Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Loved Ones Who Die Outside the Faith

Not a great photo (over-exposed),
but I love how happy she looks
The other day, I was praying the Rosary and thinking about Mary in her role as our Mother. I often think I've transferred my feelings for my own biological mother to Mary, and when I think of "Mom", I usually think of Our Lady. On this particular day, though, as I was praying, all of a sudden I was seeing my mom in my mind's eye. Usually, I have a hard time picturing her any more (she died in 1992), partly because my last memories of her were of how she looked as she was dying, and who wants to remember that? Today, it was like she was right there in front of me, smiling and looking radiant and happy.

I started to pray for Our Lady to intercede for her, and sneak her into Heaven, because my mom wasn't Catholic; I don’t know if she was a baptized Christian. But Mom did fervently affirm her belief in God on her death bed, and she listened to me read some Scriptures to her. If I'd been Catholic at that time, I would have known what to do towards the salvation of her soul. But I wasn't Catholic, and all I knew was to make sure she believed in God, and that Jesus was His Son. Now, as a Catholic, I know I can't assume she's in Heaven, like I did back then at the time of her death.

It's one of those things that I think is hard for converts, or potential converts: what about the people we love who have died and who weren't Catholic, or maybe were only just barely "Christian"? It is painful to think about the people you loved most in your life not being in Heaven (at least eventually).

This is the first time in a long, long, long time that I have really thought about my mom. I found myself missing her, which I haven't done in ages. I found myself feeling sad at the thought of not seeing her in Heaven (if I make it there myself!). But I still felt like I was actually seeing her in my thoughts, and that was kind of comforting. I also saw that I have sort of become her in relation to my own daughter.

I know a woman locally who is a devout Christian. Her husband died several years ago, and she often says that she knows he's in Heaven because he "knew Jesus", etc. We have had some minimal comment-trading about Catholicism via Face Book, but I know that it would be a hard teaching for her to even entertain the idea that he might not be in Heaven waiting for her. I have thought about this a time or two and wondered how a person would talk to a potential convert about such things. Well, no one talked to me about it before I became a Catholic, so maybe that's the way to go.  

Just some thoughts. I am still wishing I could talk to my mom for a few minutes.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

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