Friday November 2, was all souls day in the Catholic church and so I had arranged to go see the dead on Saturday November 3, with a friend of mine.
This is no Zombie story…we went to a cemetery close to where I live for what is called “Plenary Indulgence” which is basically an act you perform to reduce the punishment for sin.
So I was under the impression that it was a hi and bye.
We go to the cemetery, pray for the dead and then out for drinks.
But there is more to it than that…and I thank God for the grace in seeing me to it.
On that Saturday, I had already gone for morning mass and by the time I had finished breakfast I was thinking of excuses to cancel.
Here, is were some of my Christian brothers and sisters will be shouting the devil, but I tend to lean more to seeing it as laziness which is a sin of the flesh or better still a chance to show God our commitment to him.
So I carried my overweight body and started walking…and the hot Nigerian sun came out to remind me of the Air Conditioner in my house (this one I will allow for them to say devil)
But I was resolved.
So I entered a ‘keke’ (it’s those carriage motorbikes that you see zipping in and out of traffic in Asia and Africa) to help my situation and was taken to the junction near the cemetery.
Then I started walking again and on getting to the entrance to the cemetery I knew I couldn’t see my friend. Again I was tempted to call it quits and say to myself I tried…that proverbial pat on the back when we are looking for an excuse…but I remembered I had read a quote that said if you have planned a goal never quit- Keep trying till you make it.
So I called my friend and we finally found each other.
Then the fun started…we prayed the rosary while walking around the cemetery in the hot sun and reading the bible.
At first, all that was in my mind was resentment, then I started focusing on what I was saying (because I had made a mistake in saying the Hail Mary…the Hail Mary…it is literally two sentences, the prayer you pray the most in the rosary and one of the shortest prayers in the whole Catholic Church.) and finally I started listening.
I was reminded of all the times, I had stepped a way from my devotion to God…the times I had let my earthly desires drive me…when even though I had chosen to be be HIS child, I did my will, not HIS. And I felt remorse.
Then I remembered this is a plenary indulgence, to remove punishment for all my sins… I will still go to confession but I felt his presence again. Alleluia.
After we were done, we went to get some frozen yogurt and shared testimonies. We also planned to see if we can invite more friends next year…so I am asking you my friends, pay a visit to the dead and even if you don’t believe you can have a conversation with them or pray for the ones they left behind.