Today is the Feast of All Souls, the time when we remember loved ones who are on their final journey toward God in the shadowlands of purgatory. It is the final purification, the “testing by fire” (1 Peter 1:6-7) that begins for most of us in this life, and must be completed before we are ready to see God. This work of perfection is sheer grace — but it also costs us something.
C.S. Lewis whispered of it in Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the
dragon scaling of Eustace, and in The Great Divorce in the
killing of the red lizard. In both cases, death was the gateway to true resurrection.
And so, today we remember the “little deaths” that are part-and-parcel of the Christian life. I don’t know about you, but I experience this most consistently in family life, while trying to guide my children as they seem hell-bend (pardon the expression) on doing just exactly what they please, thank you very much. And none too shy about telling us exactly what they think of our efforts to get them back on track.
Eternal rest grant to us, O Lord . . . Make your perpetual light shine upon us.
At this rate I don’t know if we’ll get them to walk at graduation . . . but I’m hoping that we will all grow in grace in the process.