“No…..don’t leave me!!”
A cry of a helpless one!
A set of twins were growing inside the womb of the mother.
For around nine months, these little ones have known each other.
>> They have eaten together, played together, sometimes even fought with each other…and above all, shared a lot of love and happy moments.
But now it is the time of delivery.
>> Little do these infants know the concept of delivery.
As the first one is ready to be delivered, the second twin holds on to it tight….crying:
“No…..don’t leave me….!
No…..don’t leave me….!”
It’s a heart-breaking cry…a soul-wrenching wail!
To see its partner, being taken away, seems the end of the world for this second twin.
>> To realize that they can no longer play or live together in the same place, is indeed too sad a moment for this second twin.
Is it all over for this second twin?
>> Will it see its partner no more?
>> Why is such a cruelty being inflicted on this second twin?
However…to those on the other side of the delivery…who are awaiting the delivery….these are precious and highly joyful moments.
>> What seemed death for the second twin…
… was life for those outside.
>> What seemed the end of the world for the second twin…
… was the start of life for those outside.
In a few moments, even the second twin will be taken out, and will be reunited to the first…
>> The wail of tears will be transformed to a well of joy!
>> The cry of sadness will be changed to a channel of happiness!
This analogy could be a reasonable metaphor for our life here on this world.
We are like this second twin…
>> We fall in love with our close ones
We live with them, share our life, sometimes even fight…
… yet we love them much!
And finally, one day, mostly unexpectedly, they are taken away from us…
… They die!
We cry, “No…..don’t leave me!…
… but nothing brings them back!
Death seems to be an end for us!
But, the Lord who was crucified and was dead for three days and rose to life, with an assuring smile tells us, “No! All is not over.
>> What seems death for you, is the beginning of life in Me.
>> What seems immense sadness for you, is the start of a real joy in Me.
Fear not…cry not… I am the Life and the Resurrection”
This is what St Paul echoed in his First Letter to the Corinthians 15:5:
“Where, O Death, is your victory?
>> Where, O Death, is your sting??
Today is the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed….the All Souls Day.
In the Apostles Creed, we recite, “I believe….in the Communion of Saints”.
The term “communion of saints” has two closely-linked meanings: communion in holy things and communion among holy persons.
The Communion of Saints is the three states of the Church:
>> The Church Militant (the Pilgrim Church on earth),
>> The Church Suffering (the Faithful Departed),
>> The Church Triumphant (the Saints in Glory)
“… at the present time, some of His disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating ‘in full light, God himself Triune and one, exactly as He is'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #954)
On this day, we (the Church Militant), in union with the prayers of the saints in glory (the Church Triumphant), reach out our prayers, intercessions and love in a very special manner…
… for our suffering brothers and sisters (the Church Suffering).
(Yesterday, November 1st, we celebrated and thanked God specially for the Saints in Glory – the Church Triumphant)
What makes us to pray for the dead…the faithful departed?
It is necessarily because of the co-relationship that all human beings share with each other.
>> We do pray for the people who are in need, when they live on this earth.
>> We do seek intercessions on their behalf to God, when they are with us.
When a person dies, his/her existence ceases only in our sight.
They still continue to live in God’s sight.
>> The dead, are not dead for God.
This is what Jesus says in Luke 20:38, “…he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him, all are alive”
Therefore, it is logical and reasonable that we pray for the faithful departed.
“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. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1030)
Therefore, it is a duty on our part that we pray for the purification of these Faithful Departed.
This Commemoration is also a reminder of our own Death and the death of our close ones.
True, that as frail humans, we may have a natural fear and even a sort of phobia of death.
>> But our Christian Love, Faith and Hope must gain the upper-hand in us.
> Death is frightening for the faithless…
… but for the faithful, it is the doorway to the Fountain of Faith!
> Death is horrifying for the loveless…
… but for those who love, it is the passage to the Fullness of Love!
> Death is devastating for the hopeless..
… but for those who hope, it is the entry to the Spring of Hope!
Death is a reality.
>> No amount of reflection or sermons can substitute the pain of this reality.
Sometimes, in such situations, silence is the only answer that we can provide.
>> But this silence ought to be a “silence of hope”, a “silence of trust” and a “silence of faith”.
> When we love God deeper, the fear of death decreases.
>> When we have a stronger faith in God, the pain of death reduces.
>> When we have an unshakeable hope in God, the anguish of death subsides.
Death is hard.
> And our lips may only cry, “No…..don’t leave me….”
But, the Lord has conquered this death!
Let us look on to Him, on the Cross, and find greater meaning and hope in life.
May our Blessed Mother Mary who bore the pain of the death of Her Beloved Child on the Cross…
… be our refuge and strength.
>> May the prayers and example of the Church Triumphant be our inspiration and courage.
Let us also keep in mind, that this day of the “All Souls Day” as well as the Month of November is a time to gain Indulgences, that the Church offers.
(1) A plenary indulgence for the faithful departed in purgatory can be gained, by visiting a cemetery, each day between November 1 and November 8 and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental.
(2) A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who, on All Souls’ Day (or on the Sunday preceding or following it, or on the solemnity of All Saints), devoutly visits a church and recites an Our Father and the Creed.
(3) A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when the prayer:
>> “Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
(Let’s also keep in mind the conditions to be fulfilled for the reception of the Plenary Indulgence:
a. Do the act of the Indulgence (prayer/act) while in a state of grace
b. Receive Sacramental confession within 20 days
c. Receive Holy Communion
d. Pray for the Pope’s intentions (Our Father and Hail Mary, and/or other appropriate prayer), is sufficient),
e. Have no attachment to sin (even venial) – the person needs to make ‘an act of the will’ to love God and despise sin.
Yes, let us pray:
“Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace…
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – Let is walk, joyously, dear souls, among the difficulties of this passing life …
>> These pains will have an end when our life ends, after which there will be only joy, only contentment!”