The month of November has traditionally been kept as a time of praying for eternal rest for all the dead while, at the same time, keeping our eyes on the Great Day of Judgment that will come at the end of time. The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Part One (“The Profession of Faith,” also known as “The Creed”), explains that the final words of the Nicene Creed allows us to profess our belief in “the last things.”
Now let’s be honest! We probably don’t like to talk much about death and the after life. But, that is, in fact, what we are professing in the words, “I believe in the resurrection of the body and in life everlasting.” All of us will die, but the question each Christian must reflect upon is: “Have I lived a faithful life to be worthy of everlasting life?” Knowing that I will not be my own judge but, rather, the Lord Jesus will be the Final Judge, we are asked at every moment of life to be prepared as if death for me is near. We only have one chance at this life! The Catholic-Orthodox Church does not believe in re-incarnation! So, every aspect of my life is called to reflect a deep-seated belief in everlasting life that will be given, in God’s mercy, to those judged worthy of this final, ultimate blessing.
The Church’s Sacraments give us plenty of opportunity to be “filled with grace” so that we can accept this plan of God for eternal salvation. Regular participation in Mass on the Lord’s Day and holy days of obligation in concert with frequently going to confession in the Sacrament of Penance have been taught for centuries as the surest ways to establish a solid foundation for cooperating with God’s grace. This month, along with the approaching season of Advent, asks that we take seriously Jesus’ exhortation to “Keep watch,” “Stay alert” and “Be ready.” The Last Things will eventually dawn upon our world. Our readiness for this should not be kept to chance.
[P.N. – I will be away this week on a silent retreat. Therefore, I will not be checking emails or voice mails until I return next Saturday. I humbly ask your prayers for me during this retreat.]