Above and beyond the lively debate about whether Geraldine Ferraro merits a Catholic funeral, I think we can all agree on this: God is merciful, and prayer can’t hurt. That’s the gist of my column this week.
From “All Things New”:
Msgr. Peter Elliott, writing about the notion of purgatory, once offered another beautiful thought:
“Eternal rest,” “pardon,” “peace,” “refreshment,” and “perpetual light” are words we use when praying for the dead. Each has its own tradition stretching back to earliest Christian times. Each has its own nuance, always pointing to our eternal goal — union with God in the beatific vision. But each word reminds us that God wants us to play an active part in His mercy to the departed who are one with us in the Communion of Saints.
What a wonderful and comforting idea: that we, by offering our prayers and petitions for those who have died, are able to collaborate with God in His mercy. As a great old hymn tells us, “There is a wideness in God’s mercy,” a breadth that opens its arms to include all of us who have failed Him, disobeyed Him, even betrayed Him.