Month of the Holy Souls (Day 19)
November 19, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Day 19

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (14:7-9,10c-12)

No one lives for oneself,
     and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
     and if we die, we die for the Lord;
     so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
For this is why Christ died and came to life,
     that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why then do you judge your brother?
Or you, why do you look down on your brother?
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
     for it is written:

     As I live, says the Lord, every knee
          shall bend before me,
          and every tongue shall give praise to God.

So then each of us shall give an accounting of himself to God.

From On the Decease of His Brother Satyrus by St. Ambrose of Milan

My tears shall therefore cease, or if they cannot cease, I will weep for thee, my brother, in the common sorrow, and will hide my private groaning in the public grief. For how can my tears wholly cease, since they break forth at every utterance of thy name, or when my very habitual actions arouse thy memory, or when my affection pictures thy likeness, or when recollection renews my grief. For how canst thou be absent who art again made present in so many occupations? Thou art present, I say, and art always brought before me, and with my whole mind and soul do I embrace thee, gaze upon thee, address thee, kiss thee; I grasp thee whether in the gloomy night or in the clear light, when thou vouch-safest to revisit and console me sorrowing. And now the very nights which used to seem irksome in thy lifetime, because they denied us the power of looking on each other; and sleep itself, lately, the odious interrupter of our converse, have commenced to be sweet, because they restore thee to me. They, then, are not wretched but blessed whose mutual presence fails not, whose care for each other is not lessened, whose mutual esteem is increased. For sleep is a likeness and image of death.

But if, in the quiet of night, our souls still cleaving to the chains of the body, and as it were bound within the prison bars of the limbs, yet are able to see higher and separate things, how much more do they see these, when in their pure and heavenly senses they suffer from no hindrances of bodily weakness. And so when, as a certain evening was drawing on, I was complaining that thou didst not revisit me when at rest, thou wast wholly present always. So that, as I lay with my limbs bathed in sleep, while I was [in mind] awake for thee, thou wast alive to me, I could say, "What is death, my brother?" For certainly thou wast not separated from me for a single moment, for thou wast so present with me everywhere, that enjoyment of each other, which we were unable to have in the intercourse of this life, is now always and everywhere with us. For at that time certainly all things could not be present, for neither did our physical constitution allow it, nor could the sight of each other, nor the sweetness of our bodily embraces at all times and in all places be enjoyed. But the pictures in our souls were always present with us, even when we were not together, and these have not come to an end, but constantly come back to us, and the greater the longing the greater abundance have we of them.

So, then, I hold thee, my brother, and neither death nor time shall tear thee from me. Tears themselves are sweet, and weeping itself a pleasure, for by these the eagerness of the soul is assuaged, and affection being eased is quieted. For neither can I be without thee, nor ever forget thee, or think of thee without tears. O bitter days, which show that our union is broken! O nights worthy of tears, which have lost for me so good a sharer of my rest, so inseparable a companion! What sufferings would ye cause me, unless the likeness of him present offered itself to me, unless the visions of my soul represented him whom my bodily sight shows me no more!

Now, now, O brother, dearest to my soul, although thou art gone by too early a death, happy at least art thou, who dost not endure these sorrows, and art not compelled to mourn the loss of a brother, separation from whom thou couldst not long endure, but didst quickly return and visit him again. But if then thou didst hasten to banish the weariness of my loneliness, to lighten the sadness of thy brother's mind, how much more often oughtest thou now to revisit my afflicted soul, and thyself lighten the sorrow which has its origin from thee!

Musical Selection

I pray you’ll be our eyes, and watch us where we go

And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way

Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace

To a place where we’ll be safe

La luce che tu hai

I pray we’ll find your light

Nel cuore resterà

And hold it in our hearts

A ricordarci che

When stars go out each night

L'eterna stella sei

Nella mia preghiera

Let this be our prayer

Quanta fede c'è

When shadows fill our day

Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe

Sogniamo un mondo senza più violenza

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza

Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino

Simbolo di pace, di fraternità

I pray we’ll find your light, and hold it in our hearts

When stars go out each night, remind us where you are

Let this be our prayer, when shadows fill our day

Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we’ll be safe

Sogniamo un mondo senza più violenza

Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza

Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino

Simbolo di pace, di fraternità

La forza che ci dà

We ask that life be kind

È il desiderio che

And watch us from above

Ognuno trovi amor

We hope each soul will find

Intorno e dentro sé

Another soul to love

Let this be our prayer, let this be our prayer

Just like every child, just like every child

Needs to find a place

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe

È la fede che

Hai acceso in noi

Sento che ci salvera'



Into your hands, O Lord,

we humbly entrust our brother and sisters.

In this life you embraced them with your tender love;

deliver them now from every evil

and bid them enter eternal rest.

The old order has passed away:

welcome them then into paradise,

where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain,

but the fullness of peace and joy

with your Son and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever.  Amen.