A Representative with God.

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.

A Representative with 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.

A Representative with God.

Prelude.—Let us represent to ourselves the blessed praising God in heaven.

Meditation.—But there is another fruit of this devotion to the souls in Purgatory. Let us listen to Father Faber explaining it to us: “It is a great thing to have some one in heaven who shall love, praise, and glorify God on our behalf. He who loves God fervently and tenderly can never rest without doing all he can that the infinite majesty of God should be exalted and glorified. Yet, with all the miseries and sins of this life, we cannot magnify and adore that most dear Majesty as the blessed can in heaven. Oh, then, the joy and consolation to think that others, whom we have released from Purgatory, are doing this great work for us in heaven, and that while we are still here they have begun their praise already! Surely there can be no soul that has been fortunate enough to reach Purgatory which is not holier than ours, and more fitted to glorify God. And if so, then have we ourselves already put one in heaven who shall give God greater glory than we should do if we were there ourselves. While we are eating, drinking, sleeping, toiling, here on earth, there in heaven—refreshing thought! most solid consolation!—is the unsleeping soul, or please God, the many unsleeping souls whom we have hastened thither, worshipping and exalting the beautiful majesty of the Most High, unspeakably, incessantly.

Resolution.—Renew our devotion to the souls in Purgatory, so as to show God our love.

Aspiration.—“Some distribute their own goods, and grow richer.” (Proverbs xi. 24.)

EXAMPLE.

BLESSED MARGARET MARY.

We read in the life of blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, who has been beatified by Pius IX., the following incident, which is related by the Mère Greffier, and deserves to be mentioned here, as it concerns a person in whom the entire order of the Visitation is particularly interested. Mother Philiberte Emmanuel de Montovi, superioress of Annecy, whose memory is held in veneration, and whose holy life is a source of edification to the whole Institute, died during the superiority of Mère Greffier, on the 5th of February, of the year 1583, and was particularly recommended by her to the prayers of blessed Margaret Mary. A little while after she told her superioress that Our Lord had made known to her that this soul was very dear to Him, because of her love and fidelity in His service, that He reserved an ample reward for her in heaven when she had been sufficiently purified in Purgatory; and He showed her to Margaret, in that holy place, receiving great relief amidst her sufferings by the application of the suffrages and good works which were offered every day for her throughout the Order of the Visitation. During the nights of Holy Thursday and Good Friday, as Sister Margaret was still praying for this holy superioress, Our Lord made her see her as if placed under the chalice, which contained the sacred Host, receiving there a share in the merits of His agony in the Garden of Olives. On Easter Sunday, which that year fell on the 18th of April, she beheld her as if in the beginning of felicity, desiring and hoping soon for the sight and possession of God. Finally, on the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, she saw her as if losing herself, and being sweetly consumed in glory, singing melodiously the favourite hymn of the servant of God:

“Love triumphs, love enjoys, and love in God rejoices.”[1]

So that this holy and fervent superioress, animated by the purest spirit of the Institute, dying in the reputation of sanctity on the 5th of February, entered into the enjoyment of glory only on the 1st of May, as it was revealed to blessed Margaret Mary, for God, in order to purify her, deferred her happiness for eighty-six days.

[1] “L’amour triomphe, l’amour jouit, l’amour en Dieu se réjouit.”

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.

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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.
R. Amen.
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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