The Efficacy of Holy Mass for the Departed.
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 Efficacy of Holy Mass for the Departed.
The Sacrifice of the Mass is the great devotion of the Catholic Church. And of all means to assist the souls in Purgatory none is more valuable or meritorious. For there Jesus Christ offers Himself with His infinite merits to His Heavenly Father, by the hands of the priest, in behalf of the suffering souls. The unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass does not essentially differ the Sacrifice of the Cross, but only accidently as to the manner of offering. And no limit can be placed to the effect of this great Sacrifice, which contains in itself all grace.
From this inestimable efficacy, however, we may not infer that the offering of one Mass is sufficient to release the souls we love. For, though the Sacrifice on Calvary was infinite we cannot conclude that the application of it through the Mass must also be infinite. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, it was not the intention of Jesus Christ to bestow the full efficacy of His suffering and death, which is commemorated in every Mass, upon us. His merits are applied according to His Adorable Will for the ways of God are often inscrutable.
It is very salutary therefore, to have the Holy Sacrifice offered frequently for the repose of a soul. Should the souls who are dear to us and for whom we intercede in this manner, be already in the enjoyment of eternal bliss, Divine Wisdom and Goodness will bestow the merit of the Masses offered on other suffering souls.
Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst institute the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass in commemoration of Thy Sacrifice upon the Cross, we beseech Thee, bestow the merits of this Holy Sacrifice upon the souls in Purgatory, that they may soon be released from their pains. Thou Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who were the most zealous to assist at Mass.
Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times.)
Practice: Assist at Mass for the relief of the suffering souls.
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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