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.
Forgiveness of Injuries.
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.
Forgiveness of Injuries.
Prelude.—Let us listen again to the mournful supplications of the souls in Purgatory, who implore us to come to their assistance.
Meditation.—But one act of virtue there is which the weakest creature in the world may practise without difficulty, and so heroic that the strongest can do nothing more glorious. You have received an affront, forget the injury which has been done to you, and offer to Jesus crucified the sacrifice of your resentment. If you do it with all your heart, it will be a powerful means of satisfying the justice of God, as well for your own sins as for those of others.
St. Augustine teaches this distinctly, for he says: “We must labour incessantly to expiate our sins by continual prayers and frequent fastings and large alms, and especially by forgiving those who have offended us, for all the sins which we have not entirely expiated must be consumed by the fire of Purgatory;” and he adds, “that those who wish to efface their sins entirely, and to secure themselves from the sufferings of Purgatory, will do both one and the other by bestowing many alms, and especially by forgiving their enemies.”
But there is yet another more explicit and consoling recommendation, that of Jesus Christ Himself, Who promises to this act a plenary indulgence, a full remission of all sins to those who forgive their enemies. “Forgive,” He says, “and you shall be forgiven” (St. Luke vi. 37). “For if you forgive men their offences, your Heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences” (St. Matthew vii. 14). This pardon can be applied to the souls in Purgatory, in a manner both useful to them and to ourselves.
Resolution.—Forgive injuries in order to obtain the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory.
Aspiration.—-“Forgive, and you shall be for-given. (Gospel according to St. Luke vi. 37.)
The only son of an honourable widow was murdered by a wicked fellow, who, being for this his murder in danger of being apprehended by the officers, had hid himself; but the officers and the widow had intelligence where he lay. The officers went to the place to take him; but the pious widow did, for God’s sake, so truly pardon this greatest mischief which could have been done her, that she did not only certify the murderer of his danger, to the end that he might fly away in time, but for this end did she furnish him also with money, and gave him the horse of her dead son, that he might escape the better. After this, she retired herself to pray for her son’s soul; when, behold, her son all in glory appeared unto her, and told her that, for so great a charity towards his murderer, God had already freed him from the fire of Purgatory, which for many years he should have suffered.—Mumford (Osorius): Sermon for the Friday after Ash-Wednesday.
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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