Archive for November, 2008

Homily — All Saints and All Souls Day Nov. 1-2, 2008

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Homily — All Souls  Day            Nov. 1, 2008

This weekend, the Election has already occurred and all the winners have been voted in.

We celebrate this weekend All Saints Day, which was yesterday, and All Souls Day today.

And all these Saints we honored yesterday and Holy Souls we pray for today are all those men and women who have won the only Election that really matters.

Jesus, the only person eligible to vote in this Election, has voted these people to be worthy of the eternal life of Heaven.

The Saints and Holy Souls are the Elect of God whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Just as the US Presidential Candidates have worked unceasingly for almost a year now to win the favor of voters;   So the Saints and the Holy Souls worked unceasingly all their earthly lives to win the favor of the only Voter whose Vote really matters — our Lord Jesus Christ.

We see in the Gospel the unfailing recipe for a winning campaign:  The Beatitudes.

The Beatitudes are what Jesus looks for in a candidate for the Eternal Happiness of Heaven.   And every Saint ever Elected by Jesus to a high position of Authority under Him in Heaven lived to an Heroic degree one or more of the Beatitudes.

The Saints were heroically Poor in Spirit, heroically mournful of their past sins and of the sins of the world;   Heroically Hungry and Thirsty for Righteousness in word and deed;  Heroically Merciful towards others and Forgiving of others;  The Saints were Heroically Pure and Chaste of Heart, Mind and Body;  They were Heroic Peacemakers;

and Finally, the Saints were heroic in their faithfulness to Jesus under great persecution, even to the point of terrible torture and death for the sake of Christ and His Holy Gospel.

Yes, Jesus votes for or against every candidate for Heaven, He votes for or against you and me on how well we live these beatitudes throughout our lives.

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While the Saints now rule happily in Heaven under Jesus, The Holy Souls in Purgatory, while not ruling yet, have also won the only Election that really matters.

They too have been Voted in by Jesus as being worthy of Eternal Life, because each one of the Holy Souls in Purgatory is a Christian man or woman who died in the state of sanctifying grace with no unrepentant mortal sins on their soul.

Unlike the Saints however, the Holy Souls are people who died before they could fully atone for their past sins; or else they died still attached to venial sins.

The Heroic Charity the Saints showed in living the Beatitudes on Earth fully atoned for any past sins and enabled them to die not attached to any venial sins, and because of this the Saints went straight to Heaven at the moment of their death.

But those who have less than heroic Charity in this life must be purged and cleansed of any remnant of sin, no matter how small, in the fires of purgatory.

There is much speculation about what Purgatory is like, and what the Fire of Purgatory is.  But that’s all it is — speculation, and the Church warns us against foolish speculation.

But there are three other things the Church says we do need to believe about Purgatory:

1.First, the Holy Souls in Purgatory have a joy greater than any earthly joy imaginable, because they know without a doubt that they won the only Election that matters.  Jesus has voted them into Heaven, they no longer need to fear the loss of their Salvation through sin because the devil cannot tempt them against God any more in Purgatory.

2.Secondly however, the Holy Souls in Purgatory have at the same time a suffering greater than any earthly suffering imaginable, not only because of the purgation process, but also because their hunger and thirst for Heaven is now so great, but is not quenched.

3.We can alleviate the suffering of the Holy Souls and speed up the purification process by praying and offering sacrifices for them, especially by having Masses offered for them.  Fr. Taillon’s mother, who just passed away, used to say that she didn’t care how much of a saint a person was in life, she never presumed they were in Heaven and always prayed for the release of their souls from purgatory.
In this month of November, the month of the Holy Souls, may we be mindful of our obligation to pray and have Masses offered for our deceased loved ones, and for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory;  and may the Saints in Heaven both inspire us and help us to continue preparing well for that certain, upcoming, dreadful Election Day, when Jesus, at the end of our life will either Vote us into Heaven to reign with Him, or Vote us out of office and out of His Kingdom.

May the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph our Patron, and all the Saints help each us to win that most important of Elections.