Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where I Belong (Praying for the Holy Souls, the Culture, and the Election!)

I've noticed a strong happiness and fulfillment, as if I'm in my proper place, whenever I'm...

...praying for the souls in Purgatory.

Yesterday I went to gain a plenary indulgence for the souls in purgatory, since we are in the Octave of All Saint's Day. As I walked among the headstones, I had the strong sense that each stood for one or two people and that I was really but imperceptibly walking among a crowd of my fellow men. (This sense gripped me especially as I passed the infant graves, where headstones were closely packed and one stood for a pair of twins. The dead are like the living: some are young, some are old.)

In truth, the souls do not ordinarily linger on earth and so cemeteries are not crowds of souls, but the mental image or perception swelled to tremendous strength for my benefit. I realized that the only difference between me and the dead is that my soul and body are together and the souls of the dead are gone either to their eternal place, or to Purgatory. Except for this accident, we are alike. 

Those souls still exist, and those in Purgatory were doubtlessly aware of me as I walked on earth in prayer for them. Praying for the souls is a great (some say the greatest) act of charity, since they are very (or most) helpless. I became acutely aware of this yesterday, as I realized that the crowd I was surrounded by was hungrier than any starving person, more captive than any earthly prisoner, and more desperate and naked than any poor person. They are so holy and close to God, yet cannot slake their thirst for Him yet!

This isn't to say that we should ignore the hungry, poor, imprisoned, and naked on earth. It is only to say: do not forget the Holy Souls, if for no other reasons than (1) that you are not so far from being dead, and (2) because their need is so desperate.

Today I went again. Please visit a cemetery today to pray for the dead.

...hacking at the root of the Culture of Death.

Coming back down to earth: the excitement of fighting the good fight is an enormous high. I'm up to my eyeballs in it, with CMA-SS, MedSFL, 40 Days for Life, NFP apologetics, and (most recently) starting a 1flesh chapter at the university associated with my med school.

I'm fighting a war on half a dozen fronts (you might say I'm completely surrounded). Because I have the Truth, who is on the Cross, it can be very motivating and also extremely discouraging. Sometimes I want to fight, and other times I can't bear the thought of it.

...praying for our nation.

It doesn't look good, the morning of election day.

Eight years ago, too young to vote, I watched an election map progress through the evening on my laptop, bargaining with God that if He let the incumbent win I would spend the rest of my life fighting the pro-life cause (sheepishly admitting that I would also do that if the other candidate won). Bush won.

Four years ago, I voted pro-life, but I watched in a hazy apathy as Obama was elected. I didn't think he would be able to do much damage. To be honest, I don't know the severity of the damage he has done, since I cannot find a source that simultaneously avoids demonizing him and avoids worshipping him. I do not doubt, however, that he is the most liberal president we have had and that he has done damage to the country, especially in areas of fiscal responsibility, international catastrophes, and social/sexual issues.

This year, I avoid both of those attitudes by trusting in Jesus, in whose goodness I am firmly confident. My prayer is that Mr. Romney will be elected because I perceive fewer souls will be placed in danger under his leadership. But I am aware that my King is Mercy and whatever we will undergo is not only "okay," but wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. As I sit here with much sadness watching the networks project Obama's re-election, I turned to my blog reader for a distraction. Your words here - especially in closing - give me great comfort. Thank you for your reminder. And thank you for your prayers for the Holy Souls.