Today is a day of recollection and prayer for Catholics. The commemoration of the faithful departed serves to revive in those who believe in that consoling truth of faith which is the communion of saints. A bond that is not broken by death. Certainly the physical absence, detachment are a cause of pain. But the Church recalls that not everything ends on this earth, that man is not only a body, there is a palce that awaits us in heaven, as it has done on the Solemnity of All Saints, inextricably linked to today’s event .
Communion between the Church triumphant, one of the blessed who are already in heaven, the Church Suffering, than just waiting for the beatific vision and for which we devote suffrages and prayers, and the Church militant, who still struggle in this world with our gaze to final goal. Thousands of people today, or in the next few days, go on the graves of loved ones to bring a flower, to pray, to shed a tear, to keep alive even the memory of those who preceded us in the crucial passage from this world to ‘afterlife. The worship and veneration of the dead are not yet a “heritage” Catholic or more generally Christian. It’s Enough to remember how the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean behaved before the coming of Christ. But today there is still this faith? We asked it to the Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Eminence, in some cases it does not verges on superstition?
“Without a doubt, for example, there are some forms of veneration of the relics where it may be a form of superstition. In this regard the Council of Trent has made clear statements on the veneration of the saints. This is why the Christian faith in the Resurrection is an excellent protection against superstition. ”
It has just been published the Instruction on the burial “Ad resurgendum cum Christo”. Cremation can also represent, in some case , a form of superstition? “It can be in that attitude of materialists to leave the ashes of their bodies such as humus for a tree … this is superstition! Man is not created to be humus or food for plants or animals. The human body shares in the dignity of the person, the soul that is in direct relationship with God. Man has an eternal vocation, divine for this reason we have always spoken of the dignity of the human body with all the elements. We are not like animals, with no clothes … I think our tradition perfectly expresses respect for all men especially towards dead who are our brothers and sisters “.
Actually “alternative religions” such as pagan Halloween are becoming more widely used.
“It is absurd .It is necessary to oppose to this superstition. Cardinal John Henry Newman said that when faith disappears then superstition enter. Faith is always a good protection. Liberal, materialistic, agnostics are very superstitious, they believe in ridiculous things. We believe only in God. ”
So faith and prayer. Starting with the one that is the most important prayer, the Holy Mass, the best suffrage to God for the dead. As usual, Pope Francis will celebrate in a graveyard but with a couple of important changes compared to the past regarding the date and place. The Pope, in fact, used to celebrate in the Verano cemetery on November 1st, public holiday, to allow greater participation of the faithful. This year Sweden trip has imposed a shift to 2 and also Francis chose to go to the cemetery of Prima Porta.