The month of November is very special in many ways. We start the month with the celebration of All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day, remembering all the departed ones and praying for them in a special way on November 2nd. Every Saint is like a ray of light streaming forth from the word of God. We honor these great champions of faith, not because they did great things but did the smallest things in an extraordinary manner. I feel this is the great opportunity that the church offers us to look into our holiness and to make ourselves the best children of God, and at the same time reminding us that we are obliged to pray for all our beloved departed who had gone before us to intercede on our behalf.
The Saints in Heaven are in full communion with God. Though they are enjoying their eternal reward, they are still very much concerned about us. They are entrusted with the important task of intercession. He wants them to bring our prayers to Him and, in return, to bring His grace to us, not because God did not want to bestow His grace directly, but to remind us that those who do the will of God here on earth will get a special privilege to be part of God’s salvific work. They become powerful intercessors for us and participators in God’s divine action in the world. That is the reason many shrines are being erected on behalf of them in every part of the world. I would like to enumerate here some of the thoughts of the saints; St. Ignatius of Loyola says “If the Saints could do so, Why not I? Yes, I can surely become a Saint”. St. Alphonsus Ligourie says, “He who does not cherish a desire to achieve sanctity, may be Christian, but not a good Christian”. Saint Augustine says, “It is pleasant to see the Saints, to be with the Saints and to be a Saint”. St. Thérèse of Lisieux says, “I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth.” Now Let us look into our possibilities, is there any way that I can be one? Surely if you have a wish and will and above all a commitment to God’s Holy Will.
All Souls Day is a day annually set aside by the Universal Church to remind us the value of recalling our dear departed brethren and praying for the repose of their souls. One of the harsh realities of life is that all life eventually comes to an end. However our consolation is in the Word of God. In the scripture (book of Wisdom) we read: “the Souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God. What better place could we go to after death than into the hands of God?” What a beautiful way to describe God’s care for us. Do you remember when you were small and your parents took you up in their arms? You were in the arms of your parents. When we die God takes us up in His hands. We are in the hands of God. It is grace and mercy we will receive from God when we die, anything else that we will receive in the next life is of our own making, not God’s, and we have time to repent and reform before death. It is grace and mercy God wants to give us. So it is good to pray for our dear ones who passed away from this world, because we don’t know in what state of life that they are being called from the face of the earth. So let us pray in the month of November everyday “Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”