From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For November 18, 2018

Switching gears a little bit, during this month of November we remember in a special way those who have died. We all have family members and friends who have left this life, and they are in need of our prayers. Only the holy enter heaven, and we know how few of us are truly holy in this life, which means the Lord needs to finish His work in the next. Thus Purgatory.

We have a part to play in this great work of God on behalf of our family and friends, as well as all those whom we will never know in this life. As much as we can pray and sacrifice for the well being of those alive with us today, we can do the same for those who have died and are being purified. God’s grace, through the intercession of our prayers, merited through our sacrifices that are joined to Christ’s, has a powerful effect for the transformation and healing of the dead.

Praying for them, we are also reminded of our own approaching death. Because of illness or the burden of years death may already be more on your mind, but all of us, whether we like to think about it or not, will someday die. Neither Jesus nor His Mother were exempted from that.

As we pray and offer sacrifices for the souls in Purgatory, we are given a chance to reflect on our own lives in view of our impending demise. How do we want to meet death? What do we want to be remembered for once we are gone? When the entirety of our lives is laid out before us after death, what do we want to see?

These are some worthwhile considerations when consider that for most people the only thing that will be remembered of them in a few decades (40 or 50 years) after their death is that they were someone’s ancestors. I never knew my great-grandparents. Some of my older cousins remember a little bit, but even those few memories have somewhat faded and, when they die, will be lost. My great-grandparents will effectively be forgotten, lost to history, except for some information on a genealogy table. Who will remember to pray for them, and you when you have been gone as long?

It is a sobering thought, and one we should be attentive to. Are we ready to meet our maker, to give an account of our lives? If we fall short, if we need the mercy of God in Purgatory, who will be there to pray for us, to offer sacrifice on our behalf, so that we might attain the vision of God for all eternity?

St. Anthony
Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church strives to be “A Parish with a Heart.” Using our time, talents and treasures, our parish family is dedicated to the faith formation of our youth and living the gospel in our community.
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