Father Philip Writes...
Jesus said, “There are many rooms in my Father’s house.”
By his Father’s House, Jesus meant heaven. The Jews held a belief that in heaven there are different grades of blessedness – stages upon the way to glory. The hymn “Love Divine” expresses stages in these words, “Changed from glory into glory, ‘til in heaven we take our place….”
An earthly house can be overcrowded; an earthly inn must turn away a traveller if the accommodation is exhausted. In God’s house there is room for all, because heaven is as wide as the heart of God.
St Thomas found this difficult to understand. Jesus said, “I AM THE WAY.” What did he mean? Just imagine you are in a strange town and ask for directions.
This month is dedicated as a month of prayer for the dead on their journey. They need purification; they need to grow and hence we sprinkle their graves with holy water as a sign of cleansing and growth. They need prayer; hence we use incense, which is a sign of prayer: many grains burning together to form a single vapour. The vestments at Mass are black, which symbolises sin. We pray that the departed may receive complete healing of body, mind and spirit in God’s kingdom.
It might be tiny at present but is capable of tremendous growth.