ALL SOULS' DAY REFLECTION
Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.
Theologians can write volumes about what we believe, but the articles of our faith - the things we believe in - are usually expressed pretty succinctly. The elements of the Creed are a good example and so is what the Church teaches about Purgatory. Each of us probably has an idea what Purgatory is like. Many of these images have come from Dante, and our imaginations have provided the rest - pictures vivid enough if not to scare us into being good, then certainly scary enough to frighten us into being careful.
Our friends may be interested to learn that the Church has this to say about Purgatory
The souls of the just which, in the moment of death, are burdened with venial sins or the temporal punishment due to sins, enter Purgatory.
The twenty-five words of this statement are as remarkable for what they do not say as they are for what they proclaim. The only declaration the Church makes about Purgatory is that God has provided a means by which the dead who are not altogether prepared for His Kingdom will be purified so they can worthily enter heaven.
Purgatory is not a second chance; it is the next-to- final step in a journey that leads us to God. Our faith tells us God provides a grace appropriate for each step of this journey, and Purgatory is the fulfillment of Jesus' promise that he will be present at the last step with the same love that greeted the first.
A motto on the face of old sundials reminds us, Omnes vulnerant; ultima necat. It refers to the hours of our life and says: "They all wound; the last one kills." The preface of the Mass for the Dead gives the lie to these words. It reminds us that death is an hour in our lives, but not the final one. "For God's faithful people, life is changed, not ended." For God's faithful people, life is always changing.
The changes begin at Baptism, when we become a new creation through an action that unites us with Christ's death. One day, the sign gives way to the reality and Christ's death actually becomes our death, Christ's life our life. The sea change promised at our Baptism comes true, and we are transformed into something rich and strange.
Necessity forces us to say good bye when death intervenes, but God wills nothing be lost, which means that all of us are united to one another in Christ's love. On All Souls' Day, when we remember all those who have died, we claim our connection with them in the communion of God's saints, and we acknowledge their - and our - power to do good for one another. Even after death.
Throughout the month of November we will offer Mass each day, remembering your friends and beloved family members who have died. Please use the Novena Prayer form to send us their names.
Mother Mary Coloring Book may sound like yet another volume for children, but it is a book for adults! This may sound too silly to be true, but imagine a few moments without your smart phone or tablet, time to quiet your mind and soul, by taking up some colored pencils or markers and - color! Whether you are at home, passing the time in a waiting room, or sitting in silence at church, this book provides a wonderful way to find peace and calm.
This coloring book not only provides a simple means to achieve something beautiful, it offers an opportunity for spiritual reflection. Consider the names given our Blessed Mother - Morning Star, Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of Light. Each page of this book includes a prayer or meditation to ponder, and a beautiful, original design to color.
Some time ago we told supporters of the Rosary Center to anticipate a new book, Champions of the Rosary, by Fr. Donald Calloway. The book has been published, at last, and we are certain our friends will find the volume worth the wait.
Fr. Calloway's book comes with recommendations from a number of impressive individuals, including Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, who serves as Assistant Secretary for the Congregation of the Faith. He says, "In Champions of the Rosary, Fr. Calloway has written what is probably the most comprehensive book ever written on the Rosary. The author deftly negotiates the complexities of the story of the Rosary, weaving the historical, theological and devotional strands into a veritable masterpiece of scholarship and piety." Your old friend, Fr. Reginald Martin, observed, "Champions of the Rosary is the most carefully researched book on the Rosary I have ever encountered. It is remarkably accessible, and the content in these pages will help us become champions of the Rosary."
To obtain these and other titles visit our web order page.
In our last issue of Light and Life we mentioned A Pathway Under the Gaze of Mary: This is a fascinating biography of Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart, the only one of the three children who witnessed the miracles at Fatima to survive into adulthood. The book is available for $19.95.
A NOTE TO OUR CANADIAN FRIENDS
If you send your gift to the Rosary Center in Canadian funds, your generosity is considerably reduced by the time the bank makes adjustments for differences in exchange rates and - especially - levies a transaction fee to convert your gift into American funds. To protect the value of your gift, please use a credit card or International Money Order.
2 Novenas of Masses in honor of
The Rosary Center
PO Box 3617
Portland, OR 97208 USA