Updated: Nov 9
I went to a funeral yesterday. The mother of a dear friend passed away so my wife and I attended the services. Funerals are very interesting to me. It's fascinating to see how people deal with the loss of a loved one. Some people are very open with their emotions and have no problem expressing them through tears and lots of hugs. There's those who tend to suppress their emotions, put on a bold face and attempt to be strong for others. And then there's those who seem to be at peace with the loss. Those are the people that really grab my attention because I'm curious of why they're at peace.
I'd like to think that those who find peace in death, is because they understand that dying in this world, simply begins life in the next world. They know that the person has only died in their body, but their soul is beginning their life of eternity. That should give us tremendous hope. That thought alone can be an inspiration to live a life of serving God. Our life here on Earth is frequently referred to as a "life of exile." And it is! We have to be very careful to not allow the reasoning of the world to creep into our minds by making us think that this life is it. Our souls will live for eternity. It's just a question of where that eternity will be spent.
The funeral we attended yesterday was in a Traditional Catholic Church. There's an incredible difference in the funeral services between the present day Catholic Church and the Traditional Catholic Church. I've been to funerals in both and I can assure you that they're like night and day. The first thing you'll notice is that in the Traditional services, the priest is dressed in black vestments. At a funeral in the new Catholic Church, the priest is in white vestments. This is a recent change and it's not a good one. White vestments express celebration, while the black vestments express mourning and the need for prayer. The next difference is incredibly important and that's because in the new Catholic Church, the priest will tell you that the departed is now enjoying the bliss of Heaven, while the Traditional priest will tell you that the departed was, like us, a sinner who offended God many times, and with those sins comes God's justice. Due to God's justice, that soul is more than likely in purgatory and is in desperate need of our prayers. That is of the utmost importance. The souls that make their way directly to Heaven after death are so few and far between that an infant could count them.
If you truly love the person who's soul has been required of them, you'll live the rest of your life under the assumption that their soul is in purgatory and is in desperate need of your prayers. If that soul is released from purgatory your prayers won't be wasted, they'll go to the next deserving soul. God would never allow a prayer to be wasted. Remember also that when your prayers help release a soul from purgatory, that soul will never forget how you've helped them. They can now go before the throne of God in Heaven and pray directly to God on your behalf. That's worth it's weight in gold and then some. We all want to see our loved one's again. Loving and serving God should be reason enough to live a holy life, but if that simply isn't the case, live a holy life in the hopes that you'll be able to see and be with your loved ones again. God is so good that'll He'll accept many different reasons why you led a good life and didn't offend Him with sin.
This life is temporary. It's an opportunity for us to prove to God that we are worthy of being in Heaven with Him. If we fall short of proving ourselves here, God will step in and help us after our death by allowing us to be perfected through the purification of purgatory. It won't be easy but that's God's justice. In His infinite goodness, He's allowed us help while enduring the sufferings of purgatory. That help is from the prayers of those still here on Earth. Prove your love to the ones that are gone from this life by never forgetting them. Pray for them everyday. Make sacrifices on their behalf. Have masses said for them, especially on the anniversary of their death. What better way to show your love for somebody, than by helping them to be welcomed into the glory of Heaven.
Peace, good and blessings.