The Sufferings of Purgatory.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
The Sufferings of Purgatory.
The sufferings of Purgatory are twofold: the pain of loss, and the torture of the senses; both in proportion to temporal punishment unremitted. Having committed sin, the soul has turned away from God, thus increasing the pain of loss, or according to our ideas, God departs from that soul and deprives her of His beatific vision. By sin, the soul has been attached to creatures, making improper use of them. displeasing to God, hence the severe punishment, consisting in the pain of the senses. God permits that those who have abandoned their Creator, and bestowed their affections upon creatures, are chastised, by the same, for we read in the Book of Wisdom: “By what things a man sinneth, by the same also is he tormented.” (Wis. xi. 17.)
God has not revealed, nor has the Church ever taught in what manner or to what extent the souls in Purgatory suffer, but it is the opinion of the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church that what St. Paul writes to the Corinthians, (1, iii. 15.) “But he himself shall be saved: yet so as by fire,” must be taken in a literal sense, which is accepted also by St. Thomas Aquinas.
Prayer: O Lord, by Thine infinite love and clemency, graciously grant to the suffering souls in Purgatory remittance of their punishment. Receive them into Thy eternal glory, that blessed by Thy beatific vision, they may praise and adore Thee forever and ever. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who have suffered for the longest time in Purgatory. Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times.)
Practice: Do not let human respect prevent you from performing a duty.
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!
(100 days’ Indulgence every time. Pius IX.).
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Virtues to practice: Charity and kindness.
Most loving Jesus, I humbly beseech Thee, that Thou Thyself wouldst offer to Thine eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the sacred wounds of Thine adorable Body, together with Thine agony and death. And do thou likewise, O sorrowful Virgin Mary, present unto Him, together with the dolorous Passion of thy dear Son, thine own sighs and tears, and all the sorrows thou didst suffer in His suffering, in order that, through the merits of the same, refreshment may be granted to the souls now suffering in the fiery torments of purgatory, so that, being delivered from that painful prison, they may be clothed with glory in heaven, there to sing the mercies of God for ever and ever. Amen.
Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin, that with Thy gracious assistance they may deserve to escape the judgment of vengeance and enjoy the blessedness of everlasting light.
V. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May they rest in peace.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray.
O, God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins: that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Eternal rest, etc.
An indulgence of 3 years. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if these prayers are said daily for a month (S. C. md., Sept. 15, 1888; S. P. Ap., April 25, 1934).
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