Pastor’s Letter – November 12, 2017: Teachings on Acts of Purification
Our Lord says that entrance into the Kingdom is reserved to the childlike and only the pure of heart will see the face of God. The beatitudes describe the quality of a soul destined for heaven. What happens if a person is not childlike enough or pure of heart enough? It reminds me of the parable Our Lord of those at the banquet who did not have the proper wedding garments, they were thrown out shamefacedly. If the Church did not have its teaching on purgatory, we would have to invent it.
There has to be an approach to God and the Kingdom that involves purification, a getting ready when there is more work to be done. And who of us is ready when we examine our lives to take our place in the Kingdom: who is small enough, empty of ego enough, humble enough, full of love? I dare say few of us are. And this is why we need Purgatory. Purgatory is not a negative thing; it is an expression of God’s mercy. It moves the soul to be the person that God created it to be, formed in the school of love to take up our places in heaven.
Purgatory is also an expression of the Communion of Saints: earth, purgatory and heaven are connected in God’s love. Our prayers and supplications can help the souls in purgatory as they are being prepared for heaven. The liturgy always teaches us. If we listen closely to the prayers at a funeral Mass, we are praying that the soul of the deceased person may be released and forgiven from sin so as to enter into the glory of heaven: “We pray that any stain of sin or any human fault may be forgiven and wiped away.”(Funeral Mass offertory prayer)
November is a the month we remember the holy souls in purgatory, those of our family and friends and those who have no one to one to pray for them. It is an act of charity to pray for the souls in purgatory. We can remember the departed especially when we pray the Rosary and at Mass. Every Eucharistic Prayer has a commemoration of the dead. The commemoration is a good time to remember the dead. When the chalice is raised with the precious blood we can put those souls in the chalice, the perfect sacrifice offered to the Father.
On another topic, after much consideration, I have decided to restructure the parish administration to better serve our parish and school community. After being here for almost a year and half I see more clearly the needs of the parish and school and have decided to create a facilities position along with an administrative position. I will be shifting duties to create two positions that are currently being done by one position. This restructuring of responsibilities and creating these two new positions means that the present administrative position held by Ted Krembs will be going away. I am interviewing for these two new positions and hope to have them filled soon.