Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Privation of the Sight of God.
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.
Privation of the Sight of God.
Prelude.—The gate of Purgatory has been opened, and its prisoners cast a longing gaze towards heaven, which appears in the distance.
Meditation.—The souls in Purgatory are deprived of the sight of God. The weakness of our minds and the coldness of our hearts prevent us from realising this loss in all its extent. Let us endeavour, however, to form a faint idea of it, by serious meditation on the considerations suggested to us by the piety of holy doctors. All the blessings of earth could not be compared to the happiness of seeing God, even for one instant. And all the sufferings of this land of exile are as nothing, even if endured for ages, if they obtain us the happiness of seeing God. These are two considerations which faith suggests to us, and which souls, freed from earthly bonds, experience in all its truth. What then must be the sorrow of a soul who finds herself in a state which would permit her to see God, and who would really behold Him if her sins did not prevent her, and yet this soul has to live separated from God? Meditate, then, on her regrets and her sadness when she sees that she has lost, through her own fault, the happiness of heaven, if not for ever, at least for a time, and when she realises that the possession of God, of which she is deprived, is a blessing which cannot be compared to all earthly happiness, and when she sees clearly that to be worthy of seeing God, she ought to have suffered willingly all the trials of this life. The souls in Purgatory dwell continually on these thoughts, which they cannot lose sight of for an instant, and it is useless to suggest other thoughts to console and encourage them; for nothing can take away the remembrance of the vision of God, or diminish their sense of its loss.
Resolution.—Detach ourselves from this world by comparing heaven and earth.
Aspiration.—“How contemptible does earth seem to me, when I consider heaven.” (St. Bernard.)
THE HIGH MOUNTAIN.
St. Lidwine had a vision one day, in which she saw before her a high mountain, around which a crowd of souls were moving, some at its foot, some higher up, and all striving to climb it, but in vain—they were repelled by an invisible hand, which was the hand of God, and which thus showed them that they were not yet pure enough to appear in His presence.
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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