Summary of the Law (said at every Sunday Mass)

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dona Eis Requiem, Part II

Help him as far as possible, not by tears, but by prayers and supplications and alms and offerings. For not unmeaningly have these things been devised, nor do we in vain make mention of the departed in the course of the divine mysteries, and approach God in their behalf, beseeching the Lamb who is before us, who taketh away the sin of the world; not in vain, but that some refreshment may thereby ensue to them. … Therefore with boldness do we then intreat for the whole world, and name their names with those of martyrs, of confessors, of priests. For in truth one body are we all, though some members are more glorious than others; and it is possible from every source to gather pardon for them, from our prayers, from our gifts in their behalf, from those whose names are named with theirs. Why therefore dost thou grieve? Why mourn, when it is in thy power to gather so much pardon for the departed?

—St John Chrysostom, Homily XLI on I Corinthians

The Church is Catholike, universall, so are all her Actions; All that she does, belongs to all. … All mankinde is of one Author, and is one volume; when one Man dies, one Chapter is not torne out of the booke, but translated into a better language; and every Chapter must be so translated … but Gods hand is in every translation; and his hand shall binde up all our scattered leaves againe, for that Librarie where every booke shall lie open one to another … Any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

—John Donne, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions XVII

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I said I’d make some suggestions about what Catholics can do to reach out to the LGBT community, in commemoration of Orlando, and I will start with the most and least practical thing, which is to pray for the dead. Most practical, because you can do it without even getting up, and for the dead themselves it is the only thing you can do; also, because I have a hunch that you won’t in fact do anything else for them, or for us the living LGBT community, if you don’t start here. Least practical, because you have responsibilities to the living that are not discharged by praying for somebody else. But these prayers are the subject of this post.

A brief reminder, which should be unnecessary: we do not know the eternal fate of any departed soul except those whom the Church has declared to be saints. We know1 that those who have been canonized are in heaven with God. No other soul’s destination has been revealed to us; for all we know, hell could be entirely empty of human souls (and it may be noteworthy that in the terrifying parable of the sheep and the goats, hell is described by Jesus as a place that was never designed for humanity at all). No one, for a Catholic, can be adjudged beyond the hope of final reconciliation and entry into the glory of God.2

A Divine Mercy Chaplet or a Rosary would be peculiarly suitable, fifty beads for fifty dead. If you are a priest, I appeal to you to make the dead of the Pulse shooting one of the intentions of your next Mass.

These are the names of the victims:3

Stanley Almodovar III, age 23
Amanda Alvear, 25
Oscar Aracena-Montero, 26
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Antonio Davon Brown, 30
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Jonathan Camuy Vega, 24
Angel Candelario-Padro, 28
Simón Adrian Carrillo Fernández, 31
Juan Chavez Martinez, 25
Luis Daniel Conde, 39
Cory James Connell, 21
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velázquez, 50
Deonka Deirdre Drayton, 32
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Peter Ommy Gonzalez Cruz, 22
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Frank Hernandez, 27
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge Reyes, 40
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25
Brenda Marquez McCool, 49
Jean Mendez Perez, 35
Kimberly Jean Morris, 37
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27
Luis Omar Ocasio Capo, 20
Geraldo Ortiz Jimenez, 25
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Enrique Rios Jr., 25
Juan Pablo Rivera Velázquez, 37
Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, 24
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano-Rosado, 35
Gilberto Silva Menendez, 25
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Luis Sergio Vielma, 22
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31

As well as the perpetrator and final casualty:

Omar Mateen, 29

Do not omit to pray for him, Christian. Our faith moves us to forgive—or at least begin to forgive—or, failing that to, to beg the grace to begin; or, it is worthless. Prayer, for others or oneself, is an act of compassion: it isn’t given because it’s deserved, it’s given because it’s needed.

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1Or more exactly, if we accept the Catholic religion we believe this to be the case.
2Not until the Last Judgment, anyway; but that can take care of itself.
3The names are listed alphabetically by surname. Given the extremely high proportion of Latino victims, some of the names may not appear where an English speaker would expect, as Spanish surnames are taken from both the father and the mother, with the mother’s second but the father’s treated as primary: e.g., someone named Juan Martinez Reyes would be listed under M, not R.

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed that there are no comments listed here. I plan to do this today. I have prayed for all of the victims, including the perpetrator, a number of times over the last year and this month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus also, but this particular idea is very poignant and healing. I will be suggesting it on my FB page also. God bless you for sharing a powerful and concise post regarding Pulse and Orlando.