CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on November 2, 2013

Limbo3

Gospel reading of the day:

John 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds: “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: When we love someone, we wrap our arms around that person. Jesus comes to gather all of us into his arms. He has received a mission from the Father to save us for the Father and himself. God, who can do all things, does not undertake lightly the mission of working out our road to Godself because God’s arms exist to wrap themselves around us–both we who are living and still making our way and those who have gone before us.

Saint of the day: The Church has encouraged prayer for the dead from the earliest times as an act of Christian charity. “If we had no care for the dead,” Augustine noted, “we would not be in the habit of praying for them.” Yet pre-Christian rites for the deceased retained such a strong hold on the superstitious imagination that a liturgical commemoration was not observed until the early Middle Ages, when monastic communities began to mark an annual day of prayer for the departed members. In the middle of the 11th century, St. Odilo, abbot of Cluny m.5111_all-saints-day(France), decreed that all Cluniac monasteries offer special prayers and sing the Office for the Dead on November 2, the day after the feast of All Saints. The custom spread from Cluny and was finally adopted throughout the Roman Church.

The theological underpinning of the feast is the acknowledgment of human frailty. Since few people achieve perfection in this life but, rather, go to the grave still scarred with traces of sinfulness, some period of purification seems necessary before a soul comes face-to-face with God. The Council of Trent affirmed this purgatory state and insisted that the prayers of the living can speed the process of purification. Superstition easily clung to the observance. Medieval popular belief held that the souls in purgatory could appear on this day in the form of witches, toads or will-o’-the-wisps. Graveside food offerings supposedly eased the rest of the dead. Observances of a more religious nature have survived. These include public processions or private visits to cemeteries and decorating graves with flowers and lights. This feast is observed with great fervor in Mexico.

Spiritual reading: Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living. (Mother Jones)

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