Marriage & Family Life: God draws us in community
by Adam Storey | December 3, 2018
A great joy I’ve had as a father is watching my kids fall in love with the saints.
We often read our kids stories from the lives of the saints. We have hand-painted “saint dolls” that the kids can play with (Gabriel is often found playing baseball games with them, and I’m always impressed with St. Augustine’s pitching!). We often remember feast days at dinner and during our nighttime prayers.
The saints remind us that as Christians our family extends beyond the walls of our home, or even beyond the Thanksgiving dinner table. As members of Christ’s body, our family includes those who have gone before us – the canonized men and women who are exemplars of the faith, and who intercede for us and accompany us in all the moments of our lives.
During the month of November, we are reminded that our family moves even beyond the canonized saints, to the holy souls in purgatory for whom we intercede until they enjoy full and perfect communion with God.
Just as the stories of the saints are important for our growth in the faith, I think the stories and lives of those who are closer to us are vital in our formation in the life of discipleship.
My family has the great blessing of living right next to Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines, and so every day on my way to work I’m reminded of the local men and women who I am called to pray for, and who I believe can intercede for me.
I often pray for the repose of the souls of all those buried in Glendale, and I ask for the intercession of those who have joined God in eternal life.
It’s a particular gift to ask for the intercession of Father Jim Kiernan, or my sister Rachel, who passed away weeks after her birth, or even my own stillborn daughter, Zita. With hopeful confidence in their salvation, it is a great consolation to have their support in my own journey.
By remembering and telling their stories, we weave our lives closer together, a reminder that God draws us to himself not in isolation, but in community.
So this month, as we pray for the holy souls in purgatory, I want to invite you to deeper relationship with those who have gone before us. Tell their stories, ask for their help and, most importantly, pray for them!