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Why Pray for the Dead or Care About Purgatory?

The month of November is dedicated to praying for the souls in purgatory. It is a reminder of something we really should be doing throughout the year. But how often do we pray for the souls of the faithful departed? All of us need to face that question. I faced it when I read a stark passage from Thomas à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. I was struck by these lines: “Who will remember you when you are dead? Who will pray for you?” These questions weigh on me more and more with each passing year. I remember the embarrassment I felt a month after the passing of a loved one. I recognized that I wasn’t praying for him, let alone thinking about him. This realization made me think about all my other deceased loved ones and how infrequently…

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