A Profound Connection
I was young when my great-grandparents passed away. I remember being afraid of them. I was intimidated by their vast age and had difficulty communicating with them.
So it has been a beautiful thing for me to see my children developing relationships with their great grandmothers—relationships that cross the boundaries of this world. They prayed for my grandmother before she died, and they pray for her now, two years after her death.
In a world that depends on the tangible and measurable, even people of faith sometimes shy away from praying for the dead. What, really, is the point? They’re dead! Yet popular inspirational culture is peppered with stories of people who sense that their loved ones are still with them.
As Catholics, we have inherited a beautifully holistic approach to death and resurrection.
Believing in eternal life means those we love are dead only in the body. They’re still able to care about us…and it is still worth praying for them. Our Catholic faith also gives us a realistic perspective on holiness. We know how few of us are really worthy of the kingdom when we die—yet we also believe that God is too merciful to condemn us for all eternity. Just as we prayed for those we love in life, so we pray for them in death.