All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day serve as helpful reminders of the need to aspire towards perfection and union with God. We see souls at various stages. On one hand, we see souls who have attained perfection and are in Heaven. On another hand, we see souls going through purification – the Holy Souls in Purgatory and ourselves. We see what we are aspiring to in the Saints, and we see the need to aspire towards perfection now in the Holy Souls. In addition we see that we should pray for the Holy Souls, and perhaps in a mirror-like fashion, we see that we need to pray for others who are alive now to help them to reach Heaven and sanctity.
Marriage and the family might benefit from a focus on purification and sanctification. People that are married and in families might benefit from thinking about the need for sanctity and purification. Perhaps we might benefit from reading about the mystical union as it might give us a thirst for sanctity and the purification of our souls. Perhaps it might help to read works like the Spiritual Canticle of St. John of the Cross and the Interior Castle of St. Teresa of Avila that deal with this subject. At the same time, we might find it helpful to read about purification, so works like The Ascent of Mt. Carmel and Dark Night of the Soul of St. John of the Cross might help us. Furthermore it might help us to meditate on Purgatory, while at the same time praying for the Holy Souls. If we meditate on Purgatory, a desire for purification might come to our souls. Similarly it might help to meditate on Heaven. Desires to become a saint – meaning anybody in Heaven – or even a canonized Saint might emerge in the soul when we do this kind of meditation.
At the same time, spiritual reading and reading the lives of the Saints might assist us in a number of ways. We might be more drawn to mental prayer as it assists so many souls on the road to sanctity. We might find a desire for purification and sanctification in our hearts. We might find that we want to imitate the Saints, Mary, and Christ – all, of course, in Christ’s image. We might find ourselves drawn to charity and helping the Church and souls – especially where the salvation of souls is concerned. We might find ourselves moving closer to Christ, the Holy Trinity, and mystical union, and we might be motivated to follow Christ, pursuing His mission as it pertains to us with the Church.
A relationship with the Holy Souls in Purgatory and the Saints in Heaven might draw us closer to the Holy Trinity and to union with God. In addition to asking for their help, we might find that the more we think of the Holy Souls and the Saints in Heaven that we want to be saved and sanctified. We might find that we are more willing to engage in acts of charity. We might find in devotion to the Holy Souls an opportunity to practice charity – not only for our sakes but for theirs. We might find that our souls become more pure as we engage in devotion to the Holy Souls and the Saints. Furthermore I think that we might benefit from remembering those saints in Heaven that are not canonized – from asking them to help us as well. Perhaps some of our family members might be in this category if they are not in Purgatory.
Broken families and families in crisis might find in the Saints and the Holy Souls opportunities to think about and even meditate on suffering in manners that are fruitful for their situations. That being said, they might find that the Saints and the Holy Souls help them in the process of conversion – whether for themselves or for their family members. For them and all people who are suffering, especially those in the context of marriage of the family, there is much needed inspiration and support. All people might find that to be the case as well.
Finally reflecting on the Holy Souls and the Saints can help to strengthen Marian devotion. The same is true with mental prayer pertaining to these topics. In addition these things might help to motivate us to pray the Rosary. In this manner and with all of the things mentioned here, we can be drawn closer to Christ and the Holy Trinity.
Happy Feasts of All Saints and All Souls!
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