Archdiocese of Chicago

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Praying for the Dead

In November, we pray for the souls in purgatory.  This prayer is an extension of the prayers that the living offer for one another. Prayers for the dead express our belief that death does not completely separate us from those who have gone before us to eternal life.

Prayers for the dead also express our belief that our prayers can help those who have gone before us in death. Forgiveness of sin is given in this life; but making up for sin is, at least in part, often done in the next. We all know that asking for and accepting forgiveness isn’t always enough to repair a relationship.  “How can I make it up to you?” we ask people we have harmed.  Acts of love and of penance strengthen our relationships to one another and to God. “Making up” for the consequences of sin, the sins of those in purgatory and our own, is a project the Church bids us take to heart this month.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

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