Several interesting things this week. I highlighted some of the key parts of the Hugh Hewitt interview with atheist Richard Dawkins. That seemed to be quite popular and got a lot of hits.
4Real Learning Forum had a good discussion and lots of links about praying the Liturgy of the Hours.
Dennis Prager's essay about the loss of his mother has been on my mind all week.
In preparation for All Saints Day this week, I'd like to share pictures of some of our old costumes and what the kids were. In this picture Calvin was Saint George and Sam was Noah's bunny. A couple of the people in our very conservative homeschool group raised an eyebrow that Noah was an animal other than a saint, but I figured I'd tied it in to the scriptures and it was a wholesome and cute costume so I didn't let it phase me. I believe Sam is around 3 or 4 in this picture. I used a pattern similar to this one.
Calvin wore a regular gray sweat suit that I got at Wal Mart underneath his play armor.
I used brown felt to cut the skirt to go around his waist to give it a more authentic look. That was pretty easy and just took scissors and I think it fastened with Velcro.
Rosie wore the same bunny costume last year! That's the nice thing about big families- you get a lot of wear out of your stuff.
Check out Aussie Annie for more wonderful ideas for an all saints day celebration!
I am Proud to be a Roman Catholic on Facebook.
always has timely e-mails to go with the liturgical year. This Novena for All Souls is their most recent. It really is worth signing up with them to get these conveniently delivered to your e-mail account.
Subject: Novena in preparation for the Feast of All Souls - Day 1
All Souls Novena - Day 1
St. Jean Vianney, The Cure' of Ars (1786-1859) - "We must say many prayers for the souls of the Faithful Departed, for one must be so pure to enter Heaven!"
Souls in Purgatory are on their way to Heaven but are not yet in heaven, that's why we pray for them.
Purgatory is a step before Heaven where believers are cleaned up for the "wedding banquet" of the Lord in Heaven. Not all believers have to go through Purgatory (some go straight to Heaven - It would be very cool to go straight to Heaven, lets pray for each other for that) but all people in Purgatory eventually make it to Heaven.
The Church believes that Purgatory is a place to clean up the effects of "Venial Sin" (not Mortal Sin which if unrepented, leads to eternal punishment - hell).
In other words, purgatory would be where the backslider would get cleaned up before joining the wedding banquet of the Lord - so he wouldn't be thrown out (Mat 22:12). For nothing unclean can enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27).
Purgatory does not remove sin itself, for Jesus did that on the Cross, but removes the effects of sin. An imperfect way to look at it is to think of a nail hammered into a piece of wood. My father would pull the nail out of the wood (sin) but there would still be a dent in the wood.
Purgatory is the process of straightening out the wood (the effect of sin). Certainly Jesus can and does the clean up. He is a merciful God but he is also a just God.
Reflection: Matthew 5:25; Luke 12:57-59; 1John 5:17
Sin is the one thing that holds back the progress of man's ascent to God. Only sin blocks his path. Vice and crime throw human beings back to animal levels when they should be mounting toward the angels. Death in mortal sin means the complete failure that is hell. It flings a man, who is destined for eternal happiness, into eternal loss and pain.
Death in venial sin or with the punishment due to sin still on the soul means a halt in the progress toward heaven. The poor soul - poor indeed in his eagerness to reach God and the tedious, painful delay that keeps him from God - must linger in God's prison house.
This is the sad land of purgatory. It is a place of anxious, almost impatient waiting. Since there are in purgatory relatives we loved and friends we knew and thousands of others who call to us for help, we pause and say:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who lives and reigns with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father and the Prayer for Mercy on the Souls in Purgatory.
Prayer for Mercy on the Souls in Purgatory
My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine agony in the Garden, in Thy scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary, in Thy crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in paradise.
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