Month of the Holy Souls (Days 9-10)
November 09, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Day 9

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (5:25-29)

Jesus said, Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
     when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
     and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
     so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
     because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
     because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
     will hear his voice and will come out,
     those who have done good deeds
     to the resurrection of life,
     but those who have done wicked deeds
     to the resurrection of condemnation.

From The Divine Milieu by Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Humanly speaking, the internal passivities of diminishment form the darkest element and the most despairingly  useless years of our life. Some were waiting to pounce on us as we first awoke: natural failings, physical defects, intellectual or moral weaknesses, as a result of which the field of  our activities, of our enjoyment, of our vision, has been  pitilessly limited since birth. Others were lying in wait for  us later on and appeared as suddenly and brutally as an  accident, or as stealthily as an illness. All of us one day or  another will come to realise, if we have not already done so, that one or other of these sources of disintegration has  lodged itself in the very heart of our lives. Sometimes it is  the cells of the body that rebel or become diseased; at  other times the very elements of our personality seem to be in conflict or to detach themselves from any sort of order.  And then we impotently stand by and watch collapse, rebellion and inner tyranny, and no friendly influence can come to our help. And if by chance we escape, to a greater or lesser extent, the critical forms of these assaults from without which appear deep within us and irresistibly destroy the strength, the light and the love by which welive, there still remains that slow, essential deteriorationwhich we cannot escape: old age little by little robbing usof ourselves and pushing us on towards the end. Time,which postpones possession, time which tears us away fromenjoyment, time which condemns us all to death — what a formidable passivity is the passage of time. . . . 
In death, as in an ocean, all our slow or swift diminishments flow out and merge. Death is the sum and consummation of all our diminishments: it is evil itself —  purely physical evil, in so far as it results organically in themanifold structure of that physical nature in which we are  immersed — but a moral evil too, in so far as in the society to which we belong, or in ourselves, the wrong use of our freedom, by spreading disorder, converts this manifold complexity of our nature into the source of all evil and all corruption. 
We must overcome death by finding God in it. And bythe same token, we shall find the divine established in our innermost hearts, in the last stronghold which might haveseemed able to escape his reach. 
Here again, as in the case of the "divinisation" of ourhuman activities, we shall find the christian faith absolutelyexplicit in what it claims to be the case, and what it bids us  do. Christ has conquered death, not only by suppressing its  evil effects, but by reversing its sting. By virtue of Christ's  rising again, nothing any longer kills inevitably but everything is capable of becoming the blessed touch of the divine  hands, the blessed influence of the will of God upon our lives. 
Musical Selection

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto Me and rest;
lay down, thou weary one, lay down
thy head upon My breast!”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
and He has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down, and drink, and live!”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s Light;
look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
and all thy day be bright!”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
in Him my Star, my Sun;
and in that Light of life I’ll walk,
till all my journey's done.



Holy Lord, almighty and eternal God,

hear our prayers for your servants

whom you have summoned out of this world.

Forgive their sins and failings

and grant them a place of refreshment, light and peace.

Let them pass unharmed through the gates of death

to dwell with the blessed in light,

as you promised to Abraham and his children for ever.

Accept them into your safekeeping

and on the great day of judgement

raise them up with all the saints

to inherit your eternal kingdom.

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 10

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (6:37-40)

Jesus said to the crowds:
"Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
     and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
     because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
     but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
     that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
     but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
     that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
     may have eternal life,
     and I shall raise him on the last day."

From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila 

Once, when I was in great distress because a brother-in-law of mine had died suddenly without being careful to make his confession, I was told in prayer that my sister, too, would die in the same way and that I must go to see her and get her to prepare for death. I told my confessor about this, but he would not let me go; I then heard the same thing several times more. When he found that this was so, he told me to go, as no harm could possibly come of it. She lived in a village,  and I went there without telling her the reason but giving her what light I could about everything. I got her to go to confession very frequently and always to think of her soul's profit. She was very good and did as I said. Some four or five years after she had adopted these habits and begun to pay great heed to her conscience, she died in such circumstances that nobody could come to see her or hear her confession. So it was a fortunate thing that, following her usual custom, she had made her last confession little more than a week previously. When I heard of her death, it made me very happy to think that she had done so. She remained only a very short time in purgatory.

It could hardly have been a week later when, just after I had communicated, the Lord appeared to me and was pleased to let me see her as He was taking her to glory. During all those years between the time when the Lord spoke to me and the time of her death, neither my companion nor I forgot what I had been told, and, when she died, my companion came to me in amazement at the way in which it had all been fulfilled. God be praised for ever, Who takes such care of souls so that they are not lost.

Musical Selection (Tallis)

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum
quia pius es.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,
quia pius es.
May eternal light shine upon them, Lord,
forever with your saints,
because you are merciful.
Give them eternal rest, Lord,
and may the eternal light shine upon them
forever with your saints,
because you are merciful.


Almighty God and Father,

by the mystery of the cross you have made us strong;

by the sacrament of the resurrection

you have sealed us as your own.

Look kindly upon your servants,

now freed from the bonds of mortality,

and count them among your saints in heaven.

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.