It is a cherished monastic tradition to pray for the dead. Cistercians, in particular, have the custom of praying an entire Psalter (all 150 Psalms) for the dead, concluding each psalm with the verse, “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”
Today’s Mass will be offered for all the departed who soldiered under the Rule of Saint Benedict. The Christian life is marked by spiritual combat. “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiitual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). The monk, the nun, or the oblate living in the world engages in spiritual combat by making use of the seventy–four tools of good works enumerated in Chapter Four of the Rule of Saint Benedict.
After death, the veterans of spiritual combat are not abandoned by their monastic family. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, psalmody, and the prayer of the Rosary hasten their purification and obtain a speedy deliverance into “the land of the living” where