Homily by:
Fr. Paul Weinberger
Saint William the Confessor Catholic Church
Greenville, Texas
November 1, 2008

For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life and I shall raise him on the last day.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Amen.

Look at the cover of the bulletin. It is very similar to what St. Jerome understood. St Jerome is the one to whom we are so grateful, having brought together all the parts of the Bible that we use today, and then was ratified by the Church. St Jerome used to have on his table a skull, a human skull, so that he would always recognize that one day death would come for him.

The cover of the bulletin says, “ In the blink of an eye.” And under one arm that figure of death has a coffin, obviously the coffin of a child. In the other hand, if you can call it that, just the bones are snuffing out the light of a candle… a symbol of death. Then you see all kinds of trapping, some from the Church, some from the world, and you see one foot is placed on a globe; it’s universal. Everyone dies. Ten out of ten people die. That is a line from the movie “Bella.”

Now everyone here is different from everyone else in size, shape, background, and color. In every way we are different. Our abilities are different but there are two things about us that are the same. The world over, in any generation, we come from God and we are going to God. We come from God. Only God can create life. Parents are pro-creators with God. Without God it is not possible to create life. We are going to God. Now a lot of people misinterpret going to God, but if you look on the cover on the bulletin you see that those two lines are reminders of the last four things, Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. These are the four last things we should focus on every day. Some people however look at going to God as going to Heaven. After death we go to God, that’s the judgment part. Some people envision it like a cannonball, somehow flying over the right shoulder of God without him knowing it. Maybe God bent down to tie his shoelace or something like that. No, that is ridiculous and is not what we believe.

We believe that we come from God and we go to God to be judged and in the end we will end up in one of two places, Heaven or Hell. For people, who get too complacent about all this, just read the New Testament. Do a word search on the New Testament and you will find that Jesus speaks of Hell more often than Heaven in the New Testament. We just all presume that going to God means going to Heaven. Those of other faiths also influence some Catholics, but our Catholic faith teaches us that we come from God and at the end of our life we go to God to be judged. There is death, judgment, Heaven or Hell. Fr. Corapi always mentions this in his sermons, that in the end there will only be you or I and God, and Heaven or Hell. That’s it! There will be no world and no purgatory at the end of the world. Today is All Souls Day and the emphasis is on the dearly departed and on the teaching of purgatory.

A few weeks ago a man drove up to an abortion clinic to drop off his granddaughter. He had a large cross hanging from the rearview mirror. I asked him how he could reconcile his faith in Christ with what he was doing allowing and helping his granddaughter to do. He didn’t like that. I told him that God is pro life and he said, “No He isn’t.” Well, that is not an argument and I was looking for an argument, but it is a fact, God is pro life. You may not like it but that is the truth. Again and again in the New Testament Jesus says, “I Am come that you may have life and have it to the fullest.” So, God is pro life. The Doctrine of Purgatory is something that you and I must believe and if you don’t like it or understand it, it is probably because it has not been studied.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is very inexpensive. It is online as well. If you look at the index in the back under “P” and find Purgatory”, it will send you to the following paragraphs, 1030-1032. There are also footnotes that lead us to some Church Fathers and also to places in Scripture, like the ones at Mass today.

Last night I got called to the hospital to see a lady I have never met; she is dying. The people at the hospital believe that she is in her last 24 hours. She is hooked up to machines and there are nurses and doctors there and they can do nothing for her. Notice how the focus turns from this world to, “That is all we can do.” So, I prayed Psalm 23 as that woman lay there dying. The last 24 hours of life is also something that you and I have in common. There will be a time when people will stand around us or no one will stand around us and we will experience the last 24 hours of this life.

The back of the bulletin speaks of the requirements for gaining a Plenary Indulgence for a soul in Purgatory on this feast day. The Church is mother and teacher; a good mother is a good teacher and she is always trying to get her children to do what is best for them, even when the children rebel. I was processing into Mass this morning and as I looked around I saw mothers trying to do exactly that, to get their children to do the right thing.

If you look at the things required for a Plenary Indulgence, they are things we should be doing every day. Now you see the wisdom of the Church. For example, one requirement is to visit a Church. Another is to say one Our Father and the Creed and yet another is to say an Our Father and a Hail Mary for the intentions of the pope. We must worthily receive Holy Communion and make a Sacramental Confession within a week, either before or after All Souls Day, while being free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin. That last one is a lot, to renounce your favorite programs or your favorite discussion topic that is sinful. Whatever it is, you can’t do it on your own so I would suggest referring to John 16:23, where Jesus says, “Whatever you ask the Father in my Name it will be given to you.” All of this is getting you ready for an indulgence but also for the last 24 hours of your life.

Last week in the homily I mentioned the post - synodal apostolic exhortation of Pope John Paul II on Confession. It is called “Reconciliation and Penance”. It came out in 1984. Pope John Paul came here in 1979, fresh, strong, vibrant, and vigorous. He’d studied the reports that bishops send to Rome and said to one of the bishops after celebrating Mass in a stadium here, “I read all your reports about how no one goes to Confession in this country; how is it that everyone goes to Communion?” He was throwing it right back on them. In the document I just mentioned he talks about something that has been a treasure of the Church for centuries, but the last 40 years it kind of fell out of favor. It is called a Confession of Devotion.

Let me tell you how a Confession of Devotion would go. Someone goes into the Confessional and tells the priest that it has been a week since their last Confession and they are not aware of any mortal sins that have not been confessed, but they are sorry for all their venial sins and just want the grace from the Sacrament. In the last 30 or 40 years if you go to a lot of priests and try to make a Confession of Devotion, the priest will get mad and throw you out. I have heard this from a lot of people and they don’t know each other so it must be true. What? They get thrown out for not having mortal sins and just want the grace of the Sacrament? Some priests don’t want to be bothered and tell you to come back when you have some “real” sins. How would you like those to be the parting words when your kids are going out on Saturday night? ”Lets see, it is 8 pm, don’t come home until you have committed some really serious sins. Goodnight!” What craziness is this? It has been said.

Transcribers note: Fr. Denis O’Brien, God rest his soul, would always tell people to confess even their venial sins because Christ died for those sins too.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta went to Confession every day. We just found out that she had a terrible gambling addiction. [Laughter] OF COURSE NOT! Why would Blessed Mother Teresa go to Confession every day? She made a Confession of Devotion; she knew that great demands were placed upon her and that she would be called upon to do great things and so she would need the grace of the Sacrament. Lets fast forward to the last 24 hours of that great woman’s life. In her last 24 hours and ours, something that will assist us in a big way when people all around us can do nothing, will be those Confessions of Devotions. This has to be reclaimed and I have to say that Confessions in this parish have been steadily on the rise. They were good at the beginning and they have grown in number. Along with that are also Confessions of Devotion.

Preparing for the last 24 hours of our lives is something that we have to do everyday and this Prayer for the Dead is typical of what the Church as a good mother is trying to do for us. Everyone who dies but is not yet ready to go to Heaven will go to Purgatory. But, everyone who is in Purgatory is guaranteed Heaven. Okay? Lets say someone is in Purgatory, and how do we know someone is there? Does a light go off? No, we should always pray for the dearly departed. I bet a lot of children don’t even know the prayer, “May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen”. This should be said just after saying grace after meals. I will leave that for another time.

We should pray always and we are so concerned that we are sending too many prayers to God for the dearly departed. Oh please, spare me if you believe that. It is like we are polluting the ozone with too many prayers. Gimme a break. Some people think that they may be praying for someone already in Heaven. You can always ask God that if the person is already in Heaven to allow your prayers to go to the person in Purgatory most in need. Say someone comes out of Confession and they are given a penance, a hundred Rosaries or something like that. That is not what penances are if you think that is true. Anyway they come out of the Confessional and get distracted and they don’t do their penance and then later on they die. Is God just going to look the other way? No, it is something that has to be done. This person died after having confessed all their mortal sins but there was some temporal punishment due to sin.

On the bulletin you can read about that; it is called “The Technical Stuff”. When you start reading it you see that it is kind of “technical”. That is why Chris calls it “The technical Stuff.” For example, my dad died five years ago…may he rest in peace. If my dad is still in purgatory I could offer a Plenary Indulgence on his behalf today and any temporal punishment, which would be in a sense to his credit, would be released.

Look around this Church. Turn around and look. Our whole parish is not here at this Mass today; they are never at one Mass but come to the different Masses offered on the weekend or they don’t come. But, the people we see here today are not the whole parish, we only see those who are here for the 9:30 am Mass. The fact is that it is the same thing with the Church. All of the Church on earth right now is not all of the Church. We also have the Church in Heaven and the Church that is on the way there. We call the Church on the way, the Church in Purgatory, the Church suffering. That is what this day is about, to remember them.

There was a priest that lived with me for 3 years. I am sure he didn’t have to do more penance. Msgr. had been a priest for about 50 years and he was treated very well at his previous parish, Christ the King in Dallas. When he came to live with me, I treated him like…well; I used to call him Msgr. Rodney Daingerfield. [Laughter] The people at Christ the King gave him all kinds of respect and I used to joke around with him and give him no respect. He knew I respected him but you know what I mean. He would get frustrated and tell me that I was making him suffer too much. I would tell him that suffering was helping him on his way to Heaven. He’d agree. I would tell him that when he gets to Heaven he would be adoring God, and everyone adoring God would be praying for everyone that helped them get to Heaven, so when he got to Heaven he would be praying for me. He would say, “Arghh!” [Laughter] Think about that; everyone that you help get to Heaven and everyone you encourage on the way, your last 24 hours of life are not spent alone. Even if you cannot see them you are not alone.

I am going to end where I started. Some may say that they do not believe in all this stuff. People who say that are people who have never read about it, never prayed about it, or never discussed it. It is so interesting how that man in the parking lot in front of that abortion clinic could just say so dogmatically that God is not pro life. I was glad I was standing back in case the lightening bolt came down. Of course Go is pro life! So, when people say that they don’t believe in Purgatory let me tell you what that is code for. You see, when we believe in Purgatory it means we have an obligation and responsibility to pray for those there. People just want to believe their loved ones are already in Heaven and be done with it and then they don’t have to be inconvenienced. Isn’t that sad? Ask your children about prayers for the dead and ask when the last time was that they prayed for the dead. One day you will be dead and if children have not learned all of this they won’t be praying for you; they won’t know that they should.

This day is kind of like a heart attack; a heart attack will really get your attention I am told, and All Souls Day and its somber mood is supposed to get our attention back to where it is supposed to be and on what is most important. Can you think of something more important than Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell? The answer for me is, “NO!” If we prayed, went to Confession, and received Holy Communion worthily while thinking of others every day, the world would be a better place and our homes would be better homes.


For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life and I shall raise him on the last day.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Amen.

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 Homily by:
Fr. Paul Weinberger
St. William’s Catholic Parish
Greenville, Texas
11 / 2 / 2005 All Souls Day

Do not be amazed at this because the hour is coming and when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out; those who have done good deeds, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds, to the resurrection of condemnation.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen

Today is the Feast of All Souls. All Souls Day and All Saints Day are back to back; there are similarities and there are differences. On All Saints Day we rejoice in our brothers and sister’s great and good fortune. Perhaps at work you have received a raise or promotion and your co-workers are mad. It appears the same can be said for those who distrust the Saints in Heaven, or the Blessed Mother as Queen of Heaven and Earth. These Saints have accomplished what you and I hope to accomplish; they are in Heaven and we hope to be in Heaven. This possible jealousy I spoke of can surface as “doctrine” in other religions, but the fact is, we should rejoice at the good fortune of our brothers and sisters.

To say that all of our brothers and sister are in Heaven because before they died they lived perfectly good lives is to hallucinate and become delusional. It is like the teaching that would say that everyone who had been Baptized gets to Heaven. Again, as I pointed out, there must be a special row on that picture I spoke of yesterday reserved for Hitler, Stalin, and mass murderers. I hope I am not in that neighborhood if I make it to Heaven.

Of course that is not the case but there is a great distortion in Catholic teaching today that has been influenced by protestant theology in its deformed Catholic teaching. It is kind of like when you study about the revolutionary War and how a cannon ball would be fired inside a fort and it would just land there with a thud on the ground or maybe roll around a bit after the thud. Well, as soon as the particular Baptized person dies then we just load them into a cannon and shoot them into Heaven whether they want to go or not. It is interesting how people who have pooh-poohed Purgatory force everyone to go to Heaven yet, Our Lord says that there are those who have done good deeds and will go to the resurrection of Life. Hum…good deeds, good works. But those who have done wicked deeds will go to a resurrection of condemnation.

Very interesting…so there ARE people in Hell and I am not just talking about those folks that have to live in western Oklahoma. [Laughter] Awe come on, I am from Texas so I have to say something about Oklahoma. Of course the great thing about living in Oklahoma is that when you die, you can bypass Purgatory, you have already spent it living there.

Getting back to reality…there was a Trilogy written by a Catholic author, that was made into a movie and is very good, “The Lord of the Rings”. There is a section of the Lord of the Rings where they talk about a beautiful Kingdom built into the side of a mountain, very compact. This Kingdom is about to be under siege by tremendous forces; those who are coming against this beautiful city to destroy it appear to be demons from Hell and they are massing in tremendous numbers with great implements of destruction at their disposal. There is a man in charge of the city but he is not able to rule as he should.

The whole Trilogy is about the King returning to the city to rule it. No one knows if the heir is alive and they don’t know for sure how they are going to positively identify the King but there are certain hints. The heir reveals himself just as he hears about the planned destruction of his Kingdom. It appears that he will arrive too late. You see, where he and his men are, in order to get back to the city, they have to travel over, around, under, or through a mountain. In this mountain are caverns that have been carved out under the mountain but the problem with that is that the element of these who were supposed to have come to the aid of the Kingdom years before did not support the Kingdom as they pledged and Tolken has them wondering around beneath this mountain and the only one that can release them is the King or his heir.

The heir, the King decides to go under the mountain and the men with him have to take their lives in their own hands and in faith, follow their king under the mountain. They get about half way and this great army of the living-dead come upon them and of course like everyone else who has tried to go through there were pounced on. But the King told these living-dead that he was binding them to the promise that they gave years before and that if they would fulfill their pledge this day and protect the Kingdom from attack, then he will grant them their freedom and they can go to their eternal rest.

The King’s vast army of the living-dead proved to be tremendously helpful in liberating the city and conquering these demon-like creatures from taking over the Kingdom from men. At the end of the battle when the great demon-like creatures have been destroyed and are strewn all over the battlefield and the kingdom is safe, the King releases the living-dead men who have fulfilled their pledge and they disappear or dematerialize. The use of this image by Tolken is a glance over his shoulder at the Doctrine of the souls in Purgatory.

When we understand the great many people who end up in purgatory, such as our relatives and friends, we are called upon to respond in mercy and charity. In the First Reading when Judas Maccabees found his men slain and he was about to bury their bodies, they found pagan amulets under their tunics, which is a sin against the great Commandment.

You shall have no strange gods before Me.

Instead of despair and in great sacrifice to themselves, Judas and his men took up a collection of two-thousand silver drachmas and sent it to the Temple in Jerusalem so sacrifices would be offered in the temple on behalf of these men who had fallen in battle and had not lived as they should have; there were issues that had to be tied up. That was probably the easiest collection Maccabees ever had to take up among his men because the foreign emblems were probably beneath the tunics of others as well, or others had worn such an emblem in the past and had taken it off realizing how their lives had been spared and if they could do anything in reparation, this act of sacrifice would be accepted by God to pay their debt.

It is interesting that King Henry VIII of England granted himself to be the Supreme head of the Church in England and the first thing he did was do away with Purgatory. If I got on the roof of the Church today and looked south I couldn’t see Mexico and although it wasn’t in the news today, I am sure Mexico is still there. But, if I got on the roof and couldn’t see Mexico I could announce to you tonight that someone has taken Mexico and if it was you, give it back! That would be ridiculous. Just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Well King Henry VIII announced,

“Purgatory? No more Purgatory.”

Then what did he do? All of the convents and monasteries around England that had been given great monetary gifts so that the monks and sisters would pray for the dearly departed, Henry then kept for himself because there was no more Purgatory. He took the money and he wasted it. It is interesting to note that when Henry VIII lay dying, he called for a Roman Catholic priest so that he might go to Confession and not one of those who had taken an oath of fidelity to King Henry VIII. He wanted a priest loyal to the Holy Father in Rome. As much as I object to Henry XIII’s policies as King of England, I pray that he be among the number in Heaven if and when I get there. Who knows, he may be my next-door neighbor in Purgatory.

Purgatory sounds so odd to those who never meditate upon it. It seems so unusual and yet I want you to think back on the very first lesson you taught your children. First you had one and then another child and you are faced with a problem.

“Come on now, share! Share with your brother, share with your sister!”

Parents begin to teach about sharing and it is a lifelong pursuit.

“Let him have a drink!” NO, I don’t want to share the cup, she has germs!”

We all know that girls have germs. [Laughter] Parents are always trying to teach their children to share and this is exactly what the Church is saying on the Feast of All Souls Day. In Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus says,

When you fast, when you pray, when you give to the poor.

This is how we are to fast, pray, and give alms to the poor; He doesn’t say,

“If you feel like it, fast. If you feel like it, pray. If you feel like it, give to the poor.”

These are expectations of Jesus Himself and so when a Christian fasts, prays, or gives alms on behalf of the dearly departed, they are not throwing away time. It is not like,

“Well, here is money down the rat hole that I will never see again! Here are some prayers, and look, they are wasted. I will fast, that way I can save money by offsetting giving to the poor.”

Our Lord expects us to share some of what we have with our brothers and sisters. You would be ridiculous if you thought that all of the people in this Church tonight represent St. William’s parish. There are people who came to the other two Masses and then there are people who didn’t attend Mass at all today because it isn’t a Holy Day of Obligation. No, the parish is much greater than what you see right in front of you and the Church is much greater than the people who are alive today in the year 2005. The Church also encompasses those who have gone before us marked with the Sign of Faith but they are not in Heaven yet.

The Church has a great tradition going back to the early days of praying for the dead and offering sacrifices as well as giving alms. In this account in the year 202, St. Perpetua, who is mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer and was a martyr for the faith, had a dream where she saw her younger brother imprisoned in a dark place, all covered with dirt, and parched with thirst, which is probably how she saw him all the time in life, right? He is a boy, covered with dirt and is probably somewhere he is not supposed to be and he is thirsty. Well, her dream was about him after his death. She began to offer up fervent prayer for him and soon after he again appeared to her but this time he was beautiful and happy.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who was here yesterday and sat about the fifth row back on the other side there…the kids dressed up as saints yesterday and St. Elizabeth of Hungary graced our Sanctuary. Seriously though, the real St. Elizabeth of Hungary received news of the death of her mother, Gertrude, so she began to pray and offer great sacrifices on her behalf. Soon after, she had the satisfaction of seeing her mother in a vision showing her that her mother was delivered from Purgatory. So, some of the saints have had these visions of souls being released from purgatory because of their concern. Their love and mercy has been extended and we are to share with our brothers and sisters as well.

There was a priest who lived with me for just over three years when I was at Blessed Sacrament. He died in his late 70s. Msgr. Botik said that when he died, tell people to pray for him. His name is on that Altar. I use to always joke with Msgr. Botik, calling him Msgr. Rodney Dangerfield. He always said he got no respect and that is why I gave him that special name. When Msgr. Botik was at Christ the King parish they treated him like royalty, so I had to do something about that and treated him like Msgr. Rodney Dangerfield and gave him no respect. He would say,

“Oh, ugh, you are going to shorten my life. I am suffering terribly here.”

I would say to him,

“Wait, just wait; all of this will pay off one day because it will take time off Purgatory and you will just fly right by it into Heaven. You know what you will have to do when you get to Heaven? You are going to worship God around the Altar in Heaven and then, then you are going to have to pray for all those who got you to Heaven. So, you are going to have to spend your time in Heaven praying for ME!”

Then Msgr. Botik pulled out the remaining hair he had in his head. [Laughter]

But that is exactly what souls who have gone from Purgatory to Heaven do. When they are released from Purgatory through the prayers, fasting, and alms of those on earth, they pray for those who have helped them along the way. So we benefit from our acts of mercy. It is like tapping into a vast army like in the “Lord of the Rings”. If you see how easy it is to gain a Plenary Indulgence and don’t lift a finger…well…. As Fr. Denis O’Brien, who was a Maryknoll priest said,

“The last thing you should do before you go to sleep at night is say a prayer for the Poor Souls in purgatory because by morning you may be in their company.”

He is right! So, look at what it takes to gain a Plenary Indulgence and how easy it is to reach out and help the dearly departed. But, there are so many Marie Antoinettes walking around.

“Let them eat cake, I couldn’t be bothered. Well, don’t you know I am an important person and you want me to think about them? Why should I do anything for them?”

One of the Scriptures in the New Testament is based on St. John’s Gospel, chapter 9, verse 4 where Jesus says,

After death the night comes when no man can work.

If you walked outside and all the lights were turned off you wouldn’t see your hand in front of your face. It would be very difficult to find your way home if all the lights in Hunt County were turned off. At night no man can work and the Church has interpreted this as being expressive of the person whose soul is separated from the body, the person can no longer merit anything, do nothing about getting to Heaven. So in a sense the soul can suffer in Purgatory while being purified and we can also help the souls.

Quote:
Hence, the souls in purgatory must pay off their debt by enduring the pain, which God has laid upon them. Yet, we on earth can help to diminish their pains by offering for them the most perfect prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, alms giving and other works of piety.


That was a quote from the Council of Leon in the year 1274. It is amazing how long the practice of praying for the dead has been with us and yet it takes a day like this to kind of brush off the dust and recommit ourselves. It is like what St. Paul’s writings say, which are always so scorned; the ones about wives being submissive to your husbands and husbands loving their wives. St. Paul says,

“He who loves his wife loves himself.”

In the same way we could say that he who intervenes on behalf of the dearly departed is helping himself because, in the presence of God they will be eager to help those who intervened and helped them be released from purgatory. The great pain in Purgatory perhaps is the pain of knowing you are going to Heaven but you aren’t there yet. The longing to see God must be a great pain for the soul, but we don’t know for sure. It has been likened to that of flames.

This great company of the dearly departed can be enlisted; we should pray for the souls that everyone has forgotten. They have a greater interest rate because no one has remembered them. Think of all the people who lived around the Pacific Rim on December 26th last year when the Tsunami hit; it just reached up to shore and dragged whole families out to the ocean and they died right there. So they have no families to pray for them, they have no one alive to pray for them. Also perhaps, many of them were pagan so no one who could pray for them that were left alive would pray for them. But we can reach right in and pray for them; we can pray for the most forgotten souls in Purgatory.

We have to see that we have everything at our disposal and everyday great sacrifices come our way. Everyday we have life so we have an opportunity to do something. The Good Samaritan was the one who stopped and paid attention to the plight of someone who appeared as good as dead, and like the Good Samaritan we can bring refreshment to this soul who appears to be suffering terribly if not dead. This is like loving ourselves and it redounds to us because these souls will work to help us on our way to Heaven.

This Doctrine of Purgatory, once investigated and meditated upon, makes great sense and it fits into the lessons that we learn upon life’s way. It is ridiculous, says the Catholic Church, to consider that we are ready at any moment to walk into the Presence of God. Maybe if you are living in a Carthusian Monastery and you are taking great penances on yourself every day, then it might be the case but most of us are going to leave this world with a lot of things unfinished and unplanned for. This can mean physical things and spiritual things. Instead of worrying ourselves sick about it, we have this custom of praying for the dead that needs to be encouraged. Oh sure, we could just go ahead and say that Purgatory doesn’t exist, kind of like taking a map of North America and erasing Mexico. I guess that would be great for the Panama Canal, right? You can just sail right through Mexico now, but that is not how it works. That is NOT how it works and so we must be concerned about our brothers and sisters while they are here and when they have passed on.

I talked to a lady today and she was telling me about a friend of ours, Jan Wyatt, who lived up by Lewisville. She use to come to Blessed Sacrament to go to Confession and as I said, I knew Jan and her friend, John. Well, this lady called me today and told me Jan was very sick and then she called me back and told me that Jan had died today. Nothing like making All Souls Day personal. Yesterday would have been my Aunt Mary’s birthday had she lived. With all those we know who have passed, they should pull us to our knees and draw from us our mercy so that we fast, pray and give to the poor on their behalf.

Do not be amazed at this because the hour is coming and when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice and come out; those who have done good deeds, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds, to the resurrection of condemnation.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

Amen