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1902Re: Reasons for prayer for the deceased

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Jan 22, 2003
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      Dear Rajan
      It is a EO article, I think it may clarify some of your doubts.


      Memory and Remembrance

      REMEMBRANCE of the dead is human. It is very human for a sincere
      relative to have a strong remembrance of a beloved person who has died.
      It is not easy, or natural, for a son to forget his father if he really
      had a filial love and gratitude for him, and the remembrance of his
      mother is undoubtedly even more tender and reverent. But is the remembrance
      of a believer sincere without invoking the grace of God? Without exercising
      his faith in Jesus Christ and His ever-living Church? Without praying to
      Him for the soul of his beloved, one, who is now a member of the triumphant
      Church, as he prayed for him when he was a member of the Church on earth?

      In the eyes of the Christian and his belief in Jesus Christ, Who is the
      Head of both, there is no difference between the Church on earth and that
      in Heaven. To cease praying for him, if he really prayed for him when his
      beloved one was on earth, is an unnatural way of thinking and a perversion
      of reason. Only by erroneous presupposition, or cynicism, will a person
      force himself to apathy. It is, then, in keeping with the nature of,the
      faithful and his belief, as well as in keeping with the teaching of
      Jesus Christ and His Church, to pray to Almighty God for the souls of our
      beloved relatives and friends.

      The Church has developed this human reaction and this divine teaching and
      has established, first, the teaching of the truth of the everliving soul
      and its judgment and, secondly, prayers and services pertaining to the
      burial of the dead and his life hereafter. It is an expression of gratitude
      for a Christian believer to remember the Apostle Paul, by whose efforts and
      martyrdom he receives his faith which is so dear and precious to him. To
      remember him, however, without referring to Almighty God in his prayers,
      the Christian believer misunderstands both the person and message of the
      Apostle Paul. For a Christian, the memory of a beloved person has a value
      only when he refers to God Almighty in a humble and faithful prayer;
      otherwise it is the ordinary expression of an un-illuminated heart. In such
      cases there is no difference between a "Christian" and an atheist. The
      Christian is called on to pray constantly and to give alms in the Name of
      the Lord at all times but especially when he remembers his beloved departed
      persons; by doing so he will hear the angel's voice as the centurion
      Cornelius heard, that, "Thy prayers and thy alms are come up for a memorial
      before God." (Acts 10:4)

      In our Lords Love

      Thomas Daniel (Reji)
      St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
      Cheppaud, Alleppy Dist
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