21 responses

  1. This is a topic close to my heart. I’ve often wondered if my deceased parents, assuming they have reached heaven, are aware of what is going on in our lives because most of my family is now lapsed.

    I have puzzled over this because I know that it would break my parents’ hearts to know that any of their children were not practising the faith or living in sin – as some are.

    This is why I have wondered – if heaven is a place of bliss, then how can my parents be truly happy, knowing that their children, any of them, have turned their backs on God?

    • Josephine,

      You make an important point and I think MyForever77 has really said it all in her response to you.

      I remember reading an article by a priest who had been asked how – at the Final Judgment – a mother who was saved and in Heaven could possibly be happy seeing that her son had been lost and was now in Hell. The priest explained that now, that mother could see God’s justice and mercy as it applied to her son, and knew, therefore, that her son had chosen his own destination. Chilling thought.

  2. I also think about this and remember learning that the relationship we had on earth with each other is different when we are separated by death. Although we know each other we are united completely to the Will of God; if it is His Will we see something on earth that He Will we see, then it will be.

    The souls in Heaven are completely happy; The visions of Mary were at times seen with her tears but she is not sad in Heaven. God allows her to appear to the seers in tears to relay a message on earth of sorrow for the way mankind, especially today where sins of yesterday are now seen as normal. The tears are for our benefit, that we will know our offense against Him.

    At times when I have a decision to make, I cry out to my deceased husband for guidance and I want to believe that God Wills for him to hear me; I still can feel his words whispering to me. Yet, I also remember those words, “till death do we part!”

    • MyForever77,

      I, too, talk to my beloved departed mother in prayer. Indeed, during her final illness, when she was near the end, I asked her, if God took her before He took me, if she would find a way to let me know if what we are doing at Catholic Truth is displeasing to Him. She replied that she would. So far, no thunder!

  3. The Church teaches that the souls in purgatory can no longer merit grace for themselves. But can they still interceed for us on earth? If we’re not sure if the souls in purgatory can interceed for us then is there any point in praying to them for their help? Would it be wasted prayer? Obviously we must pray for the souls in purgatory, but this is a different thing.

    • Miles Immaculatae,

      There’s no doubt about it – in the Communion of Saints, we can all help one another.

      Church Suffering: we can pray for the souls in Purgatory – and they can pray for us.

      Church Triumphant: we can pray to the saints in Heaven – all of them, including our friends and relatives who are NOT canonised. Their Feast is on 1st November, while each canonised saint has his/her own dedicated Feast Day. All the saints, then, can intercede for us.

      Church Militant: those of us still battling for our salvation and the salvation of others (as obligated by our Confirmation duty and grace as Soldiers of Christ); we have the help of the rest of the Church (Triumphant and Suffering).

      What’s not to like?

    • My understanding is that prayer is never wasted. If the soul we pray for is actually in Heaven, or Hell, the merits are applied to another soul in need. I usually say this in my prayer – “If this person doesn’t need my prayers , please apply it to a soul who has no one to pray for them.”

  4. I have a great devotion to the Holy Souls to which I pray every day. I also pray for them. Yes, it’s the Communion of Saints in play here and when do we ever hear it preached? Never.

  5. I have always understood that God passes on our prayers to those who are saints in heaven even though those saints do not “hear” our prayers directly. Thus if we ask Saint X to intercede for us then that saint is made known of our prayer and can and does intercede with God for what we are asking. Clearly if a particular soul is in hell then they do not “hear” any prayer asked of them and they know nothing of what is said and done on earth. If a particular soul is in purgatory I rather think that they are permitted to pray for those of us still on this earth even though they cannot pray for themselves.

    • John,

      I’ve never heard that claim, that God passes on our prayers to the saints, that the saints do not hear our prayers directly – I doubt very much if that is the case.

      Scripture, in fact, supports the belief that it is the other way round, that the saints present our prayers to God – Apocalypse, for example.

      I’m not sure where you got the idea that God passes on our prayers to the saints – what would be the point? However, I think you have been misled. The teaching of the Church on the Communion of Saints is clear; we may benefit from the intercessory prayers of the saints and the holy souls in Purgatory.

  6. I expect many will have heard it said that …..’the souls in heaven feel our pain here on earth’…

    In that case, how are they any better off?

    • Pat McKay,

      I’ve never heard that said – who is supposed to have said it?

      As already explained nobody in Heaven feels anything but happiness because they see and understand everything in the light of God’s goodness and His will being accomplished.

      • Can’t remember the source, but I recall discussing it with the late Fr. Paul Marx. He had heard this too, but It also had him stumped.

  7. This is a very interesting topic. I am convinced that my dear Aunt, who passed away in 2004 after a life of suffering, was praying for me to return to music after I got divorced in 2007 from a non-Catholic marriage that had left me coarsened and secularized. Even a year or so before the divorce, I suddenly started listening to and enjoying opera CD’s, which was surprising because (a) I had left the music profession in 1991, and (b) I had never liked opera before. It turned out to be the first step towards returning to music: first opera, then the Beethoven Violin Concerto, then joining our Seminary choir, then starting to play again, then buying a piano and giving chamber music concerts…

    I used to refer to my dear Aunt as “my earthly guardian angel,” because she and my Uncle – who were the most faithful Catholics in the family – watched closely over me when I was growing up and even as a young adult. I am certain that she continued in that role after she departed this vale of tears.

    • RCA Victor,

      Your aunt (RIP) sounds lovely. Mind you, that tends to be an “auntie” feature, though I say it myself… (well, if I waited for my nieces and nephews to say it… ) 😀

  8. This is a really interesting thread. I’ve always thought the doctrine of the Communion of Saint awesome, and I definitely believe that God does let our relatives, if they are in heaven, know about us so that they can intercede for us.

    I can’t help wondering if the souls in Hell are screaming at us to change our ways to avoid that place!

  9. I saw the video the other day, but only getting the chance to comment now.

    I very much liked Fr Albert’s description of awareness based on whether or not the information in question pertains to a person.

    And so, naturally, Our Lord and Lady know everything!

    I enjoy Fr Albert’s videos, I find him an engrossing presenter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: