Friday, October 29, 2010

The Souls of the Faithful Departed

From 1999 to 2001 I was the Director of Religious Education at the Spiritus Sanctus Academies in Ann Arbor Michigan. At that time the schools had a weekly letter called the Monday Mailer that went home to each family. I wrote a short essay/article each week for that letter. Here is an excerpt of one of those articles.
(note: this was originally published on October 18)

The Souls of the Faithful Departed

As we approach the Feast of All Saints (November 1) we need to remind ourselves of the ways in which God’s Family works. All members of God’s Family, on earth, in heaven’s doorway (purgatory), and in heaven itself, relate to each other in very real ways. Our older brother’s and sisters who have died in God’s friendship, and been purified, rest at the feet of our Savior in constant worship. But their worship does not distract them from caring for their younger siblings. Being perfectly united to Our Savior they can’t help but care for us. Just as any good sibling, they constantly intercede on our behalf.

And we, in our turn, look to them for help, guidance, example, and prayers. We honor them for the virtues they possessed on earth and the way in which they have shown us the path to God. This honor cannot take anything away from Our Savior since He is also Our Creator. When we honor the sanctified of His Family, we honor Him. Today we honor our brother St. Luke: the evangelist, the physician, the friend and companion of St. Paul. We ask him to pray that we speak of Jesus with great courage and skill, as he did. We ask him to pray that we find Godly companions on our earthly journey, just as he had in St. Paul.

When family members pass through the doorway into the next life, they count on us for prayers as they undergo any remaining purification. In order to help us remember those siblings, Holy Mother Church has designated a day to pray for the family members who are suffering in purgatory. This day is called All Souls Day (November 2). But, just like any good mother, She doesn’t leave it at that. She asks us to add a simple prayer into our regular daily routine, perhaps at the end of a meal, or in addition to our grace before meals. No matter where we put the prayer, when we say it we are demonstrating our love for our siblings in Christ, just as any good family member does often.

May the divine assistance remain always with us and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


  1. Simply put! Love it! I just studied with Sally the veneration of they are God's we honor Him when we honor His friends. (Baltamore Cathechism - love that book!)

    Oh my goodness...the Giants are so good!!!

    Sally has wanted to stay up...I told her this weekend she can stay up and watch a whole game.

  2. The Giants! My goodness, that is weird how well they are doing. It is really unusual to have such high scores...freaky! But, now we have the really tough job of playing in Texas....that will be the true test.

    We will be watching with you and Sally this weekend!