November is the month of the Holy Souls. During this month we pray especially for our departed friends and loved ones who are making their journey towards the eternal light of God.
As Catholics we believe that although those who have died are separated from us physically, they remain connected to us as members of the Church. Jesus has conquered death, and so those of us who are part of the Body of Christ here on earth remain a living part of that body even after our earthly life comes to a close. We know this to be true because when Jesus is challenged by the Pharisees who say there is no life after death Jesus replies ‘Have you not read what was said to you by God, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” He is God not of the dead, but of the living.’ (Matt 22:31-32) Thus he implied that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not dead, but alive with God.
Scripture teaches that it is ‘a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins’ (2 Macc 12:46). We also get our first example of Christian prayer for the dead from the bible, St Paul prays for his departed friend Onesiphorus saying ‘May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day (the day of judgement).’ (2 Tim 1:18)
Following the example of Scripture, and Christian practice through the ages, we pray for all the faithful departed during this month. It is traditional to make a list of departed loved ones and remember them in prayer. During this extraordinary year, we, the Xaverian Community, have a Book of Remembrance in our Oratory. Please send us the names of those you wish to remember during this month and we will pray for them when we gather in prayer.