CHILDREN AND THE POWER OF PRAYER
Growing up, our parents, and our teachers in elementary school, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, opened our eyes to the power of prayer.
What a great power unleashed—to pray together as a family. In the month of November, we were introduced to praying for those who had died. The reality of purgatory was explained. But more importantly, the power of prayer for those in purgatory impressed upon us that God would answer our prayers for those who were preparing to be with Christ in Glory for all eternity.
Perhaps we could use this analogy from American historical records:
Years ago an immigrant seeking entry into our country through New York Harbor was first detained at Ellis Island for registration. Before these immigrants on Ellis Island rose the Statue if Liberty and the towers of the New York City skyline, symbols of America as a land of freedom and opportunity. But if any of these immigrants had an illness, they would be detained at Ellis Island in quarantine till the last trace was cleared up. Analogously, Purgatory is kind of like an “Ellis Island off the coast of Heaven.” As the immigrants who were detained in quarantine on Ellis Island had to wait until their sicknesses were gone before entering into America, so the souls in Purgatory must wait until all defilement and traces of sin are purified before entering into Heaven. Nothing tainted can enter the holy and dazzling presence of God.
To take the analogy a step further, don’t immigrants even in our own day enter into our country all the more quickly and easily if they have a sponsor? Someone who is already an American citizen to speak on their behalf, informing our government that they will be productive members of society? In a similar way, we members of the Church Militant still on earth have the role of being sponsors for the souls in Purgatory. We can speak on their behalf by praying, offering up our penances, and having Masses offered for them so they might all the more quickly enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
THANK YOU, ALEX TREBEK. YOU WERE A GENTLEMAN AND A SCHOLAR!
This article was sent to me by a great fan of the television quiz show—”Jeopardy!” Because of its length, I have edited the article from America:
The recent death of Alex Trebek (1940-2020) after a very public battle with pancreatic cancer has plunged millions of us into mourning. Trebek was not a politician, not an athlete, not a rock star, not a member of our pantheon of faux heroes. He was a gentleman who guides us through what remains of an older, genteel culture that prizes intellectual achievement and cultural sophistication. His program was one of the last places that had not surrendered to the vulgarity of stand-up comedy or to the demolition-derby rhetoric of our political campaigns. The charity with which he treated flummoxed contestants who couldn’t seem to master the clicker or who slumped into a point deficit was a reminder of the shades of politeness we long ago abandoned.
For your civility, your urbanity, your charity, your courage in fighting cancer, your love of education and your commitment to classical culture—a great thanks, Alex, from all of us. We are in your debt.
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