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To Be All Saints Day – Weekly Message for November 3, 2015
Dear Friends in Christ,
All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day comprise an unusual back-to-back combination of observances on the liturgical calendar. One day is uplifting, the other sobering.
One day holds up ideals for us to follow. The next day gives us special cause to pray for those who fell short of those ideals.
This coming All Souls’ Day is a fitting preparation for the approach of the start of the Year of Mercy. All Souls’ Day prompts many Catholics to visit the burial grounds of loved ones, to pray for their eternal rest.
My own All Souls’ visits to cemeteries have often turned into occasions for very fruitful meditations. To read the dates and names and inscriptions on tombs can open up vistas into the hopes as well as the sufferings of countless families.
At the very least, being in a cemetery reminds us of that inescapable fact (in case anyone has forgotten) that the span of our lives in this world is limited.
That reminder is helpful, indeed, it is a grace of God. It puts life in perspective. It forces us to confront the deepest questions about the purpose of our existence. It demands of us a response.
That we give the right response is part of the goal of RC Spirituality. Our Retreat Guides, Study Circle Guides, and Ask a Priest Q&A’s are all geared to helping souls make the most of the time God gives them on this earth.
So if you know someone who needs help in his or her spiritual life, think about introducing them to the RC Spirituality site. Think of it as an early Christmas gift. And as a way to help a soul become a saint.
Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor