Saturday, July 25, 2015

Praying for the Dead

What good does it do to pray for the dead?

We pray for the dead because the Christian knows that the life we live in is not our permanent home. We were made for better things.  We were made to live with God.  Besides, as a Catholic I believe in the  communion of saints.  That means we pray for our dear departed ones, and they will pray for us.  I like to think of it as having intercessors.  In fact St. Dominic told his friars,  “Do not weep, my children; I shall be more useful to you where I am now going, than I have ever been in this life.”

Jesus says the same thing.  “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:2–3).

So the dead aren't dead.  They're more alive than we are now.  We keep in touch with them and they with us with our mutual prayers--communion of saints.  Additionally, praying for the dead, helps us grieve for losing our dear ones.  Praying is offering love.  Praying for the dead benefits ourselves.  It helps us feel that we are doing something.  And so we are.  We are offering prayers for the dead and therein aiding in our own grieving process.  That's the communion of saints.  And that's another reason I'm glad I'm Catholic.  The respectful, loving understanding of death is such a comfort when we lose someone dear.

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