Why a day of all souls every year? What is so distinct and singular about human souls? Who are these souls and where are they? The truth is that cemeteries are full of people during “All Saints Day” – but practically empty on the occasion of “All Souls Day”. There is the added fact that the day meant to remember the “Saints” or the “Dead” is a big occasion instead for a great number of the living to meet and celebrate – in addition to some impious characters who then engage in profiteering and/or in thievery, not to mention gambling, drunkenness and violence. Hence, the questions: What is “All Souls Day” all about? Why is there an “All Souls Day”?
Without delving into the profundities of Theology and the complicated thoughts of experts and scholars, hopefully it would be enough for the purpose of knowing the fundamental significance and the basic implications of the day specifically set aside to think, to remember and to relate with all the souls of the departed people who must be billions since the creation of humanity – all of whom have a soul each or humans they would not be. Thus:
To think of souls is not only good but also salutary. It is strange but true that every soul is a forever living personhood in the supposedly land of death. Yes, every Juan, Maria and boy/girl do not pass from life to death – but instead from life to life, i.e., from life hereby and now to life hereafter and beyond. Yes, the dead depart but never are they really gone and done. The great thing about thinking of souls is that those who themselves think of them, also have their own to think and be thoughtful about.
To remember souls is not simply realistic but also beneficial. Though they are in another place, souls are real and alive. No! They are not meant to frighten people such as in terms of “Threat of Treat”. Instead, more than anything else, those who thus remember them should bear in mind – to worry or rejoice – about the present good or bad standing of their own souls, specially about the latter’s definite and defined ultimate miserable or wonderful destiny. It is great to remember souls even if only not to forget that those thus remembering them have their very own to think about, to attend to and to care for.
To relate with souls can be done only through prayers for their eternal repose, their rest in lasting peace. Standard money making ventures such as “communicating with the spirits” or with the “dead” is anything but real or salutary. In the same way, the claims that the soul of this and that person came, appeared and spoke to this and that individual – such are either imagination, hallucination or a downright miracle which is very few in number and very far between as well. Souls have better things to do than simply to visit or haunt people.
All Soul’s Day – thank God there is one! May all the souls of our departed fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends rest in peace in the Eternal Kingdom of their Father with the Son and the Holy Spirit!
November 2, 2009