“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.” ~ Helen Keller
I have often said that today is the flipside of yesterday. As you recall, yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints. Today, we remember All Souls. They really are one and the same because any soul who enters eternal glory is a saint.
Yesterday we remembered all the saints who have gone before us through the ages. The celebration may have been more cerebral in nature as we recalled some of the great saints. Today’s celebration is not cerebral. It is much more personal. We recall parents, spouses, children, grandparents, and other family members and friends who have died and gone before us. We also pray for those who have died and have no one left to remember them.
I often thought about that last group when my grandmother was alive. She lived to the age of 102. She outlived all her friends who came over from Lithuania. She was the very last. When she passed away, there wasn’t anyone left to remember them as she had. So I would pray for them in order that they not be forgotten.
None of us wants to be forgotten. We all want to be remembered and remembered with affection. Even more than that, we want to live in heaven with the Lord. Our lives on earth do not always reflect that as we pick and choose different avenues that we follow but, hopefully, we keep our direction headed to the Kingdom.
The Feast of All Souls gives us a moment to remember our own mortality as well as the loss of our loved ones. The day can be filled with sadness. It should also be filled with hope because we do not believe that our loved ones are lost. We believe that God has taken them to Himself and is loving them through all eternity.
That day will be glorious. Helen Keller reminds us about something important. In Heaven there is no imperfection. Health is restored. There is no sickness, death, or corruption. There is abundant life. That gives us great hope and comfort. My mother, who died from ALS, can talk and move again. My father who died from cancer is free of that infirmity. All our loved ones have been perfected.
What a reception awaits us when we pass away and are able to see our loved ones again. Personally, I cannot wait to see my grandmother and grandfather as well as my parents and other relatives and friends. There is a world of loss that I have experienced through the years just as each of you have. But our loss is only temporary for, one day, we shall be reunited when the love of God calls us to Himself.
Have no fear about remembering your loved ones today. Let the tears flow if necessary. Let the smiles come on your faces as you remember happy times and funny stories. Recall what they meant to you. Who knows, you might even feel their presence as you remember them for, being a part of the Communion of the Saints, they are present to us and intercede for us.
FAITH ACTION: Remember the faithful departed with love today and pray for those who are dying that they might be at peace with themselves and the Lord.