it's easy to take our connection with the saints for granted. Our divine patrons and protectors, unceasingly offering prayer for us before God's throne. They behold the beatific vision, truly. And also those at God's doorstep, being purged of whatever remains of their sinful, selfish, and earthly inclinations after death before being able to completely behold the fullness of God's beauty and embrace. We have a connection with these souls that transcends the flesh. And our connection with each other really is no different. Yes, we interact with each other in the flesh, and though we do not yet behold the beatific vision, we should live with an appreciation of the profound spiritual unity we share in Christ. And so, knowing this connection, what is there to fear when one of us dies in God's grace? Yes, we can no longer behold one another in the flesh, but the spiritual reality is not destroyed since we know and believe that Christ conquered death.

So let us always and unceasingly offer prayer for both the living and the dead... and let us ask the dead, those who have new life in Christ, to offer prayer for us.

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