All Soul’s Day
Malvern Minute


All Soul’s Day

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed

November 2, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


Book of Wisdom 3:1-9

Psalm 231-3a, 3b-4, 5,6

Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 5:5-11 (or 6:3-9)

John 6:37-40


            When I was a pre-teenager my dad would recite a favorite verse many, many times.  He said he had once read on a tombstone, “Remember me as you pass by.  As you are now, so once was I.  As I am now, one day you’ll be.  So stop and say a prayer for me.”  This simple verse highlights something that I’ve always believed about All Souls Day.  It’s not simply a call to pray for our deceased loved ones.  It is also an awakening to our own mortality.

            Our first observation today is to point out that the Church has always taught that it is a good and wonderful thing to pray for the deceased.  In addition we should feel an obligation to our loved ones.  We Catholics have great devotion to saints such as Saints Anthony, Jude, and Mother Teresa, to name a few.   But what of our “own” saints, our unofficially canonized saints, such as our parents, siblings, and loved ones who have gone before us?  If we believe in faith that God is everywhere and that our loved ones are with God, then they are everywhere also.  They become our very special intercessors with God in the communion of saints.  

            Personally, I have found it most comforting that the loses of my family and friends become less painful when I keep the relationship alive through daily prayerful communication.  I pray to them by sharing my life, asking for blessings for myself and others and thanking them for the “miracles” I have received.  By doing this I feel that those relationships will continue in the next life.

            Our second observation is the awakening to our own mortality.  I have found that communication with those who have gone before me makes the thought of death less fearful.  In fact, psychologists tell us that the fear of dying is a normal human fear.  Here is an example of what I mean:

            There is a true story of two Catholic priests who were arrested and incarcerated in a country that banned religion.  During there several years of imprisonment they experienced painful tortures and privation.  Their most painful suffering occurred when on a given evening each was told, “This is your last meal.  Tomorrow you die!”  The following morning they were taken before a firing squad, blindfolded and listened to the commands of, “Ready, aim, fire!”  After hearing the shots they were stunned to find out that they were still alive.  The soldiers were ordered to shoot above the heads of the two priests.  This act of psychological torture occurred fifteen times over a ten month period.  When they were finally freed they were asked to share their stories.  They both claimed that they were comforted by the story of “Sister Death” as Saint Francis of Assisi called her, and lost their fear of death.  What was more inspiring was their willingness to forgive their captors and their ability to live joyfully in their present moment.  Both of these holy men were fully alive by living where God dwells, in the NOW of our lives. 

            Friends no one knows what the afterlife will be like.  However, I do know that our Lord Jesus comforts us in the Gospel of Saint John (14:1-6) by telling us to not let our hearts be troubled and that He is going to prepare a place for us so that where He is we also may be.  Our Lord Jesus does this for me, for you, and for all who have gone before us.  May all who have gone before the throne of God be blessed, now and forever!

Question of the DayWill you pray daily for the souls of your family and friends as well as the souls in purgatory? 

Prayer:  May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.  Amen. 



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