You can listen to the podcast of the programme HERE.
Death, Dying and Grief - Remembering our dead and reflecting on our deaths
May angels lead you into paradise; upon your arrival, may the martyrs receive you and lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem. May the ranks of angels receive you, and with Lazarus, the poor man, may you have eternal rest.Over at iBenedictines, Digitalnun wrote a wonderful reflection for All Souls in 2012:
Catholicism can be an uncomfortable religion to live by, but it is a wonderful religion in which to die. As death draws closer we are surrounded by prayer, our bodies are anointed and we receive the Viaticum to help us on our way. At the moment of death a singularly beautiful prayer is prayed, and after death our bodies are accorded the simple rituals I described in an earlier post. But that is not the end of of the matter. The Church goes on praying for us, perseveringly. November, in particular, is a month when we pray for the dead with special earnestness. Today, on the feast of All Souls, everyone will join in praying for all the faithful departed — not just the people known to us, but those unknown, those who have no-one else to pray for them. The feast of All Souls thus unites the living and the dead.
Last year I summed it up by saying
"Instead of pushing the dead out of sight or surrounding them with euphemisms, we state the facts baldly and pray for the dead as we pray for ourselves, asking God to remove every trace of sin from those not yet ready for the blessedness of heaven. We believe that our prayers can help those who have died and are undergoing the final purification of purgatory, when the soul is prepared for the vision of God. To pray for the dead is thus a work of charity, a way of helping those who cannot help themselves."
"The souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect."
-- From the Book of Wisdom
Pope Francis at All Souls’ Mass: Today is a day of hope
Pope: Don’t forget the souls in Purgatory!
All Souls Day and the Shock of Death
What is All Souls’ Day and how is it celebrated around the world?
Pray St. Gertrude the Great’s powerful prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
5 Prayers for the dead (that you can take to the cemetery)
A long-standing Christian tradition recognizes the powerful spiritual value in remembering one’s death in order to live well. The Rule of Saint Benedict, written in the 6th century, includes the imperative to “keep death daily before one’s eyes.” As the Catechism points out, both Scripture and the teachings of the Church remind us of “the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny” (1036, emphasis mine).
The practice of remembering that you will die helps you to keep in mind that your life will end, and that it has a goal: heaven.
Visual reminders — often called memento mori, the Latin phrase for “Remember that you will die” — are one way we can keep our impending death in mind. Saints Jerome, Aloysius, and Mary Magdalene, among others, are often depicted in classic paintings with skulls. Saint Francis of Assisi once signed a blessing to Brother Leo with the tau cross and a small drawing of a skull. Pope Alexander VII commissioned Italian artist Bernini to make a coffin that he kept in his bedroom along with a marble skull for his desk to remind him of the brevity of life. Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Daughters of Saint Paul, also kept a skull on his desk.
Atlas Obscura - Memento Mori
Memento mori - How religious orders remember death
Young Nun, Former Atheist Says: “Remember Your Death”
You can listen to the reflection in part 2 excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.
Gospel - Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,"Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "The first is this:Hear, O Israel!The Lord our God is Lord alone!You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,with all your soul, with all your mind,and with all your strength.The second is this:You shall love your neighbor as yourself.There is no other commandment greater than these." The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.You are right in saying,'He is One and there is no other than he.'And 'to love him with all your heart,with all your understanding,with all your strength,and to love your neighbor as yourself'is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,he said to him,"You are not far from the kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical odds & ends
Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 3
Saints of the Week
November 5th - St Martin de Porres
November 6th - All the Saints of Ireland
November 7th - St Willibrord
November 8th - Bl John Duns Scotus
November 9th - Dedication of St John on the Lateran
November 10th - St Leo the Great