My mother died in January of this year, and yet she is more fully present to me now than ever.
“In the communion of saints, a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1475.
“Therefore the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who have gone to sleep in the peace of Christ is not in the least weakened or interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the perpetual faith of the Church, is strengthened by a communication of spiritual goods … for after they have been received into their heavenly home and are present to the Lord, through Him and with Him and in Him they do not cease to intervene with the Father for us …” Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 5.
Once the physical bonds of time and space have been loosed by death and our loved ones are united with Christ, they can more surely provide spiritual support for us.
“Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.” St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.
I was very blue one evening this week, struggling with a family challenge. I connected my ear buds to my iPhone with plans to listen to nothing in particular. When I keyed the ear buds, jaunty Irish music immediately filled my ears and my heart was buoyed. I turned to my right and five feet away saw the smiling face of my mother. It was one of my favorite photographs of “Irish” on her 95th birthday.
What a wonderful spiritual gift to know that they are always there for us, that we can pray with and for each other.
“We are one body, one body in Christ; and we do not stand alone” (We Are One Body, Dana Scallon, OCP) … ever.
By: By Pat Mills, Sylvania Franciscan Associate