Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Romans 5: 5
Today is the Feast of All Souls. As the years of life pass, the veil that separates this side of death from the other side seems to grow thinner and ever more transparent. There begin to be more whom we have loved who live on the other side of death than who accompany us on this side. Yet, it is undeniable that we continue to be companions on the way and that those who have died also somehow continue to walk with us.
At those moments in life where we have been given the gift and grace of love, we recognize the meaning of “eternal life.” There is something in the very nature of real love that is eternal. To love another and to be loved by them is to enter into an experience that far transcends the particular thoughts, feelings, and capacities of either one of us. It is to know, however many times we may doubt or fail each other, a hope that “does not disappoint.” To suffer the pain and disappointment of failure and hurt, of physical separation, and even of death does not destroy our hope, for we have come to know the truth that it is love that is the core of being and existence.
We pray for those we love who have died in enduring hope in the mercy of God. And we forgive them and ourselves because our failings in love are as nothing in light of the infinite love of God which is the light of all life. Everything will pass away, but the love of God we have known in Jesus will not. St. Paul says that “love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things, and hopes all things” (1 Cor. 13:7). This feast day, as we pray for those whom we love who have died, may we also devote ourselves to loving those around us yet a bit more wholeheartedly, trusting that in time it is the love of God that will be all in all.
From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. In the letter I wrote to you, you will remember I said that our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone.”
Pope Francis, Interview with Eugenio Scalfari, La Repubblica, 1 October, 2013