All Souls’ Day
The Church has encouraged prayer for the dead from the earliest times as an act of Christian charity. “If we had no care for the dead,” Augustine noted, “we would not be in the habit of praying for them.”
Let us think of the words of our Lord in the Gospel (John 6:37-40) in relation to the Souls in Purgatory. The practical point here is that by our prayers, our Masses, and by the Indulgences we gain, we can hasten this purification of those in Purgatory. St Thomas More once wrote a powerful piece lamenting the neglect of the Souls in Purgatory. He reminded his readers that it is a great act of charity to pray for the Faithful Departed.
Let us do this, then! Let us pray for our loved ones, and for the countless souls who are being purified and who have no-one to pray for them. So important is this that the Church sets aside a day every year for Masses to be celebrated across the entire universal Church for all the Souls in Purgatory. Let us make this a spiritual work of mercy which we engage in all our lives — and they will pray for us when we are there ourselves.