The Consolations of the Souls in Purgatory.

The Consolations of the Souls 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 Consolations of the Souls in Purgatory.

THE souls in Purgatory are entirely submissive to God’s will. They are completely satisfied with God’s dealings in their regard. The impediment which sin has left upon their souls, would, if they were unable to have it purged away, be to them as hell. It would be intolerable to the soul to perceive that it lacked the least occasion or lost a moment in which it could satisfy God’s justice more perfectly. This complete surrender to God gives these poor souls a perfect peace. They are, moreover, sure of possessing God one day. And the overflowing love of God with which they are filled, in consequence of the powerful attraction by which God is ever drawing them to Himself, fills them with a happiness beyond expression. Still this happiness does not diminish their pain, for the pain itself is caused by the impeding of this love. The happiness does not prevent the pain, nor the pain the happiness. This is the teaching of St. Catherine of Genoa.
God does not wish us to have an excessive fear of Purgatory. He wishes that our fear should be tempered by trust in His mercy, and that we should fear only in order to prevent sin and be roused to fervour. Therefore it is His will that we should often consider the immense consolations of the souls in Purgatory.
In the first place, God consoles the souls in Purgatory by inspiring them with faith, hope, love, resignation and patience.
The souls in Purgatory also receive the greatest consolation from the Blessed Mother of God. For she is the consoler of the afflicted, and what affliction can be greater than that of these Poor Souls? She is the Mother of Mercy, and in the revelations of St. Brigid she gives herself the title of Mother of the Souls in Purgatory. She has often revealed to her servants on earth that she exercises in a most special manner the office of Mother of Mercy to the Holy Souls. There are certain days on which Mary more especially shows mercy to these suffering souls. Saturdays above all are the festival days of Purgatory. We read in the revelations of devout souls that on this day, especially dedicated to her honour, Mary descends personally into Purgatory to visit and console her suffering servants.
A holy religious was once on a Saturday, transported in spirit to Purgatory. But instead of the darkness which she had known to prevail there at other times, she found the prison full of light, and, as it were, a paradise of delights. She then perceived the Queen of Heaven surrounded by many angels, to whom she was giving orders to deliver those souls who had honoured her in some special manner.
We cannot, therefore, doubt that all the feast days of Our Lady are times of special mercy and deliverance for the Holy Souls. St. Peter Damian says that on the feast of her glorious Assumption the Blessed Virgin Mary delivers thousands of souls from Purgatory.
We are, moreover, assured that the angels also visit and console the Holy Souls. The Doctors of the Church teach that the guardianship of the holy angels over the souls of men only terminates at the soul’s entrance into Heaven. We may, therefore, conclude that the guardian angel conducts the soul to the place of expiation and remains there with it to console and encourage it, and no doubt also to inspire its friends, who remain on earth with desires and good works for its speedy delivery.
In the Dream of Gerontius Cardinal Newman puts these words on the Guardian Angel’s lips:

“Softly and gently, dearly-ransomed soul,
In my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
And, o’er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.

“And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
And thou, without a sob or a resistance
Dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
Sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.

“Angels, to whom the willing task is given
Shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as thou liest;
And Masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven
Shall aid thee at the throne of the Most Highest.

“Farewell, but not for ever! brother dear,
Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
And I will come and wake thee on the morrow.”

And all this, as we have said, is quite in accordance with the teaching of the holy Fathers.
Practice.—Often pray to Our Lady and the holy angels for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

Indulgenced Prayer.—The Litany of Loretto. while looking on the Host during the Elevation of the Mass. (300 days indulgence every time; a plenary indulgence on the chief feasts of Our Lady to those who recite this litany daily.)

EXAMPLE.

It used to be a pious custom among the people of Rome to visit the churches, with a candle in the hand, during the night preceding the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. A lady of rank, being on her knees in the basilica of the Ara Cœli, saw before her, prostrate in prayer, her godmother, who had died several months before. Much surprised, she desired to solve the mystery, and therefore placed herself near the door of the church. As soon as she saw the lady go out, she took her by the hand, and drew her aside. “Are you not my godmother?” she asked. “Yes,” was the reply. “And how is it that you are among the living?” she asked. “Until this day,” replied the apparition, “I was plunged in a dreadful fire, on account of the sins of vanity committed in my youth, but during this great solemnity the Queen of Heaven descended into the flames and delivered me, together with a large number of other souls, so that we might enter Heaven on the Feast of her Assumption. This act of clemency she performs each year, and the number delivered by her on this occasion alone is equal to the population of Rome.”
As the goddaughter remained stupefied, hardly able to believe in the truth of the apparition, the soul added: “As a proof of the truth of my words, you yourself will die on this Feast, a year hence. If you outlive that period, you may believe that this was an illusion.”
St. Peter Damian, who relates this story, concludes it by saying that the young lady passed the year in prayer and good works to prepare herself for God’s call. She fell sick on the eve of the Feast and died on the feast of the Assumption, as predicted.

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 ever 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)

$15.50


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