Thursday, November 02, 2006

All Souls Pray

My mom's dad died in his 60s after suffering a heart attack when helping a friend move. My dad's dad died in his late 20s while trying to save a man from drowning in the Lake Superior undertow. I've been urged by relatives to ask for their intercession. Should I ... even though they did not die saints?

Of course. While my grandfather on mom's side was a bit prejudice (I'll never forget the time I was watching a White Sox game with Grampa Grogan, and recalling how his South Side Irish pride turned to disgust when a player named "Pat Kelly" strode to the plate and it turned out he was African American) and my dad's dad perhaps concentrated too much on his poetry and not enough on providing for his family, they were both good husbands and practicing Catholics who died, if not martyrs, at least trying to help out his fellow man. Thus, today is the perfect day to ask those not-yet-ready-for-prime-time members of heaven to pray for us. But what about the rest of the year? Should we save the other 364 days for the tried and "true" saints?

I think that, while it's never a bad idea to ask any saint for intercession, if the saints have their specialties, the souls must have their proper niches too. For example, while I can always go to my patron saints (and doctors of the Church) Thomas Aquinas and Augustine for writing help, why not John Henry Newman, especially when I'm writing to an Anglican or Episcopalian? Of course, this great English convert-Cardinal may indeed one day become a canonized saint. On the other hand, there are no causes for canonization for the incredible "G.K. Chesterton", but who better to go to when debating an atheist or when contemplating composing the coolest alliteration? And, of course, when it's halftime and the "chips are down and the breaks are going against the boys," what true Notre Dame fan wouldn't ask for the intercession of Knute Rockne or "the Gipper" (George Gipp for the non-Irish fans, if there are still any left on this site).

Just kidding about that last crack of course! But if I ever need a brutally honest line of not-so-politically-correct humor (minus the swears, since I don't think even he can do so in heaven), I think my ol' friend "Sam Principato" would still be the perfect person to ask for help in this department.

1 comment :

Long-Skirts said...


Yes, I know November
The tolling of the bell,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
From mountain top to dell.

The chilly, gray, damp mornings
The rusting of the leaves,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Like moans from one who grieves.

And in the windy noon-time
When clouds fight 'gainst sun's might,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Cry, "Sanctuary light!"

So 'fore the red-glassed candle,
Compelled, I go to pray,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Plead, "Sacrifice today!"

Now, deep, dark sanctuary
Is lit by candle, bold,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls...
"Your prayers are autumn gold!"

So like the leaves of autumn
I fall to kneeling posture,
The whispers of the suf'ring souls
Beg, "Say a Pater Noster!"

The flicker in the red glass
Burns hotter, now, with Creed.
Oh, yes, I know November!
The month of Hope...souls freed!