All Souls

On this All Souls’ Day, we commemorate all the souls of the faithful who have departed from this world. We remember our loved ones who have passed on and all others who have gone before us, those whose earthly lives and existences had come to an end. On this All Souls’ Day, we pray for those holy souls in purgatory, those who are also part of the universal Church of God. They are the Church Suffering just as the glorious saints in Heaven are the Church Triumphant and we who are still living in this world are part of the Church Militant. We are all united as part of this same Church of God (CCC 946-962).
These souls in purgatory have not merited the glory of heaven. Their sins were not that grave that they be condemned to the fires of hell, nor do they have attained the fullness of grace to enter the glory of heaven. But these souls have been judged worthy by God and after a certain period of purification they will merit the glory of beatific vision. They remain in purgatory not because they are wicked, but their residual sins have blocked the way to perfect and selfless love. Nothing unholy can stand before God. Thus, those in purgatory are waiting for the expiation or the atonement of their sins. We often hear about the purifying fire of purgatory. But it is only to be understood symbolically. It is their burning love and desire to be with God, and the sorrow and repentance over the sins which prevented them from attaining the fullness of heavenly glory that made them to suffer.
We pray for them because they cannot pray for themselves. The saints in heaven pray for the members of the church suffering and also for the church militant. The holy souls in purgatory pray for us. Thus, when their love is perfected through their selfless prayer for others, they will attain eternal happiness.
✍️ CB