My stomach tightened into a hard, sick knot as the news flashed across the screen. Another tragedy of incomprehensible evil. More precious lives lost. Hundreds of souls caught unaware.
A single thought brought consolation: That’s who I prayed for this morning.
A few years earlier, I felt a strong conviction to start praying every morning for the salvation of those who would die that day, headed for eternity.
The concept of anything eternal is impossible to grasp on an earth where everything ends and every reference point is confined to the finite. Yet, God still plants the desire for the infinite within us, offering a gift that far surpasses mortal earthly life: eternal life, with infinite joy and everlasting love.
God meticulously created us and loves us fiercely. The catch is that God, Who is Love, does not force anyone to love Him back and stay with Him—that would be coercion. He gives us a choice: free will. Those who freely reject God also reject the eternal life He offers—and choose everlasting death. Infinite separation from God. A never-ending absence of Love. Eternal hell.
God Himself does not plan for anyone to go to hell. As the Catechism teaches, “for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and [one must] persist in it until the end” without repentance or conversion (Catechism of the Catholic Church § 1037).
Nothing is more precious than a single soul. God has deemed it so. And Jesus shows that there is hope for anyone to repent up to the very end in the Gospel today (see Luke 13:1-9).
Therefore, nothing is more tragic than a soul lost forever.
It breaks my brain and shatters my heart. It also compels me to pray fervently for those whose death is imminent.
Praise God, we can help in a tangible way! As the Body of Christ on earth, our every prayer, good deed, and suffering offered to God works together for the salvation of souls. Despite pandemics, natural disasters, and violence, we can give the gift of prayer that is most crucial to another soul’s eternal wellbeing: help turning to God and choosing life when it matters the most.
Today, let us pray specifically for souls most in need of mercy, hope, and conversion.We can give the gift of prayer. // @megan_hjelmstad Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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