Editorials

Let Your Voice Be Heard

This Tuesday, we get our annual opportunity to go to the polls and make our choices as to where the city, state and nation is heading.

As a Catholic newspaper, we are not permitted to endorse individual candidates because of archaic tax and postal regulations. We can, however, speak to the issues. And we have been.

We are concerned about the effect of many of the current policies on the common good. We are also concerned with the lack of respect that has been shown to the voice of the Catholic community, on such issues as fairness to the parents who choose to send their children to Catholic and other private schools.

We ask you to apply the principles of the right to life, from the moment of conception to the final breath of a human being, and apply them to the position of the candidates.

Gone are the days of voting along party lines. Make an intelligent vote based on your concerns as a person of faith. But most of all, make sure you vote!

 

Pay It Forward

 

This Sunday, we commemorate All Souls Day. This is a beautiful and often overlooked liturgical celebration, and, unfortunately, many of our faithful (and dare we say, even some of our clergy) fail to recognize the importance of this day. This is the day when we pray for all those among us who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. This is the day when, specifically, we pray for all those who have died.

You see, we as Catholics believe in Purgatory. A recent convert informed us that when he asked his pastor and his RCIA director, a religious, about Purgatory, they laughed and told him that it wasn’t real, that it wasn’t important. Vatican II did not “write out” Purgatory at all and we need to understand what it is that we as Catholics teach about it. This is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1030-1032), the compilation of the definitive teaching of our Church, states:

“All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.”

When we die, if we are judged worthy by the Lord of Mercy to enter into his Kingdom, we need time to adjust our eyesight from the vision of this world to the Beatific Vision. Purgatory is the condition of existence that helps us make that transition from the temporal to the eternal.

A beautiful tradition exists for priests on All Souls Day – every priest may celebrate three Requiem Masses: (1) for a specific intention, (2) for all the faithful departed and (3) for the Holy Father’s intentions. This privilege was granted by Pope Benedict XV in “Incruentum altaris” (1915) and has never been revoked.

Now, we know that our priests are busy with pastoral needs, especially on a Sunday, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that this beautiful, scripturally based tradition of praying in the best way that we as Catholics know how – the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – still goes on?

There was a film a number of years ago entitled “Pay It Forward,” that taught if a good deed is performed for you, then you, in turn, should provide a good deed. Our Masses and prayers on All Souls Day are our Catholic version of “paying it forward.” Where they are, one day we shall be as well. Priests and laity today need to pay it forward.

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