Skip to comments.'We are never alone,' Pope exclaims on All Saints Day
Posted on 11/01/2009 3:24:44 PM PST by NYer
.- To the faithful gathered on Sunday in St. Peters Square for the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI presented the communion of saints, a beautiful and comforting reality that says we are never alone. In particular he held up the ancient cult of martyrs in the early Church, and in this Year for Priests, the saintly priests, both those canonized
and those many more that are known to the Lord.
Pope Benedict also spoke of Mondays commemoration of the faithful departed, also known as All Souls Day. "I would ask, he said, that this liturgical memory be lived in a genuine Christian spirit, that is, in light of the Paschal Mystery.
Benedict XVI explained that Christ died and rose again and opened the door to the house of the Father, the kingdom of life and peace: Those who follow Jesus in this life are welcomed where He came before us. So as we visit cemeteries, let us remember that there, in the tombs, are only the mortal remains of our loved ones awaiting the final resurrection.
Pope Benedict concluded his remarks by teaching that the most proper and effective way to honor and pray for the faithful departed is by offering acts of faith, hope and charity: In union with the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we can intercede for their eternal salvation, and experience the deepest communion, as we wait to find ourselves together again, to enjoy forever the Love that created and redeemed us."
After the Angelus prayer, the Pope recalled the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Joint Declaration between the World Lutheran Federation and the Catholic Church. "That document, he said, attests to an agreement between Lutherans and Catholics on the fundamental truth of the doctrine of justification, a truth that brings us to the very heart of the Gospel and the essential issues of our lives.
The Holy Father expounded on the acceptance and redemption of man by God, saying, Our existence is part of the horizon of grace. It is led by a merciful God who forgives our sin and calls us to a new life following in the footsteps of his Son. We live by the grace of God and are called to respond to his gift. This frees us from fear and gives us hope and courage in a world full of uncertainty, anxiety, suffering."
This anniversary, the Pontiff explained, is an occasion to remember the truth about the justification of man, witnessed together, to unite Catholics and Lutherans in ecumenical celebrations and to further investigate this issue and others that are the subject of ecumenical dialogue.
I sincerely hope that this important anniversary will help bring forward the path towards the full visible unity of all the disciples of Christ.
Never alone. Excellent reminder. Sadly I often forget.
Some (but by no means all!) Lutheran theologians and historians believe that the events in 16th century Germany were to place a "proposition for dogma" before the Church, the dogma being the doctrine of justification.
Benedict's words today are further proof that the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was the beginning of the end of Lutheran separation.
Papa has underscored my tagline!!!!!
It is given unto man once to die; after that, the Judgement.
To what avail, therefore, any prayers we might offer on behalf of the departed? They died either as believers in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ, or not.
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"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." 2 Machabees 12:46
"Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire." 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
"For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to the dead: that they might be judged indeed according to men, in the flesh; but may live according to God, in the Spirit." 1 Peter 4:6
If the end of 'separation' means accepting the same deal that the Anglicans got, I doubt it.
Prayer for the dead helps them through that purification, which is why Jews, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians do it, and have done it since well before the time of Christ.
Scriptures also says: "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Acts 10:15. Christ's sacrifice has made believers 'clean' before God.
If Christ’s sacrifice has made believers “clean” in the sight of God, would it not be presumptive, even insulting and belittling the efficacy and purpose and efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice, for me to presume that those those saved have need of further appeals for mercy from me through my prayers? Did not Christ achieve objective redemption of all creation, a salvation subjectively conferred upon all that are granted a saving faith?
Indeed. We can’t even save our own miserable selves.
That's in a totally different context.
Christ's sacrifice has made believers 'clean' before God.
You are not "clean" before God when you sin. If you were, there would be no point in repenting. In fact, repenting would itself be a sin.
If that's true of prayer for the dead, it would be just as true of prayer for the living.
It's really rather surreal to claim that beseeching God for mercy -- whether for yourself, for another living brother or sister, or for someone who has died in the Lord -- "belittles the efficacy and purpose of Christ's sacrifice". What do you think Christ's sacrifice was all about?
One would think.
Talk about context! This was in reference to a dead believer in Christ. Once dead, then the judgement. His Judge knows His own. Prayers will not avail him at that point.
For those that have died the die has been cast. They either died as believers in the certainty of forgiveness, redemption and salvation unto eternal life through faith in the Christ and His atoning work of sacrifice, in which case nothing more needs to be or can be said or done, or not. For those yet living, including myself, prayers addressed to the Father in the name of His Son (who told us that no man comes to the Father but through him), are ever needful and quite appropriate.
It is finished!! Words to remember, and to live and die by.
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