The Purity to Which the Soul Attains in Purgatory.

The Purity to Which the Soul Attains in Purgatory.

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.

The Purity to Which the Soul Attains in Purgatory.

St. Thomas says that the effect of sin is threefold: (1) It weakens the soul’s natural propensity to good; (2) It leaves a stain on the soul; (3) It incurs a debt of punishment.
As the result of mortal sin, it is a shadow on the soul; as the result of venial sin, it is the diminution of the fervour of charity.
If “the rust” which St. Catherine of Genoa speaks of as being worn away by Purgatory, is the shade or gloom which is over the soul for being deprived of the light of glory, it includes the idea of an imperfection and implies its being opposed to God’s purity. But she teaches that there is in reality nothing between the soul and God but the punishment which is due as a debt to His justice. Yet she seems to imply that there is a gradual getting rid of weakness and imperfect dispositions and earthly tastes, which the soul has contracted through sin, and which remain after the guilt of sin is remitted. Such a gradual process of reformation seems to be in keeping with the manner in which these evil habits were formed, i.e., by degrees; it is, as it were, a retracing of the steps one took in departing from the right path.
St. Catherine says that when the soul has been restored to grace, it often remains “so stained and turned to self, that, to recall it to its first state, in which God created it, requires all those operations of the divine power” which she has been describing. She says, in fine: “God, who is great and good, destroys all that is of man, and Purgatory purifies it.’’ What can be meant by “all that is of man” except earthly inclinations? And when she says that there is nothing between the soul and God except the punishment, it may be that the getting rid of evil inclinations is in reality, part of this punishment.
She says: “There are so many secret imperfections within the soul, that the sight of them would drive it to despair. These are all destroyed in Purgatory, and when they are consumed, God shows them to the soul, that it may understand that it was He who kindled that fire of love which consumes every existing imperfection.” She teaches that there is no active or wilful imperfection— these were all remitted at death—but only such inclinations as are altogether passive. Hence, we may conclude that in Purgatory an intrinsic improvement takes place in the soul, which consists in gradually getting rid of passive bad habits and earthly tastes. Such a process may take place on earth, and, therefore, there is reason to suppose that it may also take place in Purgatory.

 Practice.—Offer your daily trials for the release of the Holy Souls.

Indulgenced Prayer.—“My Lord and My God,” while looking on the Host during the Elevation of the Mass. (Seven years and seven quarantines each time. Plenary once a week, if recited daily.)

EXAMPLE.

St. Brigid once saw the soul of a young lady of high birth, in Purgatory, who had lived a life of vanity and pleasure. This soul related to her the history of her life, and the sad state in which she then was. “Happily,” she said, “I confessed my sins before I died and so escaped hell, but now I suffer to expiate the worldly life I led, and which my mother took no pains to prevent. My head, which sought the admiration of others, is now devoured with flames of the most indescribable violence, without and within. My shoulders and arms, which I exposed to view so as to be admired, are bound in chains of red-hot iron. My feet, so often employed in dancing, are surrounded with vipers that tear them with their teeth and cover them with filth; every member formerly adorned with vain ornaments is now a prey to torture.” . . . The Saint related the vision to a worldly cousin of the deceased, who promptly renounced all worldly pleasures and devoted the rest of her life to penance.

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.


PSALM: DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord! Lord hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand it?
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by rea­son of Thy law I have waited for Thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. 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 to the souls of thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through the devout prayers of Thy Church on earth, they may obtain that remission of pain which they have every desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.

The Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XII., by a brief, Calestes Ecclesia thesauros, Aug. 11, 1736, granted:
AN INDULGENCE OF ONE HUNDRED DAYS to all the faithful who, at the sound of the bell, at the first hour after nightfall, shall say devoutly on their knees the psalm De profundis, or the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Requiem æternam.
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once a year, to those who shall have performed this pious exercise for a year, on any day when, being truly penitent, after confession and communion, they shall pray for peace and union among Christian princes, for the extirpation of heresy and for the triumph of holy Mother Church.
The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius VI., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of the Propaganda, March 18, 1781, granted these indulgences to all the faithful who may happen to dwell in a place where no bell for the dead is sounded, provided they shall say the De profundis, or the Our Father, and the Hail Mary, etc., about nightfall.
The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 18, 1877, declared that these indulgences can be gained on the recital as aboye of the De profundis, or the Our Father, etc., before or after nightfall, provided that the bell is sounded at such hour, according to the custom of the church or place.
Moreover, His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Feb. 3, 1888, granted to all the faithful who shall recite the above Psalm, adding the versicle Requiem æternam dona eis Domine ei lux perpetua luceat eis, AN INDULGENCE OF FIFTY DAYS, three times a day.

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).


RECITING THE ROSARY FOR THE HOLY SOULS.

Pius IX, has granted an Indulgence of Ten Years and Ten Quarantines once a day to the faithful who devoutly recite in company with others, either at home or in church, in public or private oratories, a third part of the Rosary of Saint Dominic; and a Plenary Indulgence on the last Sunday in every month to all who are in the habit of saying with others at least three times a week, the third part of the Rosary, without belonging to the confraternity of that name. (Visit.)
Benedict XIII granted an Indulgence of One Hundred Days for every Our Father and every Hail Mary, and a Plenary Indulgence once a year, to those who recite the third part of the Rosary every day; the same Indulgence of One Hundred Days had been granted for the Chaplet of Saint Bridget. Those who recite at least once a week the Chaplet of our Lord, or that of the Blessed Virgin, enriched with Apostolic Indulgences, gain numerous Indulgences on the feast indicated in the calendar, besides an Indulgence of One Hundred Days each time. (Take particulare notice that it is necessary to recite the whole Chaplet without remarkable interrruption.) – Month of the Dead.


CATHOLIC LEAGUE OF PERPETUAL SUFFRAGE FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY.

In order to maintain and diffuse ever more and more among the faithful the holy and salutary thought of praying for the departed, some pious Romans projected and proposed a so-called Catholic League of perpetual suffrage for the holy souls in purgatory, to which any one may belong by reciting each day, three times, Give them eternal rest, etc., in behalf of the holy souls.
His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII., by a rescript of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Aug. 19, 1880, granted to all the faithful who, with contrite hearts, recite, three times, Give them eternal rest, etc.:
AN INDULGENCE OF TWO HUNDRED DAYS, once a day. – Raccolta 1898

THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER.

His Holiness, Leo XIII., by a decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, January 17, 1888, granted to the faithful who shall perform some pious practice for the relief of the souls in Purgatory, every day during the whole month of November, whether in public or in private,
AN INDULGENCE OF SEVEN YEARS AND AS MANY QUARANTINES on each day of the month;
A PLENARY INDULGENCE, once during the same month, on any day of the month, on the usual conditions: Confession and Communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory, and there praying for the intention of the Sovereign Pontiff. – Raccolta 1898.


Special for the month of November:

The Purgatorian Manual

Increase your devotion to assist the Holy Souls with this manual. It includes prayers for each day of the month, a Novena to the Holy Souls in Purgatory by St. Alphonsus, Morning prayers, Evening devotions, Acts before and after Holy Communion, devotions for Confession, visit to the Blessed Sacrament by St. Alphonsus, the Way of The Cross by St. Alphonsus, Protestation for a Happy Death by St. Alphonsus, and other prayers too numerous to mention. Includes daily prayers for the Poor Souls, Litanies, Mass Prayers, and much more. An exact reprint from a 1946 edition. Softcover, 305 pages, Size 4” x 6”. (price includes shipping)

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