>All Souls Day


Today is All Soul’s Day.

This is the day we remember the other souls who have gone before us.
Yesterday we remembered the saints, those who have lived lives of holiness (sanctus) and give us examples of the many ways to grow into the people, the saints, we are made to be.

Today we remember all those who have died and need our prayers. Yes, this is where the Catholic doctrine makes many nuts again, where the rubber meets the road. Yes, we are talking about purgatory. First let me say that there are many who explain this and speak about it so eloquently and clearly, like Deacon Greg. I am not one of those people, so please go read some of them for a clearer understanding. {Catholic Catechism: 1030-1032}

However, I find this idea of purgatory so comforting; not weird or wacky, but a great sensible, sigh of relief.

I think it might have been Rosalind Moss or Father Groeschel who put it best, in my mind. They likened purgatory to a foyer, or (as in my house) a mud room. You can’t enter heaven, the Beatific Vision, without being utterly pure and holy.

Only the pure can enter heaven. And at the moment of death, we leave this world, simply human, often unprepared. Being human, even those of us with the best of hearts and intentions are always prone to concupiscence. We are inclined toward sin, by our nature. So we might have a few unkind thoughts or actions or hurtful acts still marking us, so to speak. You simply can’t be in the presence of the utter holiness of God himself without being utterly pure, as He is.

Thus: purgatory. A sort of ‘mud room’ where those last bits can be purified in order to stand before God Himself and bask and praise in that Beatific Vision. There is talk of the suffering in purgatory. The pain is from this separation; from being admitted to heaven, the foyer, and knowing that Christ, God Himself, awaits with unspeakable love and joy unlike any of our ability to know or understand, here.

There are three states after death: heaven, purgatory, hell. Purgatory is not a “maybe” or “could go either way.” You’re in. You’re just taking off your muddy boots and straightening your tie, to look and be your best – the most YOU, that you have been made to be – in order to go and join the saints with Christ forever. To be in His Father’s house, for eternity.

So yeah, for me, I know I need a mudroom. I am so grateful for a mudroom! I am nowhere near pure or holy enough to be able to just go hang with God. Even Moses hid behind a bush, trembling in fear and awe at the visible glory of God. And I pray I can exchange my muddy boots there, and I will ask all I know to pray for me so I can do it quickly once I’ve passed from this earth.

And so, we pray for all the souls in the mudroom, in purgatory. They can’t pray for themselves, though they can pray for us too. And ever so, the system still works best when we watch out for each other.

So today, pray for your loved ones who’ve passed. Pray for those who have died who have no one to pray for them. All the souls in heaven, pray for us too. It’s a comfort we can give each other.

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

2 thoughts on “>All Souls Day

  1. >I loved this post. Purgatory as a mud room- I can get that. It makes simple sense to me. Have a wonderful week and I hope the paper process is moving at a healthy pace.


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