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.
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.
Prelude.—Let us unite ourselves to-day to the whole Church, which never ceases offering to God the most fervent supplications for the relief and deliverance of the souls in Purgatory.
Meditation.—Till now we have meditated on the numerous and powerful motives which make devotion to the souls in Purgatory a rigorous duty. But the close of this month, which our piety towards the holy souls induces us to consecrate to their deliverance, approaches and our hearts are doubtless fully resolved to redouble their zeal for the relief of these poor captive souls. Let us hasten, then, to study the means by which we can help them better.
The most ordinary means are prayer, fasting, and alms. We will meditate separately on each one of these three ways, and also on the secondary means which are comprised under these three general heads.
We will content ourselves to-day in remarking the importance which the Church attaches to prayer for the dead. She has employed it in every part of the world, from the time of the Apostles to our own days, and it is owing to a very ancient and very touching custom, that at the end of every canonical hour, those who recite it should add this short prayer:
“May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
The 2nd of November is a most ancient and very important feast in the Church, for on that day this tender Mother wishes all her children who are living to remember those who are dead, and suffering in the flames of Purgatory.
Resolution.—Renew our attention when in our prayers we make mention of the souls in Purgatory.
Aspiration.—“May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace!” (Office of the Church.)
PRAYER FOR THE DEAD RECOMMENDED BY A GREAT DOCTOR.
St. Augustine, that incomparable Doctor, prayed with the most touching fervour for the soul of his mother, St. Monica, and not content with his own prayers, fervent though they were, he asks God to let each of the faithful unite theirs. “Lord,” he said, “inspire Thy servants who are my brethren, inspire those who read what I write to remember at the altar Monica, Thy servant, so that she may obtain more easily through the prayers of many the last things she enjoined on me to obtain from Thee.” (Confessions, ix. 12-15.)
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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