Why do we pray for the dead?
Burning Question of the week
By Paul Dion, STL
It is the month of November. This is the month when we Catholics are reminded by the Church to keep the welfare of our departed loved ones in our prayers.
Ah, yes, Catholics. We sure have a lot of things to think about. One of them is that we pray for our dearly departed, actually pray for them. It is one thing to pray for one another. We do that often. Please pray that I get that job. Please pray so that my mother will get better. Please pray that my son will go back to church again. Please pray that my husband will stop drinking. We are sure that you have heard all these, and even more.
It is a big part of our lives as Christians, not only Catholics. We do it and we do not connect it to what the Israelites of three thousand years ago believe about this sort of prayer. It is in our Bible. People offered sacrifice for one another so that God would look favorably down on those for who they prayed. So, we do the same.
In fact, we go one further, we pray for the dearly departed souls. We pray that they will be greeted heartily into heaven after their life of travail and hardship. But, they are already dead. They are no longer here. What effect will our prayers for them have? All of you reading this pray for your dearly departed relatives. You pray for the repose of the souls of your relatives and friends. So, what do we mean when we say "repose of the souls"?
Think about it. Why do we pray for the dead?
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