Yesterday, we commemorated all the Saints in Heaven. Today, we remember and pray for the holy souls in Purgatory. When we think of the Saints, we reflect how much they loved God and all people. So, many of them gave up their freedom and possessions in order to care for the poor and the sick. They saw Jesus in each person they tended. The Souls in Purgatory loved God too, although imperfectly. They died with God’s Life in them; however, they still had unforgiven venial sins and perhaps did not make sufficient reparation for forgiven mortal sins. Nevertheless, they love God and are happy to do his will. They know that they will be in Heaven and see God after their time of cleansing.
Our prayers for these Souls shows our love for them. We can offer up the merits gained by our prayers and sacrifices for them; they can no longer gain merit for themselves. We love them because they are God’s children. We and everyone here on earth are God’s children too, whether we are born or not yet born, sick or weak. So, all of us together, with God’s children in heaven, make up the Communion of Saints.
While the holy souls in Purgatory cannot pray for or gain merit for themselves, they can pray for us who are still on the journey to eternal life. The Saints in Heaven pray for us and for the holy souls as well. This is part of being in the Communion of Saints, that is, praying for each other. The most powerful prayer of all is the holy Mass. So, it is commendable for us to remember those who have died in our Masses with the intention that they may soon be celebrating their All Saints’ Day in Heaven. There is no greater gift than this.