The Month of the Holy Souls
As the weather grows colder and the leaves fall, Remembrance time comes round and so it is natural that our thoughts turn to those whom we loved who are no longer with us.
How appropriate, then, that our Catholic Church offers us November, which began with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, as the Month of Holy Souls in Purgatory – those who have died in grace, yet who failed in this life to make satisfaction for all their sins. In recent times, perhaps no Catholic doctrine has been more misunderstood by Catholics themselves than the doctrine of Purgatory. Consequently, we can tend to downplay it, even seem a little embarrassed by it, and it is the Holy Souls who suffer because of our discomfort.
Purgatory is not, as many people think, one last trial; all of those who make it to Purgatory will one day be in Heaven. Purgatory is where those who have died in grace, but who have not fully atoned for the temporal punishments resulting from their sins, go to finish their atonement before entering Heaven. This is an expression of God’s love as He desires to cleanse our souls so that they may experience the fullness of joy with Him.
As Christians, we don’t travel through life alone but within the community of the Church. We are to support and help each other, and this is true of the Holy Souls as well. They can pray for us and we should pray for them, that they may soon be freed from their punishments for their sins and enter Heaven.
We should pray for the dead throughout the year, but especially in this Month of the Holy Souls. Let’s devote some time each day to pray for them, starting with those closest to us – such as our parents, but including always those in greatest need and those most forsaken.
Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord. Let Light perpetual shine upon them.
Deacon David OLW