Month of the Holy Souls (Days 7-8)
November 07, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 7
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel  (12:1-3)

In those days, I, Daniel, mourned
     and heard this word of the Lord:
At that time there shall arise
     Michael, the great prince,
     guardian of your people;
It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress
     since nations began until that time.
At that time your people shall escape,
     everyone who is found written in the book.

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
Some shall live forever,
     others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.
But the wise shall shine brightly
     like the splendor of the firmament,
And those who lead the many to justice
     shall be like the stars forever.

From a sermon by St. Gregory Nazianzen

What is this new mystery surrounding me? I am both small and great, both lowly and exalted, mortal and immortal, earthly and heavenly. I am to be buried with Christ and to rise again with him, to become a co-heir with him, a son of God, and indeed God himself.

This is what the great mystery means for us; this is why God became man and became poor for our sake: it was to raise up our flesh, to recover the divine image, to re-create mankind, so that all of us might become one in Christ who perfectly became in us everything that he is himself. So we are no longer to be male and female, barbarian and Scythian, slave and free – distinctions deriving from the flesh – but are to bear within ourselves only the seal of God, by whom and for whom we were created. We are to be so formed and molded by him that we are recognized as belonging to his one family.

If only we could be what we hope to be, by the great kindness of our generous God! He asks so little and gives so much, in this life and in the next, to those who love him sincerely. In a spirit of hope and out of love for him, let us then bear and endure all things and give thanks for everything that befalls us, since even reason can often recognize these things as weapons to win salvation. And meanwhile let us commend to God our own souls and the souls of those who, being more ready for it, have reached the place of rest before us although they walked the same road as we do.

Lord and Creator of all, and especially of your creature man, you are the God and Father and ruler of your children; you are the Lord of life and death, you are the guardian and benefactor of our souls. You fashion and transform all things in their due season through your creative Word, as you know to be best in your deep wisdom and providence. Receive now those who have gone ahead of us in our journey from this life.

And receive us too at the proper time, when you have guided us in our bodily life as long as may be for our profit. Receive us prepared indeed by fear of you, but not troubled, not shrinking back on that day of death or uprooted by force like those who are lovers of the world and the flesh. Instead, may we set out eagerly for that everlasting and blessed life which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Musical Selection (Fauré)

Domine Jesu Christe, rex gloriae,
libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu.
Libera eas de ore leonis,
ne absorbeat eas Tartarus, ne cadant in obscurum:
sed signifer Sanctus Michael
repraesentet eas in lucem sanctam
quam olim Abrahae promisisti, et semini eius.
Hostias et preces tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus:
tu suscipe pro animabus illis,
quarum hodie memoriam facimus;
fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam
quam olim Abrahae promisisti, et semini eius.
Lord Jesus Christ, king of glory,
deliver the souls of all the faithful departed
from the punishments of hell and from the deep lake.
Deliver them from the mouth of the lion,
lest Tartarus swallow them up, lest they fall into darkness:
but let the standard-bearer Saint Michael
bring them back into the holy light
which you once promised to Abraham and his seed.
We offer prayers and sacrifices of praise to you, Lord:
you receive them on behalf of those souls
whose memory we recall today;
cause them, Lord, to pass from death to the life
which you once promised to Abraham and his seed.


God of faithfulness,

in your wisdom you have called your servants out of this world;

release them from the bonds of sin,

and welcome them into your presence,

so that they may enjoy eternal light and peace

and be raised up in glory with all your saints.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever. Amen.


Day 8

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (12:35-40)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Gird your loins and light your lamps
     and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding,
     ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
     whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
     have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
     and find them prepared in this way,
     blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
     if the master of the house had known the hour
     when the thief was coming,
     he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
     the Son of Man will come."

From St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Book of Divine Works, With Letters and Songs

I, the highest and fiery power, have kindled every spark of life, and I emit nothing that is deadly.  I decide on all reality.  With my lofty wings I fly above the globe: With wisdom I have rightly put the universe in order.  I, the fiery life of divine essence, am aflame beyond the beauty of the meadows, I gleam in the waters, and I burn in the sun, moon, and stars.  With every breeze, as with invisible life that contains everything, I awaken everything to life.  The air lives by turning green and being in bloom.  The waters flow as if they were alive.  The sun lives in its light, and the moon is enkindled, after its disappearance, once again by the light of the sun so that the moon is again revived.  The stars, too, give a clear light with their beaming.  I have established pillars that bear the entire globe as well as the power of the winds which, once again, have subordinate wings – so to speak, weaker wings – which through their gentle power resist the mighty winds so that they do not become dangerous.  In the same way, too, the body envelops the soul and maintains it so that the soul does not blow away.  For just as the breath of the soul strengthens and fortifies the body so that it does not disappear, the more powerful winds, too, revive the surrounding winds so that they can provide their appropriate service.

And thus I remain hidden in every kind of reality as a fiery power.  Everything burns because of me in such a way as our breath constantly moves us, like the wind-tossed flame in a fire.  All of this lives in its essence, and there is no death in it.  For I am life.  I am also Reason, which bears within itself the breath of the resounding Word, through which the whole of creation is made.  I breathe life into everything so that nothing is mortal in respect to its species.  For I am life.

I am life, whole and entire (vita integra) – not struck from stones, not blooming out of twigs, not rooted in a man’s power to beget children.  Rather all life has its roots in me.  Reason is the root, the resounding Word blooms out of it.

Since God is Reason, how could it be that God, who causes all divine actions to come to fruition through human beings, is not active!  God created men and women in the divine image and likeness, and marked each of these creatures according to a fixed standard in human beings.  From eternity it was in the mind of God to wish to create humanity, God’s own handiwork.  And when God completed this action, God gave over to act with it just as God had formed the divine handiwork, humanity.

And thus I serve by helping.  For all life lights up out of me.  I am life that remains ever the same, without beginning and without end.  For this life is God, who is always in motion and constantly in action, and yet this life is manifest in a threefold power.  For eternity is called the “Father,” the Word is called the “Son,” and the breath that binds both of them together is called the “Holy Spirit.”  And God has likewise marked humanity; in human beings there are body, soul, and reason.  The fact that I am aglow above the beauty of Earthly realms has the following meaning: The Earth is the material out of which God forms human beings.  The fact that I am illuminated in the water signifies the soul, which permeates the entire body just as water flows through the entire Earth.  The fact that I am afire in the sun and moon signifies reason; for the stars are countless words of reason.  And the fact that I awaken the universe with a breath of air as with the invisible life that contains everything, has the following significance: Through air and wind whatever is growing toward maturity is enlivened and supported, and in no way does it diverge from its inner being.

Musical Selection (Byrd)
Vigilate, nescitis enim quando dominus domus veniat, sero, an media nocte, an gallicantu, an mane. Vigilate ergo, ne cum venerit repente, inveniat vos dormientes. Quod autem dico vobis, omnibus dico: vigilate. 
Watch ye therefore (for you know not when the lord of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning): Watch therefore, lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch.




in our grief we turn to you.

Are you not the God of love

who open your ears to all?

Listen to our prayers for your servants,

whom you have called out of this world:

lead them to your kingdom of light and peace

and count them among the saints in glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever. Amen.