okt 262006

Mange vet sikkert at neste uke, 2. november, markerer vi Alle sjelers dag. Noen vet kanskje også at mens Den norske kirke på alle helgens dag egentlig minnes de døde, og ikke helgener, så feirer Den katolske kirke to fester i starten av november. 1. november (eller første søndag i november) feirer vi Alle helgens dag og 2. november Alle sjelers dag.

Den første av disse dagene feires alle helgener som ikke (er så viktige at de) har sine egne festdager, mens den andre dagen minnes vi og ber for våre avdøde. Hvis vi så spør hvorfor vi ber for de avdøde, så er svaret: For å hjelpe dem i renselsen i skjærsilden.

Biskop Leonard Blair i Toledo, Ohio, USA, skriver en artikkel ganske klart og tydelig om hva skjærsilden er og betyr, og hvorfor vi derfor ber for de avdøde.

I would like to focus on the fact that next month — November — is the month traditionally devoted to the prayerful remembrance of the dead. …. …. (It is) the souls in purgatory, who are the special focus of the month of November. Except for those dead whose presence in heaven is confirmed by miracles and the church’s canonization, we simply cannot know the state of a deceased person’s soul. God alone is capable of comprehending with exquisite justice and mercy the truth of each and every person. Since we cannot know even ourselves, much less others, as God knows us, it is an ancient instinct of Catholic piety, firmly rooted in doctrine, that we commend to the mercy of God all those who have passed from this world.

Heaven is no doubt home to countless saints — including relatives and friends — whose names will never appear on the church calendar. But we do the dead no eternal kindness by denying the possibility that on the other side of the grave they may still have to face some purification from the effects of sin. When I die, I certainly want the benefit of Masses and prayers offered for me. This makes no sense if we are all ready to be canonized at our death.


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