Today is All Souls Day, a holy day set aside for honouring and remembering departed loved ones. Parishioners have an opportunity to write the names of relatives in a Book of the Dead, and the names therein are read out from the Altar.
Many people use the day to meaningfully express their sorrow over the loss of a loved one. All of us have, during the course of our lives, lost someone who is dear or near:
- A Dad
- A Mom
- A brother or sister
- Ouma / Oupa (usually our first encounter with death)
- An Aunt or Uncle
- An extended family member
- A neighbour
- A friend
- Or a colleague.
The heartache of losing someone you love is really like no other pain.
Today I will be remembering the following dear departed, as well as their relatives who are still here. Should you wish to add a name to the list, please feel free to do so in the comment section, and I will say a special prayer for you and bring to remembrance that soul.
Names from the Book, we commemorate:
- Bishop Trevor Rhodes
- Francis Hammond
- Joseph Hammond
- Reynold Hammond
- Irene Allaman
- Xavy David
- Lois David
- Ashley David
- Pierre Brink
- Martha Ockhuis
- Martha Meyers
- Anna Meyers
- Petrus Meyers
- Gilbert Meyers
- Hannes Meyers
- Kathy Sass
- John Sass
- Peggy Anthony
- Alec Fortuin
- Oliver Fortuin
- Leah Would
- Louis Would
- Baby Louis
- Rae Landman
- Willem Landman
- Bernard William Adams
CNN: Death toll passes 1,550 as Ebola outbreak accelerates, officials say
The Ebola outbreak “continues to accelerate” in West Africa and has killed 1,552 people so far, the World Health Organization said Thursday. The total number of cases stands at 3,069, with 40% occurring in the past three weeks. “However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities,” the WHO said. The outbreak, the deadliest ever, has been centered in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a handful of cases in Nigeria. The overall fatality rate is 52%, the WHO said, ranging from 42% in Sierra Leone to 66% in Guinea….
The Catholic World Report:
The news broke late yesterday that Islamic State jihadists executed freelance journalist James Foley and posted a video of his beheading. Foley, 40, had been missing for two years while covering the conflict in Syria. I am not going to link to the video or include screen shots from it, but I will share another link that has been circulating since the news of Foley’s brutal death: an article he wrote for the alumni magazine of Marquette University, his alma mater. The piece is about the time Foley spent imprisoned in Libya in 2011:
I began to pray the rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed.
I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.
Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone. …
One night, 18 days into our captivity, some guards brought me out of the cell. … Upstairs in the warden’s office, a distinguished man in a suit stood and said, “We felt you might want to call your families.”
I said a final prayer and dialed the number. My mom answered the phone. “Mom, Mom, it’s me, Jim.”
“Jimmy, where are you?”
“I’m still in Libya, Mom. I’m sorry about this. So sorry.” …
“They’re having a prayer vigil for you at Marquette. Don’t you feel our prayers?” she asked.
“I do, Mom, I feel them,” and I thought about this for a second. Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat.
The official made a motion. I started to say goodbye. Mom started to cry. “Mom, I’m strong. I’m OK. I should be home by Katie’s graduation,” which was a month away.
“We love you, Jim!” she said. Then I hung up.
I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.
My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.
And President Obama speaks about the death of James Foley, and the evils of ISIS:
Freedom… some people wake up and take freedom for granted whiles others wake up and defend it…..
Source: SEAL of Honor.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2282 – “…Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.”
2283- “We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.”