02 November 2020

Helping each other up the mountain of hope

It being November, today is the feast of All Souls, or The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, as my missal has it. Back in the day, when I was a Dominican, I wrote a blogpost in my private diary blog in which I mapped out some thoughts on purgatory, on All Souls, and most importantly on those I keep in my prayers. Sometimes I can forget people, so I thought it as well to call them systematically to mind again now as best I can -- and in doing so, give myself something to refer to. 

The word 'Purgatory' may not appear in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean the doctrine isn’t there, readily drawn out from references to prayers that help the dead, to how nothing imperfect can enter heaven and a fire that purifies us after death, and to a prison where souls go till their debts are paid.

Just as it’s for the Blessed to pray for us, so it is for us, then, to visit those souls in prison but guaranteed to share in the Blessed Vision, praying for those destined for heaven that they may more quickly reach the top of Dante’s mountain of hope. Having done the Camino, I have a better sense nowadays than I used to have of how we're all in this together, and obliged to pull together to help each other to the finishing line.

With that in mind, then, I have a lot of people to pray for today, just as I hope lots of people, here or up above, are praying for me, since we all need each other's help. I can't pray for the faithful departed in Mass today, of course, given the situation at the moment, but I can pray for them here, and later on I can light a candle for them and pray for them in presence of the Blessed Sacrament, and I can join my prayers with those being prayed in Masses across the land and around the world today.

Many of these, I'm sure, don't need any prayers at all, but it certainly can't hurt.

I pray today for Nana and Grandad, all the Dodds, Auntie Maureen, and my cousins Philip, David, and Lily; for Auntie Brenda, Auntie Kathleen, Great Auntie Mary, my cousins Janet and Michael, and Richard; for my uncle John, for Mam's parents, for aunt Doreen, and for Monica.

I pray for Mary and Paddy Hoare, for Mr Harwood, for Mr and Mrs McCourt, for Mrs Kerrigan, for Mr Gahan, for Mr and Mrs Reeves, for John Ryan, Mick Doyle, Mr Lyons, Jim Freeman, Mrs Gibson, Mr and Mrs and Bernie Flanagan, Mrs Mannelly, Mr Doyle, Elizabeth Kenny, and Matt and Clare O’Reilly.

I pray for Johnny McGrath, Delores Spittal, Dick Molumby, Frank Beggan, and Dessie Breen; for Joe Hanrahan, Dave Leavy, Frank and Mrs Towey, Jack Farrelly, Shay Lord, Jim Skerritt, David Fitzgerald, and Gary Kennedy from the Silver Granite; for Mary Ward; for Tom Corr, Sean Mitchell, Eamon Woulfe, Liam Glynn, and Padraic Naughton from Moyle Park.

I pray for Gavan Nugent, Anthony Desmond, Sean Kenny, Paul Brown, Conn Murphy, Marie Plisnier, Agueda Pons, Michelle Cosgrave, and Kathleen Griffin; for Julie Yipp and Kevin Hunneybell from my Camino, and for Francis McKenzie from my visit to Peru.

I pray for Val Grant, Alex Walker, Theresa MacDonagh, Gerard McCarthy, and Alan Gilbert from the University of Manchester; and for John, Kathleen Bibby, Mary McFaul, John and Agnes Ainsworth, and Kate Gregg from Wilmslow.

I pray for Sr Mary David Totah; for Fr Con Curley, Fr Gerard Byrne, Fr Flo Lynch; for Fr David Lumsden and Fr Martin Ryan; for Fr Tom Heneghan; for Fr Simon Roche OP, Fr Martin McCarthy OP, Fr Dermot Brennan OP, and Fr Bob Talty OP.

I pray for Jenny Daly, and Sr Agnes, and Helen, and all the other ladies from Mam's nursing home.

I pray for Fritz Schult from Pollatomish; for Sarah's grandad Alan Martindale; for Laura's grandad Tony Adams; for Christopher's mum Mary Dawson; for Michael's mother Ann Kelly; for Colum's dad Joe Keating, for Aidan Higgins' father Colin, for the fathers of Daron Higgins, Claire O’Brien, Lucy Corcoran, Dara Gantley, Blaithin Ni Giolla Rua, Martin Brady, and Bridget Martin; for Breda Polly and Tom Crotty; and for Polly and Dan’s friends Will Scott and Dominic Crisp.

I pray for the souls of all those dear to those I love, for the souls of all those dear to me, and for the souls of all those whose names and faces I have forgotten. 

May the Lord God almighty have mercy on their souls, and may his perpetual light shine upon them; may they rest in peace.


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