Sunday, November 01, 2015

Fr. Perrone: A Happy Thought for All Saints Day

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor’s Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, November 1, 2015):
A happy thought for today. We are predestined for glory with the saints. Sacred Scripture uses this somewhat daunting word ‘predestination.’ It is a complex thing to understand rightly and most people who think about it tend to fall into various errors about it. No one can know, without a particular revelation, that he or anyone else will be saved. God, who knows the eternal outcome of everyone, keeps this knowledge from us, making us work out our salvation “in fear and trembling,” since we must merit heaven by our good works done in a state of grace. Some have been so bold as to assert that all who have chosen Christ as their Lord will certainly be saved. The Church labels this a sin of presumption. Others have thought that man is not truly free in making his choice for salvation or for damnation since all has already been eternally decreed by God so that nothing a man will do can alter his predetermined end. This too is a heresy. And yet, God’s word does speak of predestination. For our necessarily brief explanation here let us merely say that God desires all men to be saved by the redemption of Christ and that therefore He does give sufficient grace to everyone to be saved, if only they will follow through. No matter what circumstances various people have of time or place, or good or bad fortune, everybody is offered the grace to be saved. This ought to be an encouragement to us to be closer cooperators with the graces we have been given in the Catholic Church–a great advantage over so many others who do not enjoy this privilege. More then is to be expected from us who have been given so much more.

Saint Paul is the one who strengthens our hope that we have been called by God’s eternal decrees to be saints, to be holy here and now and for ever. While all people have various fortunes, good or bad, in this life, all have the chance to become saints. In this sense at least, all can rejoice at the prospect of eternal life as the result of God’s election.

Monday is All Souls Day. Masses that day will follow a different schedule this year. To open the day, there will be a solemn high Requiem Mass at 7:30 a.m. followed by three consecutive Masses offered on the three altars, according to the Tridentine manner. Only one Mass will be said in the evening, at the usual hour of 7:00 p.m. A plenary indulgence may be gained that day for the poor souls by a visit to the church with prayers said for the faithful departed. (The other usual conditions must also be met, and only plenary indulgence may be gained per day.) For the first eight days of November that indulgence may be gained for the dead by visiting a cemetery, ours or some other, while praying there for the faithful departed.

This year Brother Esteban is offering solemn vespers and agroup visit to our cemetery with suitable prayers to secure the needed conditions for these indulgences. (By the way, if one does not fulfill those conditions, all is not lost. There are partial indulgences as well which ought not to be overlooked.) Please see the posted information on the side tables in the church to participate in these special prayers for the dead. It is a first for our parish and I’m sure many of you will want to offer this devout service on behalf of your beloved dead.

Finally, a word of thanks for you who have already responded to my Benefit Dinner Appeal–the one without the dinner! This gives us a extra boost to start off the fall season in good form. No doubt others will soon yet make their contribution. Thank you for this vote of financial confidence.

Fr. Perrone

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