The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)
The faithful shall abide with him in love.
Think about all the people you pray for—a friend coping with a serious illness, a child questioning his faith, or maybe a coworker going through a painful divorce. These needs are obvious to us, if only because they are right in front of us. But the Church sets aside a whole month, and All Souls Day in particular, so that we can pray for the people who have gone before us. We pray for the people we don’t see every day and whose needs may have faded into the background. God doesn’t want us to forget that they too need our prayers.
But why should we pray for them in the first place? Aren’t they already safe in heaven? The short answer is that we just don’t know. They may still be in the “waiting room” of purgatory. So we should continue to pray for them so that we can help them along if they are still being purified. We should pray that they may one day join all the angels and saints in praising and worshipping the Lord. We are all one family in Christ, so we can care for them as our own brothers and sisters, just as we would care for our brothers and sisters here on earth.
As you pray for your deceased loved ones, remember that “the souls of the just are in the hand of God” (Wisdom 3:1). God is caring for them, just as he continues to care for us. Whatever happens after death is still a mystery to us. All we know, all we can count on, is that our God is a God of love and mercy. His greatest desire for us is that we live with him forever, and he is committed to helping us get there—even after we have passed from this life.
So spend some time today praying for your deceased loved ones as well as for all those who are still waiting to join the saints in heaven. Maybe you could pray for them at Mass or while saying a Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. As you do, trust in God’s love. He never forgets anyone, and he doesn’t want you to forget either!
“Lord, may all who hope in you come to see you face-to-face!”
Word Among Us