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Death Is Not "The Worst Thing About Life"

On this most difficult day I am thinking about death.

Last night, on my way out of my graduate class in Jersey City, a friend texted me to let me know our next door neighbor's infant son had died suddenly. I spent the long drive home talking to Ruth. When I got home at 11 p.m., I sat in my car in the driveway, crying and still talking with her and noting that all the lights were on in the family's home and all the shades drawn. My friend and I were grieving, trying to make sense of the unimaginable.

"There has been a lot of death lately," I told her.

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All Souls Day: Why We Pray for the Dead

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Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin.~2 Maccabees 12:46
November 2nd marks the Commemoration of All Souls; the day in which the earthly faithful are called to pray for the faithful departed in Purgatory.Often considered connected to Pagan or other ritualistic ceremonies, All Souls Day is, in fact, a practice with roots in the early Church where the names of the faithful departed would often be posted so that church members could pray for each soul by name.
All Souls Day follows on the heels of All Saints Day, November 1st; which itself is traced back to origins as early as the fourth century when St. Basil of Caesareainvited neighboring dioceses to share relics of martyrs and to join in celebrating those whose lives had been given for the Church.Eventually Pope Urban IV instituted the practice of using All Saints Day as a way to honor all saints, known and unknown, thus acknowledging our limited knowledge of how each person has responded to God’s …