This is my mother as a young woman. She died over twenty-five years ago and her birthday always falls around Thanksgiving. Funny story: my mother loved curried vegetables and so the first time she fixed turkey, it was curried. I don't think any of us cared for it (but we ate it). She did the same to broccoli, and for a long time I detested broccoli. At the time, I did not appreciate her willingness to experiment with new foods. We ended up having chicken curry on Thanksgiving in later years. And I prefer my broccoli stir-fried with minimal spices or with cheese or raw. Never curried. And we like our turkey roasted! With cranberry sauce, squash, stuffing, the works. We typically host Thanksgiving and I've always wished she could partake. I ask that you remember her in your prayers. I used to always think she was up in heaven, but I realize I don't actually know this.
The people in heaven do not need our prayers, the people in hell have rejected God and don't want our prayers, so why in the world should we pray for the dead? For the people who are being purified and refined into perfection. It took me a long time to understand why we ought to pray for our dead. I figured that Jesus has already paid the price, and I could never do anything that would even compare. So why? Because our prayers do make a difference. I will appreciate your prayers for my mother. And another thing ... prayers stand outside of time and space, so your prayers for your parents and grandparents might be the very thing that helped them not to despair or make the wrong decision before you were born. I'm thinking how to use this in a book ...
Back to purgatory. The word never appears in the Bible, but the concept is there.
Mt. 5:48 -- be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect
Heb. 12:14 -- strive for that holiness without which cannot see God
2 Macc 12:44-46 -- atoned for dead to free them from sin
and there are many more references.
Here is a wonderful article that explains the biblical roots of purgatory.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I kept thinking of the first Thanksgiving -- the Passover meal where Jesus instituted the Eucharist (which means Thanksgiving in Greek). And since we'd just made a trip to St. Augustine, I realized that the first Thanksgiving on US soil happened not at Plymouth Rock in 1621, but here, in St. Augustine on Sept. 8, 1565.
Anybody want to write a picture book about this? I have a novel to finish revising. And this itch to work on another book is typical when I get to the middle of a novel, no matter whether it's a first draft, second, fifth or tenth. Not only do I have several new ideas, but I had to turn down a project that I would love to have taken on. The sacrifice! I'm committed to finishing this round of revisions before the end of this year. I'm more than half-done, past page 120 ... so must keep trucking along.
My family returns tomorrow, and I'll be very thankful to have them back, and you'll be spared the musings of a person with a too-full brain.
Thank you for hanging around, for your love and friendship, for inspiration, for just being!
God bless you.