Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Remembering Faithful Departed Loved Ones

If hitherto we have thought too little of those “who have gone before us with the sign of faith,” if we have been like the rest of men wrapped up in the thought of self, immersed in the trifles of today, forgetful of those whose lives were once closely linked with ours, and should be still, now in the month of the Holy Souls we may “rise to better things,” to truer thoughts of life, to a deeper sense of the value of time, to a fuller understanding of the will of God in our regard, and especially to an appreciation, altogether new, of the solicitous service which the Church Militant on earth owes to the Church Suffering in Purgatory. Not because in serving others we shall most securely serve ourselves, nor yet because we hope to secure the gratitude of Saints who soon will reign with God in Heaven; but because those who are now in the cleansing fires are of our own flesh and blood, our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, we will do what we can to help them from this time forward, regretting if we have been negligent till now. It should be enough for us to know that those who have a claim upon our love are stretching out their hands to us for help, and crying: “Have pity on me!” Yet to remember the dead with anything beyond a transient thought is the exception, and to leave them in God’s hands to pay their debt, after making a few feeble efforts to help them in the first days of our bereavement, is the rule. Such conduct is almost as usual as it is unreasonable.

Those who thus forget parents and brethren and friends may fear that they will be in their turn forgotten, for God keeps His mercy for the merciful. While dear friends are with us we flatter ourselves that we love them with a disinterested love; that in doing them good service we are not thinking of ourselves at all; that we are even willing to submit to much inconvenience for their sake. And all the while it is too often our own satisfaction that we seek, even in our self-sacrifice, rendering kind offices, not for sake of the good we do thereby, but for the happiness which accrues to ourselves, as men give alms sometimes from no higher motive than is found in the pleasure of giving. It is not true that all human friendship is thus infected with selfishness, but a great deal of that which looks like the pure gold of charity is not such. The value of our friendship in the present may be estimated by its value in the past. Our treatment of the dead will serve us for the touchstone of the sincerity and purity of our affection. “The heart that has truly loved never forgets.” Those who once were dearly loved—our playmates in childhood, our chosen companions in later life, who sat at the same table, who knelt at the same shrine, who shared our joys and sorrows, and, it may be, now and again spoke to us of death and eternity, with wondering words about that other world, and who then passed from our sight into that other world—are they remembered now? Do we pray for them or to them? Or are they in good truth, if we must be honest with ourselves, really nothing more to us now than faces that look upon us in a dream? Is their connection with us a reality of our present life, or are they merely creatures of the past, belonging to a state of things which has vanished from our hearts and minds?

~ From Stories About Purgatory by TAN Books & Publishers, Inc. ~


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your awesome daily Blog, may this labour of love be rewarded with Blessings without end in this life and the next. I read it daily and draw comfort and inspiration. My name is Anne and I live in London in England.

one grateful heart said...

Anne, thank you for your kind and encouraging comment! I very much appreciate that you and a few other readers have taken the time to offer comments that are an encouragement for me to continue. Just yesterday, I was pondering whether a blog of this type is really necessary being that there are many good sources on the internet that provide information about the souls in purgatory. Thank you for your comment, which was, for me, like a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that He wants me to continue. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear there are Blogs out there but nothing quite like yours. It is too special to be abandoned. Carry on the much loved work soldier of heaven. We read it, we meditate on it, cherish it and more importantly we love God more having it in our daily lives

Anonymous said... I don't read other blogs on Purgatory. I only read yours. Its the one that matters to me.
God Bless you abundantly each and every day and for eternity.
Anne from London, UK

one grateful heart said...

Thank you again! God bless you! With the help of the Holy Spirit, on Whom I totally depend, I will persevere. I am touched that this blog is of spiritual benefit to you and pray that it continues to lead you into a more intimate relationship with our good God.