Father Steve Grunow shares his homily for All Souls Day, a day in which we pray for the dead. These prayers serve a mighty purpose, for they are our pipeline to those purgatory, and part of their journey to heaven. This isn't a "here" vs. "there" relationship, but one that draws us all into the divine life of Jesus Christ.
The feast of All Souls, or the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, is the day on which Masses offered are intended for the benefit of the dead.
This particular practice seems to have originated with the monasteries associated with the Cluniac reform, and quickly gained momentum in terms of popular piety.
The theological reasoning that undergirds the practice of offering Masses for the dead is inextricably linked to the Church’s understanding of Purgatory, but perhaps more importantly, to the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints insists that the dead remain in a relationship with the living, and both can intercede for one another. This prayerful rapport is to the benefit of both.
The Communion of Saints also means that the Church is simultaneously a reality of earth and of heaven and the two co-inhere with each other in tangible ways...
The best moments in life frequently occur when we lose all track of time. Instagram, the social media photo phenomenon, helps us keep stylish track of these experiences. Rozann Carter, having recently returned from the "Eternal City," reflects on these photoframed glimpses of heaven and what they have to say about the the real "eternal" city.
Rome is known as the Eternal City. The adage originated from an imperialistic assumption that this axis of scientific, societal, militaristic, and artistic achievement would never crumble, that it would be the center of the world for as long as the world existed. Tibullus, Ovid, Virgil, and other heavyweight ancient poets—trusted, almost prophetic voices in the ancient world— all referred to the city in so many words.
We all know the end of that story. Rome fell. The Eternal City eventually took its place among other temporal civilizations, one in a long line of collapsed, sacked, shells-of-their-former-glory cities of men. Eternal? Um. Oops.
However, that classification, from what I have experienced, still rings true in a different way. Rome is “eternal” alright,” but in the paradoxical, snapshot sort of way that characterizes all of the most ethereal moments in life. To explain this is to talk around what eternal really means.