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Faith: Life has changed, not ended

Do we have a connection with our loved ones in heaven?

I believe we do. Let me explain my mode of reasoning.

I believe God is present with me. I believe my loved ones in heaven are in the presence of God. Therefore, if they are with God and God is with me, we have a communion through the presence of God. Make sense?

Most of us have had those interesting or miraculous experiences with one who has gone before us. My Grandpa gives me little signs of his prayers and presence in my life all the time. I think it is a normal thing that happens to most people.

Have you ever gone to the cemetery and visited the grave of your loved one. You talk with them right? I do. I just went last week and had a chat with my grandpas and the priests buried in the Ely cemetery.

As a Catholic, I consider this an experience of the Communion of Saints. We share in the one Body of Christ, whether living on earth or having moved on to the next. Our Funeral Liturgy has a beautiful line in one of the prayers concerning this topic.

"Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended."

Life changes when we die, but does not end. For the faithful of the Lord we believe we share in his Resurrection. This means we still share in life.

Now, some may be saying, wait a minute. Just because our loved ones are in heaven with God doesn't mean they know to pray for us or know what is going on in our lives.

Well, if the use of logic given above isn't satisfying, I turn to the gift of faith. I believe the saints in heaven do know. They know because of the Holy Spirit. They are living in the fullness of the Spirit now.

I know someone who is often inspired by the Holy Spirit to pray for specific things out of the blue. She firmly believes that the Holy Spirit inspires in her heart knowledge of who to pray for and sometimes what to pray for. I have been on the receiving end of this beautiful gift. It is amazing to me.

So, if our loved ones in heaven are living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit I firmly believe they can pray for us in the Spirit. They are in the fullness of the presence of the Spirit now, sharing in the fullness of the gifts of the Spirit.

We share in a communion of goods, or graces. It doesn't end or separate at death. We enter the fullness of both grace and gift in heaven. So, between heaven and earth there in deed is a veil. But, it is only a veil. I believe.

The Catholic Church throughout the world will celebrate the Feast of All Saints on November 1. For those who are Catholic, a saint is a "holy one". This definition would include the angels and all the souls of human persons in heaven. Celebrate this month your loved ones in heaven. Seek their prayer, just as you might ask me to pray with you. Make a visit to their graveside. Remember them and continue to walk in communion with them, for life has only changed, not ended.

May God bless you and may Jesus Christ be praised.

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