Inspiration – Praying for our deceased

Joseph L’Heureux,
Lay Minister

Recently, I was given a dream of a woman who passed 22 years ago in a terrible car accident, a relative by marriage. I immediately prayed for her and the next day I had a Mass said on her behalf, since this is our highest form of prayer.

I write this to increase our faith in prayer and make us realize our responsibilities to family members and friends.

You might say where does this come from in the Scriptures? Well, when you read the second book of Maccabees, you read about Judas Maccabees. He found the soldiers who had died in battle had amulets around their neck – false Gods or as we call them, good luck charms.

Judas immediately took up a collection of jewelry from his men, melted it down and offered it as a sacrificial offering to God for their souls. [2 Maccabees 12:38-42]

In the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 15, many of the early Christians when they discovered the power of baptism, had themselves baptized in proxy on behalf of their dead. [1 Corinthians 15:29]

Over the years as the church realized that the power of the Mass, that is, Jesus’s death on the Cross, and repeating His words of the Last Supper in a bloodless sacrifice: “He took the bread, broke it and said, ‘Take this is My body,’ then ‘this is My blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.’” [Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22, 25, Luke 22:17-20]

This was the sacrament to follow and conclude His whole life offering. Then it also took our whole life, washing our souls in His blood for the gift of salvation.

I give you two examples, which help solidify my faith. A few years ago, I was in Hay River, NWT, where a childhood friend and her husband had died in a fire. While visiting the grave I realized that it was possible that no one might have prayed for or named her unborn child so I immediately talked to the priest to name the child and have a Mass said for him or her.

The very same night my deceased friend came to me in a dream, and gave me the greatest hug that I have ever received and said, “Thank you for praying for my son.”

I had learned to do this from a book I read by Dr. Kenneth McCall called Healing the Family Tree.

Another example of answered prayer was the father of a friend of mine had passed. Though he had come back to the church in his last few years, his youth had been spent in rebellion as a biker and so his daughter was quite worried about him. She asked a group of us to pray for him. After about three years of prayer I was given a dream where he popped up at a banquet table in heaven. This confirmed a dream a few years previously when God had sent me on a mission to feed the homeless.

In that dream I had watched for over two hours as hundreds of people came floating up to a banquet table, feet first and sat on a cloud while a plate, wine glass and fork, knife and spoon were placed before them on the table before them by a pair of hands, presumably the hands of angels.

If you think I am guilty of having an overactive imagination just read in Acts, where Peter quotes from the book of the prophet Joel, where he said, “It shall come to pass in the last days, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” [Acts 2:17]

This is Our Lord Jesus Christ’s divine mercy at work in our time. Consider the alternative for souls with this illustration in the book of Revelation: The Angel of God says about “Jezebel, who claims to be a prophetess, and by her teaching she is luring my servants away to commit adultery of eating foods sacrificed to idols. I have given her a time to repent but she is not willing to repent of her adulterous life. Look I am I will cast her into a bed of pain [tribulation] and all her followers if they do not repent.” [Revelation 2:20-22]

Jezebel, was a Queen in the 1 Kings and 2 Kings 900 years before the birth and death of our Lord Jesus Christ and she had still not repented. So, 1,000 years before the book of Revelation was written! What everlasting pain!

We should be praying for all our deceased family members and friends.

God Bless! Enjoy your prayers!

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