Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Holy Souls Novena, Day 6

"My soul waits for the Lord
more than sentinels wait for the dawn."

I got out of bed this morning.

Darwin has gotten up extra early this week so that he can get home early, and I've gotten up with him. Normally I stay in bed if he has to leave early, but during this novena, I've been exercising my power to choose to get up with him instead of stay cozy in bed. Once I'm up, it's not bad -- we have quiet time to chat, and actually run the risk of him leaving late because it's hard to stop talking. But the first action of getting up is the hardest part.

Still, I get to make that choice, to perfect my will a bit, and to offer it for the holy souls in Purgatory. They can't participate in perfecting their will. Everything in them is bent toward God, and they cannot hasten their arrival into his presence. Like the sentinels waiting for the dawn, they are powerless to bring about the thing they long for.

I am not powerless. I can move toward God any moment I choose to. I can draw nearer to him just by willing it, by longing for it. This is unfathomable power. St. Paul says, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church" (Col. 1:24). Every soul, even the souls in Purgatory, can offer their sufferings for others, but on earth we can offer them for ourselves as well, "in my flesh".

That's worth getting out of bed for.


(Act of Faith:) My God, I believe in You, because You are Truth itself; I firmly believe the truths revealed to the Church.
(Act of Hope:) My God, I hope in You, because You are infinitely good.
(Act of Love:) My God, I love You with all my heart, and above all things, because You are infinitely perfect; and I love my neighbor as myself, for the love of You.

The family bonds forged by oneness in Christ are not broken by death.  The whole Church, living and dead, is still one in Him.  So those who have gone before us remain connected to us in the profoundest way possible.  By virtue of this fact, we can still love and have compassion on our dearly departed.  “And they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out…In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection….if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.  Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” (2Macc12:42-45)  Through our oneness in Christ, we have enormous influence in the lives of one another.  It is a profound act of love to use that influence to aid our brothers and sisters in Purgatory—to hasten their purification and speed their entry into the joys of Heaven.  “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” (James5:16)  Loving God, take our act of prayer and apply it to the benefit of our loved ones in Purgatory as we pray:

Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication:

If You, O Lord, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with You is forgiveness,
that You may be revered.

I trust in the Lord;
my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the Lord.
For with the Lord is kindness,
and with Him is plenteous redemption;
And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Eternal Father, we offer Thee the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.  For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the holy souls in Purgatory.  Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed for whom we offer this novena, rest in peace. Amen.

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