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.)