Thought for the Day – 7 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
How We Can Help the Faithful Departed
“We have a natural obligation to help the faithful departed, for they are our fellow-men.
Are we capable of watching another human being in agony, without feeling pity for him?
If there is some way in which we can help him, moreover, ought we not to do so?
The Holy Souls are in agony, however, they are on fire with the love of God, yet cannot be united to Him.
We have a means of helping them through our prayers and good works.
There is a further obligation on us, arising from our religion.
They have been redeemed, like ourselves, by the Blood of Christ and God has told us that the same degree of mercy, will one day be shown to us, which we have shown to others.
The time will come when we also shall find ourselves in Purgatory and shall be in need of prayer.
If we remember the dead now, they will be in a position, one day, to do the same for us.
Blessed are the merciful, Jesus says, for they will obtain mercy.
When we appear before the judgement seat of God in order to account for the way in which we have spent our lives, He will count as done to Himself, whatever we have done to the poor, hungry and ill-clad.
Only if we have been merciful towards them, will He receive us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Otherwise, He will send us away, accursed, for all eternity.
Now the Souls in Purgatory are more unfortunate than those who are poor, hungry and homeless in this world.
They hunger for God, they are full of regret for the sins which they have committed and they languish far from the eternal home, to which they belong.
Finally, we have a duty in justice, to help their souls.
Some of them are our parents, brothers, sisters, friends and benefactors.
Perhaps they are suffering now because they loved us too much because they wished to make money for us or because, they were led astray by our bad example!
It is not only charity, therefore but justice, which obliges us to pray for them.”