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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

All Soul's Day


This is a very big day for all of us. As important as All Saints Day is, we have quite a mission today, All Souls Day.

Today we pray for all the souls of the dearly departed, even if they didn't depart so dearly, or weren't very dear leading up to their departure.

Here's the 911 on the whole shebang. We here living on earth are called the Church Militant. If that doesn't make you snap to attention, I don't know what will. The people who died and went to heaven are called the Church Triumphant. Hooray for them.

We don't know who got in and who didn't, and we don't make assumptions about anybody except when we canonize someone as a saint. Everyone who is in heaven is a saint. But we only have proof by way of miracles about some people who we officially deem are in heaven.

That's why we never ask our dead Aunt Julia to pray for us from heaven, because we don't know whether she made it or not. We hope she did, but we can not assume she did. Not at all if you knew our Aunt Julia, but that's beside the point.

Everyone who isn't dead and in heaven or alive here on earth are called The Church Suffering. Boy, are they ever suffering. They are in Purgatory where an hour is like sixty years and they're always on fire. Mary and the angels come and bring them water to freshen up with. St. Patrick swings by on Saturdays to lead some souls out.

Today is dedicated to praying for the Church Suffering in the hope that some of them get paroled. We offer our own sufferings and annoyances and our prayers, rosaries, masses....Sister St. Aloysius is making brownies.

I'm not sure what her reasoning is there. She explained it to me but it gave me a theological haircut. Whizzed low over my head. I think she loves brownies and plans to give them all away. I know I must have missed something. Her explanation took an entire half an hour, which for me was an opportunity to suffer thirty years worth in Purgatory time for a soul TBA.

Anyhow, you can pray for everybody there in the Church Suffering, or you can pray for your dead Aunt Julie, or anyone else you think may be suffering.

Dont' worry about being judgemental. Chances are the person or persons you have in mind did indeed make a stop in Purgatory. Take a gander at any booklet put out by the church to help you examine your conscience before confession and you'll find out you probably can't get through a day without sin. You probably sin every hour on the hour. For men, one minute out of every five, according to the American Psychiatric Association. So you're not being judgemental, you're being practical.

And don't worry that you might pray for someone who got out of Purgatory and that you've wasted a whole day trying to pray Uncle Al into heaven and he's been there for the last three months already. You're prayers will go up to heaven and bounce back out again. They'll be deflected to a needy soul just like a no look pass from Steve Nash to Amare Stoudemire. The souls in Purgatory are always yelling, "Over here! I'm open!"

(We like basketball around here and are very excited the season has begun. We'll offer up missing the opening games because we have important work to do. But we'll be parked in front of Charles Barkley on Thursday, yes we will. Sister Mary Fiacre likes things that move fast. I hope she doesn't get stuck in Purgatory too long because it's way too slow moving for her. She'll really suffer.)

15 comments:

4andcounting said...

Let's hope those responsible for receiving the no-look prayer bounces are on the court more often than Stoudemire. I'm really enjoying your blog, too funny with theology mixed in. Thanks for sharing your wit with the masses.

CMinor said...

just like a no look pass from Steve Nash to Amare Stoudemire.

Mebbe I should revise my previous remarks on why I think you are female, Sister. Or mebbe I should just watch more televised sports. Now we all know what you do during your off time, anyway!

PaulaB52 said...

How, exactly do you "offer up" sufferings here on Earth for those in Puragatory? Do you just say "Heavenly Father, take my sufferings as I wait in line at Walmart and applied it as a prayer for the souls in Puragatory"?

Sister Mary Martha said...

Yes, Paula, that's exactly what you do. If you really want to add some kick, stand in line with a smile and relish the opportunity to make your suffering longer when someone has to run away from the register for twenty minutes for a price check.

Sister Mary Martha said...

4andcounting, it looks like Stoudemire might have a good season even though he faded in the second half (I peaked, I'm a Clippers fan). We're so relieved that Stever Nash got a haircut.

Sister Mary Martha said...

cminor, I was a tad concerned that making any remark about my secret passion for basketball might fuel the 'guy in a t-shirt' nonsense. What can I say? I was teaching high school in Chicago during the Bulls heyday. Glad to see the Bulls finally back on track! Although I think we have another candidate for a nice haircut in Ben Wallace.

Kasia said...

That's right - Chicago now has Ben Wallace. Enjoy the hair, Sister - it was very popular here in Detroit! Do you get to offer up your frustration in looking at his hair, or just pray for a haircut?

Sister Mary Martha said...

I was a big Pistons fan and was amazed how badly they blew it! I don't pray about anyone's hair. Watching CNN keeps us busy enough with our prayers.

I'm wondering if Chicago fans will don Ben Wallace wigs like Detroit fans did. Perhaps not if he keeps in braided.

I hear, by the way, that Rasheed was already tossed out of a game. For shame.

Oh dear. I have souls to pray for. Now I'll be doing more Purgatory time myself!

Christopher said...

I was at the dolar store today and the woman in front of me spent over $150. It didn't bother me to wait a few minutes. Scanning 150 items really doesn't take that long, certainly less than ten minutes. The woman behind me kept huffing and sighing and complaining to the woman behind her. "They should have an express lane!" Really? An express lane? They only have one cash register.
After about 2 minutes of whining, she set her item down and stormed out of the store. A second later, the second lady went up to the register and slammed down a dollar bill and a dime. "Keep the change. I can't wait here all day." Then she stormed out as well. The first lady that left came back in and got in line behind me again. The woman in front of me finally cashed out. I paid for my 3 items. As I was walking out the door I heard the woman behind me relating her express lane suggestion to the cashier. Really?

I also wanted to say that you meant 411 when you said 911 in the first paragraph of today's post.

Milehimama said...

In my case, making something homemade and chocolate, and not eating it or even licking the spoon... that's harder than waiting in line at WalMart!
Although I have heard of a special kind of brownies sold at Grateful Dead concerts, etc., which cause some sort of spirtiual experience...:)

Monica said...

I like the artwork you've been putting up lately. Are you related to Sr. Wendy? ;)

Kasia said...

Yes, I heard on the radio this morning that Rasheed was thrown out. Tsk, tsk...

What really surprised me was what he said to the interviewer. Apparently the NBA is trying to really crack down on - well, he said players complaining, and to be charitable I'll leave that description as-is... Anyway, he said something about "They may say you can't make a certain gesture, in the heat of the moment, and then you make it and you get tossed out...They need to clarify..."

Did he make the gesture I automatically thought of when he said "a certain gesture"? If so, I can't say I have much sympathy for his not having known before "the heat of the moment" that it wasn't an acceptable gesture to make...

Sister Mary Martha said...

Christopher, perhaps I really did mean to say "911" since the Poor Souls in Purgatory need immediate help.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Kasia, if a player gets two technical fouls he's ejected. They changed the rules so that it's any gesture of anger directed at the refs. Carmello Anthony was ejected because he expressed frustration at the refs and then a few plays later threw his head band to the floor. Out he went. His team lost by one point. I don't think they would have lost with him in the game.

I saw two other players get "T's" because they threw there hands in the air in surprise at a call. As in "What!?????"

Even this old nun thinks it's a bit harsh. On the other hand....I've always laughed when they clothesline someone and then stand there like 3rd graders when they get called for the foul. "Me!???"

Poor Mr. Wallace. He'll be thrown out of every game.

Potamiaena said...

SSSSNNoore, snore, snore, snore.
oops, excuse me, I fell asleep during all the basketball comments. All Soul's Day = Pro Basketball????
Sister, what would Mother Superior say?