When we were creating our videos for Rediscovering Catholic Faith at St. Joseph’s, I was fortunate to work on this week’s Sunday celebration of All Souls Day. It doesn’t fall on a Sunday too frequently, and so when it does, it’s a beautiful opportunity to reflect on the question so often asked at times of loss, “What would I do without my faith?”
The subject always reminds me of theologian Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ and what she writes about the dead and particularly, the Communion of Saints. In Friends of God and Prophets she writes: “…the symbol of the communion of saints bears the pledge that in and through the wrenching of death, terrible at times, an ever so quiet ‘Alleluia’ can be heard. Having arrived at their destiny, the living dead become our companions in hope.” The communion of saints which includes the canonized saints, the souls in purgatory, and our own beloved dead who have died in friendship with God, can become a source of hope and companionship for us in our own journeys of faith.
The Catholic faith gives us a rich storehouse of truths about the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. These truths give meaning to the process of grieving a loved one, providing great consolation and, ultimately, hope.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and may we have peace in our hearts knowing they are with God and we will see them again.