What do you believe happens to a person after
death? Is death really
Some people do sincerely believe death is the final
chapter in a person’s life, and that there is no such thing as life
after death. That is
certainly not what Jesus taught, nor what he proved to be
completely false by his own resurrection.
On those dark days when you actually might have some
doubts about life after death, please do think back to that day
when Jesus first appeared to the apostles on Easter Sunday
morning. On that occasion
the apostle Thomas was absent. And when he was told by the other apostles that Jesus had
appeared to them he said, “No way!”
The expression, “a doubting Thomas,” refers to Thomas the apostle, the one who could not believe Jesus
actually came back to life. Well that was until Jesus appeared again and told Thomas to
put his finger into the holes in his hands and side.
Actually, Thomas was not alone. In the Gospel of Mark we are told
that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene and when she told the
apostles that Jesus was alive they also did not believe. When Jesus finally did appear to
them St. Mark writes, “Jesus scolded them because they did
not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those
who had seen him alive.”
Please never be so stubborn and unbelieving. While your mother or father, or
brother or sister, or spouse or children may have already been
taken from this world, you will
indeed see them again. Always
be a believer and never a doubting disbeliever.
But until that day comes, that day when you are again
reunited with your beloved deceased family members, please pray for them, daily if
possible, but most certainly on our special days of remembrance
following the All Souls Day Feast on November 2.
There are so many different ways you can remember and
pray for your deceased. Certainly, the first way is in the privacy of your own
personal prayers. I’m sure
your local parish will also be celebrating a special All Souls Day
Mass on November 2. And, as
a special friend of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shine, you are
most strongly encouraged to have your deceased remembered and
prayed for in our annual All Souls Day Mass and Mass Novena to
To enroll your deceased in these many Masses, simply
write their names on the enclosed All Souls Day Enrollment Form.
When returned, I’ll
have this list of names carefully attached to one of the “Red
Rose Bouquets” which will be displayed at the Shrine during
the nine days of the All Souls Day Mass Novena.
After the Mass Novena, your slip of names will be
placed in a sealed prayer capsule in the Shrine’s Prayer Garden so
those praying in the garden during the coming year will also have
an opportunity to pray for your dearly beloved deceased.
When returning your All Souls Day Enrollment Form I
hope you will also be able to enclose a donation supporting both
the Shrine and the education of our seminarians. Helping with our seminarian’s
education through an All Souls Day donation is one very fine way to
show respect and honor the memory of your deceased.
If your donation is $10 or more, I’ll see that a white
carnation is placed in the Shrine’s Chapel in memory of your deceased. This flower says to your deceased that they are still very much alive
in your mind and in your prayers.
If you are able to send a donation of $25 or more,
I’ll have a long-burning All Souls Day Votive Candle lit in
memory of your departed loved ones.
I do encourage you, if at all possible, to attend one
of your parish’s All Souls Day Masses. At that Mass, pray not only for
your own deceased, but also for all
the other deceased who will be prayed for here at the Immaculate
Heart of Mary Shrine in our All Souls Day Mass Novena.
In the hope of everlasting life,
Fr. Raymond M. Dien, C.M.C.