The commemoration of All Souls is rooted in the Church's strong conviction that we, the living, have a serious responsibility in love to accompany with prayer those who have died but who must yet complete the purificatory preparation every human being needs to be able to dwell in the all-encompassing love of God. - Today's Magnificat
My daughter told me recently that she always prays for the dead and the souls in purgatory because Ken Colby taught her that.
Ken Colby was her religion teacher in grade school. Ken's teachings left a huge impact on my daughter and myself. I remember the "Children's Mass" always had great visuals. To this day, we parents talk about Ken burying the "Alleluia" for Lent.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." - (III. The Final Purification, or Purgatory, 1030)
Or as Mother Angelica has said (and I'm paraphrasing her words), "Don't you want to take a shower before you meet God?"
So today I'm going to remember and pray for those who influenced me in my faith and who are no longer with me here on earth:
Ken Colby (an amazing teacher of the faith, yet still very human), Mary Luka (my first sister in the Catholic Church), my in-laws (steadfast Catholics to the end), my parents (even though my mother was a lapsed Catholic and my dad, a lapsed Lutheran), Al Bychowski (I still remember our long walks together while I was pregnant with my daughter), Jean Bovyn (her presence in the rectory was always welcoming), Peg Bilbrey (mother of 8, but she always had room for more), Nadine Cram (a lapsed Lutheran who suffered here on earth, but still supported me and my faith journey) and Marge Hickman (my neighbor and fellow Catholic who didn't suffer fools lightly).
More on purgatory from EWTN here.