November 2nd, 2003
ALL SOULS DAY
"So you can be where I am"
This is not only a holiday of the ones raised to the altars. It's not even a holiday of the redeemed. It's not even a holiday of all people living contemporarily. It is not even a holiday of all people who have ever existed on earth. It is a holiday of the Universe - of all of creation. It is so because each creature is in a certain way holy, because, it was created by God out of love, because it is destined for happiness, because each creature is in a certain way rational, in a certain way free, in a certain way sensitive. Because it's been created in the image of God, because it is an expression of God.
It is also a holiday of people waiting in Purgatory for their redemption. They are not waiting passively. They are not dependent only on our prayer. Purgatory is like one huge retreat. It is like a closed retreat, during which the ones, who did not achieve that during their lives, may have a chance to become wise, see their lives in truth, apologize for their stupidity, anger. They are not lonesome; they are connected with the ones who are on earth through love just like the connected vessels.
When we come to their graves, light the candles - symbol of memory, we put down flowers - symbols of love, we pray asking for forgives of our sins against them, forgiving them their sins against us and sanctified in that way we support them. Because the more wisdom there is within us, the more of their wisdom, the more of light within us, the more of their light, the more of love within us, the more of their love.
Visiting their graves helps us realize our oneness with them, and it's not only during this All Souls Day. During the whole year one can see people praying at the graves of their intimate departed. They light candles, they put flowers, they pray, knowing that it is not about the coffin which is buried in the ground, but about the real presence of the departed beside us. It's because they went to God. And God is everywhere. And they are - through Him - beside us. Just as real now - in their glorified bodies, as they were when they lived on earth.
Fr. MIECZYSŁAW MALIŃSKI
translation: Monika Darron