It recently struck me that November has taken on a new level of meaning for our families and extended school community, for the entire month of November is dedicated to the souls in purgatory. This past year - call it 18 months just to be safe - has been a particularly difficult one in the sense that many beloved family and friends have passed away.
Purgatory is not simply a place where people who don't deserve heaven go until God declares they are ready. This is because we are all made for heaven but we do not always love God for his own sake. "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (CCC 1030). Even after death, God desires union with us so much that he affords yet another opportunity or second chance to fully appreciate and love Him for who He is, not merely what He has done for us.
This is hopeful news indeed, and we on earth have an astounding opportunity to contribute to the eternal well-being of those who have gone before us.
"From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead" (CCC 1032).
I therefore invite you all to send us the souls of your beloved departed, and our students will pray for them at adoration, rosary, and the Mass. We always tell the children their prayers are more effective than they think, in large part because they are not as seasoned or informed as adults. I can think of no better way to bring healing to the hard losses we have all endured than to give our intentions to the children.
Yours Truly In Christ,