More than anything else, Nov. 1 (include Nov. 2 which is All Souls’ Day) is not only time to remember the beloved dead, but to pray for them. In Medjugorje, the Blessed Mother said that most people who die land in Purgatory, there to stay until they are purgated of impurities to make them worthy of perfect Heaven. The period of their purgatorial cleansing, however, could be hastened by the Church militant, that is, all who are still living on earth.
Let’s recall that the Blessed Mother said in Medjugorje on Nov. 6, 1986:
“Dear children: Today I wish to call you to pray daily for souls in Purgatory. For every soul, prayer and grace is necessary to reach God and the love of God. By doing this, dear children, you obtain new intercessors who will help you in life to realize that all earthly things are not important for you, that only Heaven is that which is necessary to strive for. Therefore, dear children, pray without ceasing that you may be able to help yourselves and the others to whom your prayers will bring joy. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
This message conveys two very important points. First, that prayer is needed by those in Purgatory and, second, that those in Purgatory are grateful and would intercede for us in return.
There’s yet another very important matter on our departed. While sympathizers during wakes tend to comfort bereaved relatives with statements like “Don”t worry, he is in Heaven now,” or statements from the bereaved consoling themselves with yet another declaration that their dead are “In a better place now and are happy with God,” presumptuousness could only push the departed to misery. The Blessed Mother, as already stated here, had said in Medjugorje that most people pass through Purgatory and this passage could be shortened by us on earth through Masses, prayers. To declare the dead as already being in Heaven is also to say they no longer need prayers for liberation.
Consoling ourselves is good, but never at the expense of the departed whose fate lies solely in the hands of earth dwellers.
In a documented case of communication between an earth-living nun and a departed who had landed in Purgatory, the soul said the following: “I know when you pray for me, and it is the same with all of the other souls here in Purgatory. Very few of us here get any prayers; the majority of us are totally abandoned, with no thought or prayers offered for us from those on earth.”
If we love our departed, shall we allow them abandoned to such fate? Okay that we visit cemeteries on Nov. 1, but beyond the physical externals, we must pray for them. If we still love them, we must pray for them. If we want intercessors in Heaven, we must pray for them.