Pray for those in Purgatory

These next few days offer an oppportunity for us to remember the many souls that have touched our lives: those we loved, those who did not love us, and those who only briefly made an impression.

Everyone is a child of God, beloved unto Him.

Therefore, every life matters. Some people we feel confident or hopeful have gone to Heaven. Others we may in a lesser mood desire to consign to Hell. But deep in our hearts we know that we have done wrong too, and it only diminishes our character to wish such a fate upon any other soul. Think of those people and ask for God's mercy and healing. In God's time, it is never "too late" to pray for any person, no matter how long ago they passed away.

That's why it's important to recall the memory of all who have died. Your prayer for that person might still be a healing balm for those in Purgatory.

Think of people, who may or may not have died yet, who only came into your life for a short time, to whom you were indifferent: the homeless guy asking for money, the clerk at a store, the person who helped fix your flat tire once and you never saw again.

These too are worthy of your consideration, not just those you loved and whom you found difficult to love, but the people you forgot, the people you left out of your list when you remembered those who have passed out of your milieu from days past.

That's what praying for the souls in Purgatory means. It means none of us stands outside the love of God, and none of us is worthy to judge who is in Heaven or Hell. We are called to pray for everyone.

This Halloween, think of it like Memorial Day, go to a cemetery on Nov.2, go to Mass on Nov.1, and pray that the most cruel, unjust, or spiteful person who ever hurt you is also shown mercy on All Hallows Eve. Christ came to penetrate all darkness and sin, universally and wholly. Pray for those trapped in darkness that they may see the Light. Pray for the ghoulies and ghosties and everything which terrifies us, that we'd rather not know is out there.

Pray for rapists, child molesters, serial murderes.
Pray for abortionists, alcoholics, and pornographers.
Pray for tyrants, convicts, and terrorists.
Pray for people with disorders, prejudice, and cynicism.
Pray for those who are afraid, anxious, or angry.

Consign noone to Hell, lest you enter there yourself.

That's what Halloween is for. We know what Holiness is...

...and we recall what it isn't.

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