The Pain of Loss.
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 Pain of Loss.
The spiritual suffering, or the pain of loss, is the greatest pain of Purgatory, according to the Fathers of the Church. No one can comprehend the great suffering of a soul departed, which, in all its ardent desire for the highest and only good, sees itself ever repulsed as an object of God’s avenging justice.
St. Alphonsus writes: “Far greater than the pain of sense in Purgatory is that pain which the holy souls must endure in being deprived of the vision of God. Because these souls are inflamed, not only with a natural, but with a supernatural love of God, they are so vehemently attracted to union with their highest good, that in being repulsed through their own fault, they experience so violent a pain that it would kill them instantly if death were possible to them.” “Therefore,” says St. Chrysostom, “this pain of being deprived of God is far greater pain for them than the pain of the senses. The fire of Hell increased a thousand times would not cause them such great suffering as does this pain of the loss of God.”
Prayer: O God! Father of Mercies, grant the ardent desire of the souls in Purgatory who yearn to behold Thee. Send down to them Thy holy angel with the joyful tidings that the moment of their deliverance has come, that their exile is ended; and bless them with perfect union with Thee forever. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the souls who are punished for their forgetfulness of the holy presence of God during their life. Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times.)
Practice: Try to remember at all times the holy presence of God.
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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