Praise, Purify, Pilgrimage the 3 states of the Church*.

The beginning of November brings the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls. They, of course follow the Celtic festival of Samhain or Hallowe’en.
Celebrating All Saint’s on November 1st was set by Pope Gregory III in the eighth century, with All Souls joining it in the Liturgical Calendar in the eleventh century. When I was younger it really bothered me that All Saints preceded All Souls, it was as though the majority of those who had died were an after thought, an add on. Another reading of this might be that celebrating these feasts this way around, we move from an elite to a realm that reminds those still living, of hope. Hope is one of the foundational pillars of our faith. Celebrating All Souls enables us to aspire to the great rewards spoken of in this Sunday’s Gospel We ‘wait in Joyful Hope’ to the day we too are called home to join those who Glorify God in Heaven.
When we are called Home by the One who calls us Beloved, the Church teaches that we spend time in Purgatory.
I like that.
Karl Rahner once referred to this state as the opportunity ‘never to wave goodbye to the person I might have become’. However hard I try to be Christ like here on earth, I fail. However long I live I will never be in a state of grace that prepares me to meet the One who loves me unconditionally, the One who loves me beyond measure, the One who gets me. I both need and want purgatory. I want to spend time without the stresses of earthly demands to prepare myself to be in the presence of the Presence. After all when we go on a date we spend time getting ready, we talk to our friends, and are filled with excitement and expectation. I view purgatory in the same way.
Yet before we are called Home we journey together, a pilgrim people, working to bring the Kingdom on earth. Espousing Gospel values we have a mission to work with the poor and those on the margins, to comfort those who mourn, to hunger and thirst for what is right, to be bring peace to be meek, to be merciful, to have a clean, uncluttered heart that desires God, desires to be called Home and enjoy the rewards that we are promised.
So this weekend, ‘rejoice and be glad’.
Celtic Cross
Living the Word
  • Where do you recognise yourself in the Beattitudes this week?
  • Where do you notice your blessings this week?
  • How does your life reflect the great rewards we are promised in Heaven?
Living the Word for Children
  • Take time this week finding out about the Saints. Do you have a favourite? Why is this Saint special to you.
Living the Word for Families
  • How might you ‘hunger and thirst for what is right’ this week?
  • In the Creed we profess that we believe in ‘the communion of Saints’. Talk about what does this mean to you. Choose a saint for your family.
  • Tomorrow is the feast of All Souls, If you have any memorial cards of family of friends who have died, (or write their names on pieces of paper and decorate them) put them where you will be reminded to pray for them over the coming week.
Find out more about the communion of Saints http://www.loyolapress.com/assets/fg_comp/pdf_124883.pdf
Prayer
Dear Lord,
We pray for all those who have died,
V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.V. May their soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Living the Word
  • Where do you recognise yourself in the Beattitudes this week?
  • Where do you notice your blessings this week?
  • How does your life reflect the great rewards we are promised in Heaven?
Living the Word for Children
  • Choose one of the Beattitudes and think about how you might live it this week?
  • Take time this week finding out about the Saints. Do you have a favourite? Why is this Saint special to you.
Living the Word for Families
  • How might you ‘hunger and thirst for what is right’ this week?
  • In the Creed we profess that we believe in ‘the communion of Saints’. Talk about what does this mean to you. Choose a saint for your family.
  • Tomorrow is the feast of All Souls, If you have any memorial cards of family of friends who have died, (or write their names on pieces of paper and decorate them) put them where you will be reminded to pray for them over the coming week.
Find out more about the communion of Saints http://www.loyolapress.com/assets/fg_comp/pdf_124883.pdf
Prayer
Dear Lord,
We pray for all those who have died,
V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.V. May their soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen

* Lumen Gentium 49, Constitution on the Church Vatican II

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