Alms-Giving Affords Great Relief to 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.
Alms-Giving Affords Great Relief to the Departed.
Besides prayer and other acts of devotion there are practical good works we can perform for the relief of the suffering souls. Alms-giving is one of the most prominent, for this, being a work of mercy, is especially efficacious in obtaining mercy for the holy souls. Not the rich alone are able to give alms; the poor can do so as well; since it is not the value of the gift, but the good intention with which it is bestowed, that is acceptable in the sight of God. We also shall one day be numbered among the suffering souls, and who is in greater need and poverty than they? The most miserable beggar in this world can at least complain of his wants and ask others to assist him. But the souls in Purgatory cannot do even this, for the instances in which they are permitted to implore aid of the living are exceptional cases and very few are on record. What consolation it will afford us when, in our own great time of need, the poor whom we have befriended and comforted upon earth, in company with the holy souls whom we delivered by offering this work of mercy for them, shall come to our assistance by their prayers and supplications! Therefore, says Holy Scripture: “Do good to the friend before thou die; and according to thy ability, stretching out thy hand to give to the poor.” (Eccl. xiv. 13.)
Prayer: Lord, graciously look upon the alms we offer for the redemption of the captive souls in Purgatory. Bestow upon them the full merit thereof that they may be able to discharge their debt; accept, we beseech Thee, this boom of charity, that delivered from debt and penalty Thou mayest lead them into Thy heavenly kingdom. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who upon earth gave alms for the relief of the suffering souls.
Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times)
Practice: Bestow a gift upon a poor person, and offer the merit for the souls in Purgatory.
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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