This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Friday, November 2, 2018
ALL SOULS DAY
Acts, Chapter 13,
7 He was with the proconsul Sergius
Paulus, a man of intelligence, who had summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to
hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that
is what his name means) opposed them in an attempt to turn the proconsul away
from the faith.
We still have many magicians today that attempt to
distort the faith expressed by the apostles in their creed and illustrated in
the preamble of the constitution of the United States that Life must be
protected; it is number 1. That liberty must be protected but; it is number 2. And
those individual pursuits of happiness (wealth) are protected; but it is number
3. It can be in no other order! Those that try and change the order as God
ordained are deluded and are the conjurers of our time.
Tonight, you may want
to pray for our nation and go to bed a little earlier.
consecutive Fridays in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Our Lord appeared to St.
Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the
Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most
Sacred Heart at a time when religion was growing cold in the hearts of mankind.
He said to her:
“Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning
love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other
return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and
ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces
my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons
especially consecrated to my service.” Jesus asked for special prayers and practices
to make amends (reparation) for this great neglect to the proper reverence
owed to God. For those who did this faithfully, he made what St. Margaret Mary
referred to as the “Great Promise” which was the last and greatest of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart
that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those
who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will
not die in my disfavor [the grace of final repentance], or without having
received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the
last moments of their life.”
to Fulfill the First Friday Devotion
The specific conditions to receive the Great Promise
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are:
1. Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first
Fridays of the month (this assumes that the person is in a state of grace,
having made a sacramental confession for any mortal sins prior to receiving
2. Having the intention, at least implicitly, of
making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and
ingratitude of men.
Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear
no evil, for you are with me.
ALL SOULS DAY is the annual commemoration of all
those souls who departed this life in the grace and favor of God but who are
still detained in purgatory. Purgatory is that third place in the other world
in which the souls of the departed suffer the temporal punishment of those sins
for which in life they have not sufficiently atoned, and in which they are
purified until they are worthy to appear in the presence of God.
How can we assist the souls
suffering in purgatory?
By our prayers. The Holy Scripture says; It is a holy and a wholesome thought
to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. The Catholic Church
has therefore always taught that the prayer of the faithful for the departed is
holy and wholesome.
By the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the fruits of which are most beneficial to
the souls in purgatory. For this reason, holy Church has always, from the time
of the apostles, remembered the dead in the holy Mass.
By gaining indulgences, and other good works, by which we supplicate God to
show mercy to the souls of the suffering, to accept what is performed by us in
satisfaction for the punishment to be endured by them, and to bring them into
the kingdom of everlasting peace and light. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions,
An excellent book on purgatory, by Rev. F.X. Schouppe,
S.J., entitled, Purgatory is worth
checking out; after the death of my own father reading it brought me much
Families travel, often at great distance and in their
best apparel, to visit the graves of friends and relatives, lighting candles,
bringing flowers, and kneeling there in prayer. Processions can be conducted
where the priest leads the congregation in litanies for the dead and blesses
the graves with holy water. Often times these graves are decorated and groomed
the week before, so that when the day of commemoration comes, everything is
"Octave" of the Dead
The Church has never instituted an octave for All
Souls' Day (though prior to 1955 it had one for All Saints' Day). Nevertheless,
popular piety has extended all of the afore-mentioned customs over an eight-day
period. The Church has encouraged this in at least one way: it grants a plenary
indulgence, under the usual conditions, to anyone who visits cemeteries from
November 1 to 8.
The Day of the Dead is also a traditional time for
penance and charity. Giving food to the poor, for
example, is a popular corporal work of mercy on All Souls' Day.
pious practices to help the Poor Souls: attend three Masses for the Poor Souls
on this day; remember your family and friends who are deceased and make an
extra sacrifice for them; pray the rosary for the most forgotten soul in
faithful who visit a cemetery to pray for the faithful departed, saying the
Lord's Prayer and the Creed (even if only mentally), may gain a plenary
indulgence once only under the usual conditions: sacramental confession (eight
days before or after the act), Eucharistic Communion on that day, and prayer
for the Pope's intentions (usually one Our Father and Hail Mary as minimum).
Each day between November 1 and November 8, this gains a plenary indulgence
that can only be applied to the poor souls in purgatory. Any other time of year
this gains a partial indulgence. See Praying
for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November for more
information about indulgences for the Poor Souls.
a nice poster listing all the family and friends departed. Put this on display
where the members of the family can be reminded to pray for the loved ones
throughout November. Remind family members to offer extra prayers and
sacrifices for the poor souls in purgatory. Of course, this shouldn't be the
only motivation, but do include the fact that after these souls reach heaven,
they will intercede on your behalf.
The Christian, who must be conscious of
and familiar with the idea of death, cannot interiorly accept the phenomenon of
the "intolerance of the dead," which deprives the dead of all
acceptance in the city of the living. Neither can he refuse to acknowledge the
signs of death, especially when intolerance and rejection encourage a flight
from reality, or a materialist cosmology, devoid of hope and alien to belief in
the death and resurrection of Christ.
suggested devotions from the Directory (in accordance with time, place
and tradition, popular devotions to the dead take on a multitude of forms):
novena for the dead in preparation for 2 November, and the octave prolonging
it, should be celebrated in accordance with liturgical norms;
to the cemetery; in some places this is done in a community manner on 2
November, at the end of the parochial mission, when the parish priest takes
possession of the parish; visiting the cemetery can also be done privately,
when the faithful go to the graves of their own families to maintain them or
decorate them with flowers and lamps. Such visits should be seen as deriving
from the bonds existing between the living and the dead and not from any form
of obligation, non-fulfilment of which involves a superstitious fear;
in a confraternity or other pious association whose objects include
"burial of the dead" in the light of the Christian vision of death,
praying for the dead, and providing support for the relatives of the dead;
for the dead through alms deeds, works of mercy, fasting, applying indulgences,
and especially prayers, such as the De profundis, and the formula Requiem
aeternam [Eternal Rest], which often accompanies the recitation of the
Angelus, the rosary, and at prayers before and after meals.
family discussions about death, preparing for death, funerals, and the
Sacrament of the Sick. Visit the cemetery with children. Visits to the cemetery
should be uplifting, calm and peaceful, not a scary event.
many more documents search the library for "purgatory."
many places this day centers around the family departed and the cemetery.
Families go to gravesites, clean them, decorate them, add candles. This can be
an all-day affair, with picnics and celebration. Of particular note is the Dia
de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead, celebration in Mexico on November 2.
One could say this is the "Mexican Halloween." For more information
on this Catholic holiday, see Mexico Connect
for a variety of links for information. Please note that as with many holidays,
there is much commercialism and secularism.
rooted cultural elements connoting particular anthropological concepts are to
be found among the customs and usages connected with the "cult of the
dead" among some peoples. These often spring from a desire to prolong
family and social links with the departed. Great caution must be used in
examining and evaluating these customs. Care should be taken to ensure that
they are not contrary to the Gospel. Likewise, care should be taken to ensure
that they cannot be interpreted as pagan residues.
More All Souls’
Day Top Events and Things to Do
the cemetery where your loved ones are buried and light a candle. This is
exactly what the holiday is meant to celebrate, and it is also very common for
people to do on All Souls’ Day.
a movie about All Souls’ Day or Christianity. Some of our favourites are: All
Soul’s Day (2005), Passion of the Christ (2004), and Raising
the Undead (2006).
awareness on social media by using the hashtag #AllSoulsDay, #HonourTheDead
an alter in memory of a loved one. This can be done within your home and
typically uses pictures of the person, candles, flowers and any other
a meal in memory of a deceased family member. In many countries, it is
customary to prepare this meal and it is believed that the dead return to
consume the food.
these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things
that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a
father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will
only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so
you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in
the end you will be a more worthy soul."
111.Don't try to reason with concupiscence: scorn it.