Thanks to those who said a prayer and/or left a comment, greatly appreciated.
This has caused me to reflect more on the mystical body of Christ and especially
purgatory. I am also thankful of purgatory, especially with the statement in the
book of Revelations
But nothing unclean shall enter it [heaven]
So if I make it that far I will be more than happy to receive the deep
cleaning and scrubbing required to look at God in the Beautific Vision. In some
ways I see the blogosphere as a metaphor for the communion of saints. We ask for
others to pray for us even though normally we don’t see them or know what they
look like or even where they are located. And we pray for others who we also
can’t see. It was a great mercy of God that he allows our prayers to work in his
will (it certainly wasn’t required). One of the best descriptions I head of this
was the example of the mother who lets her child help her in the baking of
cookies, the mother certainly didn’t require this help – but through love
included the child in the preparation.
The prayer of
a just man has great power in its effects. –James 5:16
Well I’m just a man so hopefully that will be good enough. I have often heard
of the spiritual cleansing fire in purgatory and thought about the fact that we
always seem to concentrate on the seemingly negative aspects of things. We
normally don’t see the great joy of having faults and imperfections removed from
us. When we think of detachment we think of having to force ourselves from the
attachment to things. There is that famous statement of St. Augustines’ “Give me
chastity and continence, but not yet.” I try to think of it as attachment
instead; attachment to God alone. To attach ourselves to God alone we must
remove those many tentacles of attachment to things. Just another of those many
seeming paradoxes, such as dying to ourselves to live. Our society sees many
things as a zero-sum game, such as if someone earns another dollar then someone
must be losing a dollar. We think that to love and devote ourselves to God more
is to love and devote ourselves to our neighbor less. This zero-sum game in
economics is patently false and it is even more false in our relation to God and
neighbor which is dynamic. Another example that I have heard used is of a
triangle; where one side of the triangle is the love of God and the other side
is love of neighbor, as you approach the apex both sides get closer and at the
top they are perfectly united.
My Grandmother has two sisters both living (one who is 99) and I know that
there time here is closing and I have another Grandmother in her late 90s. My
mother is dying from cancer and my Aunt is also not in very good condition. I
certainly don’t look forward to when they do die and know there will be great
pain in this (just admiting this to mysellf and writing the last couple of
sentences was more painful than I thought it would be), but the reality of
redemption and salvation also makes me rejoice in their hopeful union with God
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
let the perpetual light shine upon them.
And may the souls of all the faithful departed, through
the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.