All Souls

Wisdom 3:1-9; Psalm 22(23); Romans 5:5-11; Matthew 11:25-30

Purgatory is ofttimes imagined as a place - where the dead go to be cleansed of their Sin before being admitted to the full presence of Christ.

It may be more helpful to consider purgatory as a state of being - as the Catechism does[1030-1031]

For example, St Paul, at the moment he denies Christ for the third time, went out and "wept bitterly". [Luke 22:62]. The sequence is - Christ looks at Paul, their eyes meet. Paul realises the full impact of what he has done, Paul repents and feel sorry - a deep pain of sorrow for he wept bitter tears - but then is capable of meeting Christ's full gaze, and of knowing that he is saved and forgiven.

That moment is something that we will all pass through, and is something we should help each other through.

Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.


Pray for those who have died before you, that their moment of purgatory will be followed by a deeper experience, that of Christ's love. The best way to pray for them is to go to Eucharist, for the whole people of God are gathered together in that celebration. That is why today we shall wear black in celebration of this Eucharist - to mourn those who have died, but the Eucharist is always a celebration, so be glad to spend some time in prayer with your loved ones today.

Posted in Daily Reflection.