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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Death and funerals

Sorry to have been away from my blog for so long. 

After suffering the sudden tragic death of my 20 year old nephew in late September things have been very difficult. 

While the rest of my family and friends cling to "he's with the angels and our Lord now and at peace"...I know what the Catholic Church has always taught about those who die unbaptized and outside the Church. There is little comfort for me in those words. 

While I have Masses said for him and pray for his soul, I can't help but feel my failure. I took time for granted with him, I thought I would have more time to reach him with the Faith. I did not have that time. I have to live with that. It's a horrid lesson to learn, but one now written deeply within my own soul that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. 

This morning I attended another funeral and will be attending yet another funeral Mass this evening. Two in one day. 

Death seems to have a foothold around here lately and all I am doing is going from one funeral to another. 

What doesn't seem to change is that people want so desperately to believe that when a person dies, they are suddenly perfect and worthy of Heaven merely because they died. Didn't matter how they lived their lives, death in its self seems to make a person worthy of Heaven is the theology too many people cling to. 

Who started this nonsensical idea? Must have been the devil himself. 

In Christ and still in mourning, 

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner 



  1. Going to so many funerals is certainly taxing on one emotions and faith. You have my sympathies.

    people believing their loved ones are in heaven regardless of how that person lived is truly an expression of love for the deceased. When you love someone you want what is best for them and nothing is better than heaven believing hey are in heaven not only expresses love for the deceased it make it easier for people, especially children, to accept also expresses the faith in the salvific power of the Passion of Jesus Christ.

    As for the church's teaching on unbaptized dying outside the church, The church teaches that it (the church) is one path to God but not the only one. It also teaches about baptism of desire and agrees that no one knows what transpires between God and a soul at the time of death, e.g. a conversation with God, and act of mercy, a consideration by God of knowledge that we do not have, etc.

    Deacon ron

  2. Greetings in Christ Deacon Ron

    Sadly, I disagree with you on a few points (certainly not on the baptism of desire-which was not the case here).

    People falsely believing that everyone who dies goes to Heaven is a deception of the devil. Why bother getting children baptized? Why bother attending Mass? Why bother confessing our sins is the clear message here. If everyone goes to Heaven, we don't need to baptize (just getting the baby wet), we don't need to attend Mass (Jesus is all love, the Church has no right to tell us to attend Mass), we can confess straight to God (we don't need Catholic priests) - this is ALL protestantism and its from the devil himself leading people away from Christ's Holy Catholic Church.

    Christ gave us the Sacraments because we need them. If we didn't need them, then the protestants are correct and Jesus wasted his time given them to us.

    All he needed to do, was hand out bibles.

    I think Jesus, the Church and the Saints are perfectly clear on this subject. I am not saying I know who is in Hell, I am saying I know what Jesus, the Church and the Saints say about what it takes to avoid Hell and how sadly, very few in the history of the world, will be saved.

    Catholic Catechism:

    183 Faith is necessary for salvation. The Lord himself affirms: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk 16:16).

    'Not all, nor even a majority, are saved. . . They are indeed many, if regarded by themselves, but they are few in comparison with the far larger number of those who shall be punished with the devil.'
    St. Augustine, Doctor and Father of the Church

    'The number of the elect is so small - so small - that were we to know how small it is, we should faint away with grief. The number of the elect is so small that were God to assemble them together, He would cry to them, as He did of old, by the mouth of His prophet, "Gather yourselves together, one by one" - one from this province, one from that kingdom.'
    St. Louis Marie de Montfort

    'What do you think? How many of the inhabitants of this city may perhaps be saved? What I am about to tell you is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that!'
    St. John Chrysostom, Doctor and Father of the Church

    'In the Great Deluge in the days of Noah, nearly all mankind perished, eight persons alone being saved in the Ark. In our days a deluge, not of water but of sins, continually inundates the earth, and out of this deluge very few escape. Scarcely anyone is saved.'
    St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Churh

    In Christ,


  3. Julie, even in your grief you are an inspiration. Thank you for correcting Deacon Ron for your summation is correct. The Church never speaks about the Fewness of the saved any longer. They don't mention Purgatory either. I always ask one of the Priests I know, "who do you serve by holding back the truth?" Is there Love or Compassion in holding back the Truth? No, there is not. We scurry from anything unpleasant or uncomfortable, easier to stay deluded then to see the truth.

    Deacon Ron, you twist what the Church teaches. You mention that the Catholic Church is but "one path to God but not the only one". Please tell me where is the passage that Christ said that? That is only true in very narrow and limited circumstances, otherwise I'll also ask, Why Catholic?

    Julie, on your Nephew I know how you feel. I am working to bring my nieces back to the Faith, they and my Sister were poisoned by their father. I have come to realize this, we can do nothing to force a change in others, only to serve as an example and offer the Truth. That is the painful part, wanting those we love and care about to accept the Truth and having it rejected. Still it is a heavy burden for me that I have never converted anyone that I am aware of. I am not even sure I have saved myself.

    Having Mass said and prayers can help lessen or shorten the torment of a soul. Pray often and Trust God to be merciful and loving as he always is. I will add my prayers to yours for the repose of your nephews soul.

    God Bless.

  4. As a pastor, I have tried to preach the whole truth, all the time. I have preached against the notion that practically everyone is saved. Actually, I have preached against the notion that salvation is a matter of "odds" at all. We don't ask a bride and groom in the wedding vows if they are willing to "take a chance" on being married. We ask them what they intend and what they commit themselves to.

    At the funeral itself, I emphasize prayers for the dead, and the obligation to pray for the rest of our lives for those who have gone before us. But the days immediately after death are a time to console the grieving as much as possible, without, of course, preaching heresy!

    I shudder when I recall a pompous young priest, at the funeral of a teenager who died in an accident, going on and on about purgatory and even hell, and even--I kid you not--expressing doubt that any teenager nowadays is properly prepared to die.

  5. Thank you Sensei Mitch for the prayers. I will include your family in my prayers as well. God bless you.

  6. Fr. VF "But the days immediately after death are a time to console the grieving as much as possible, without, of course, preaching heresy!"

    I couldn't agree more. Thank you for commenting. God bless.

  7. You have my sympathies, Julie.

    I will pray for the repose of the soul of your nephew at the Holy Sacrifice I will assisting at this evening.

    May I offer this prayer for non-Catholic relatives?

    "Merciful Lord, who prayed that there be one flock and one shepherd, I ask the light of faith for those who are related to me and do not know you in your Eucharistic presence. Give them the fullness of Your faith. Give them the joy of Your protecting presence. Bring them into the one fold of which You are the master and Lord. Forgive them their sins and teach them the way of repentance. In the end, bring them into the larger circle of Your family, to God our Father, to Mary our Mother, and to You our beloved Brother. Amen" - Fr. John Hardon's "Catholic Prayer Book".

    Catechist Kev

  8. Kev that is an absolutely beautiful prayer. Thank you so very much.

    God bless

  9. Oh, Julie, God rest the soul of your nephew, have mercy on him, and comfort you. May I suggest the Gregorian Masses. I have not done this myself, but it may do good and give you some peace. I try to remember at these times that God is outside time and knew of your intercessory prayers before any of it happened.
    Life has it's hard moments, and as we get older, there are more funerals. It's funny we look at older people as if they are weak when in fact they are Marines.
    I know exactly what you are saying about how hard it is to hear others rather blithely go on about the deceased assuming they are now in heaven. There are moments it is a challenge to be an informed Catholic when there are few others around. You are naturally concerned and there is no one to share your concern. You love him.
    I have the same situation, I bet most do. We have loved ones who are far, far from God. I intend to evangelize to them, but I do not. What stops me? I know there is nothing more important, yet I do not do it.

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  11. You are in my prayers, Julie. My brother died very suddenly in 1996 at the age of 54. He had been away from the Church and never returned although I think his heart was being touched and he was on the way back. My immediate reaction was fear for his soul and I pray for him all the time and have Masses said for him. What comforted me was the story of St. Jean Vianney who told the widow whose husband committed suicide by jumping off a bridge that he repented between the time he jumped and the time he died.

    A dear sister who answered the door at the Poor Clares in Alexandria also urged me to pray for him and trust in God's mercy. I like to think that God, through the graces of the Catholic Church, gives every soul an instant of choice at the moment of death; and our prayers can aid the soul in making the right one.

    The Blessed Mother told the little children at Fatima that many go to hell because they have no one to pray for them. Your nephew obviously has you, thank God. And he now has me because I'm adding him to the list I ask my guardian angel to keep. So when I pray for "all those for whom I've promised to pray" my guardian angel will lift up your nephew (and you) before the judgment seat of God.

    May God give you peace and joy this holiday season as you gaze on the Christ child in the manger whose one drop of blood is sufficient to save the whole world.


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Thank you and God bless...

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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