Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What Good Must We Do To Gain Eternal Life?

He has loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood. (Rev. 1:5)

Scriptures tell us that through Christ's passion and death, we have been delivered from the debt of punishment due to sin.  We have been "purchased and at a price," the price is the Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb unspotted and undefiled. (1 Peter 1:18) The apostle Peter also tells us that through Christ's passion, we receive the spirit of adoption of sons and become heirs of the immortal glory.  That is truly the Good News of salvation!

Still, in order to secure the effect of Christ's passion, it is not surprising that most of us found ourselves asking the same question that the young man once asked of Jesus.   Jesus' answer was very simple: "
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." (Mt. 19:17)  Then Jesus further emphasizes: "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

As religious striving for perfection, we're following our Lord's command in doing just that.  However as wayfarers, clothed in the weaknesses of the flesh and traveling on the path of life that is filled with dangers, we need help for left to ourselves we cannot do it.  This is where the communion of Saints is so efficacious: the Saints intercede for us before thethrone of God; the holy souls that are being sanctified pray for us; we can pray for one another and for the holy souls who can intercede for us but cannot help themselves.  This month of November is a wonderful month that reminds us that as Christians, we are not alone on our pilgrimage of life.

Our Cloister of the Dead

Our Chaplain, Fr. Eugene Sousa, O.P. likes to remind us once in a while that if one is to die, the best Order to die in is the Dominican Order.  This is because after a person's death, she or he will be remembered daily in prayers by all the members of the Order.  This advantage does not apply only to Dominicans but also to all their relatives, friends, and benefactors.

Each year, a Mass is to be celebrated for the deadon February 7th for the anniversary of fathers and mothers, on September 5th for the anniversary of relatives, friends and benefactors of the Order, and on November 8th for the anniversary of brothers and sisters.  The souls of our dear ones
 are being remembered at the beginning of each meeting, and at least once a day before meal the De Profundis (a Lament of the Penitential Psalm 130) is recited for the deceased brothers, sisters and benefactors of the Order.

Our Constitutions also requires that once a week the community participates in the conventual Mass as a suffrage for the deceased and we are to recite the seven penitential psalms or a third of the rosary for the dead.  Besides these suffrages for the dead, on the death of each Sister, our Monastery arranges that a set of Gregorian Masses be celebrated for her soul.

This year we remembered our deceased brothers and sisters in a special way.  Our community planned to have a procession to the Vault where our sisters are buried.  However, due to the change of weather and the darkness which accompanies the daylight saving change, we had to process into the Chapter Hall where we sang, prayed and recalled the name of each of our deceased sisters along with the year they entered Eternal Life.  

So as we unite with you in praying for all the faithful departed who have gone before us and especially during this special month for the holy souls, we recommend to you our beloved sisters who had dedicated their lives to God's service and His people.  As we pray for them, may they remember us in their prayers!

O God, by whose tender mercy the souls of the faithful find rest, may all your servants and handmaids who are sleeping in Christ here and everywhere be reconciled to You through the forgiveness of their sins so that once freed from all guilt they may rejoice with you forever.  Through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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