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Sunday, November 2, 1997

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All Souls

2 Maccabees 12:43-46
Psalm 23
Romans 5:5-11
John 11:32-45

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a learning experience

"Did I not assure you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" —John 11:40

It is "a holy and pious thought" to pray for the dead (2 Mc 12:45). It is a good thing to do, but how good? Should praying for the dead be a footnote in our Christian life, or should it be a high priority? Those who move from purgatory to heaven due to our prayers obviously think it a high priority. Furthermore, our prayers for those in purgatory not only help them but, according to the Catechism, help us to more greatly benefit from the prayers of the poor souls for us (958). This is all the more reason to make praying for the dead a priority. Moreover, in the eucharistic prayers, the Lord calls us through His Church to pray for the dead. Even the controversy from the Protestant Reformation over matters related to praying for the dead may be a sign of the importance of this practice. Satan often spotlights abuses in important issues to tempt us to dismiss the "something important" rather than correct the abuses.

Are you praying for the dead as zealously as you should? Is this as much a priority for you as it is for God? Ask the Lord to teach you about this for the rest of the Church's year, that is, in the month of November. Set aside a time each day this month to pray for the dead. Let the Holy Spirit teach you (Jn 14:26) about the importance of praying for those in purgatory.

Prayer:  "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through Your mercy rest in peace. Amen."

Promise:  "Hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us." —Rm 5:5

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "the Shepherd, the Guardian" of our souls! (1 Pt 2:25) Praise Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life! (Jn 11:25)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997