In God’s plan our relations with our beloved departed…

In God’s plan our relations with our beloved departed should enable them to exercise far more influence over us than ever they did while still with us. Catholic devotion to the deceased is based on the certainty that they are still very much alive. The body dies, but the soul lives on. While lacking sensible contact with us, they are more conscious of us now than ever before. Their intellect is intact, their affections survive and their memory functions with total recall. In some cases their love for us has reached new levels of intensity as they see us through God’s eyes. In other cases their love for God and for us undergoes the further purification of Purgatory. This is why we pray either for the deceased or to the deceased. When we have good reason to believe that they have achieved the face to face union with God, we pray not for them but to them. We do this in the confidence that their love for us is purified and more intense than ever it was while they were still with us. This is the basis of Catholic devotion to the saints. If, on the other hand, we believe that they may still be in the stage of further spiritual purification, we pray for them as the Church (Christ) encourages us to do. We do this in the confidence that our prayers and sacrifices can still contribute to their growth in love of God. Always we act in the conviction that our lives and their lives are more intertwined than ever they were when they were still alive in this world.
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