Matter for Expiation—Tepidity and Abuse of Grace.

Matter for Expiation—Tepidity and Abuse of Grace.

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.

Matter for Expiation—Tepidity and Abuse of Grace.

IN the Apocalypse, Our Lord shows His displeasure and disgust with tepidity in the following words addressed to the Bishop of Laodicea; “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” As though to say, that tepidity was to Him intolerable, causing as it were nausea and disgust.
If this is so with a tepid soul while still on earth, we can easily infer how dreadful must be the fate of that soul in the state of purification when its unsightliness is being purged away, that it may be made fit for the vision of God.
We read of the fate of a tepid monk in the time of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. That unfortunate religious died while in a deplorable state of lukewarmness. During the Mass of Requiem it was revealed to another monk that, though this soul was not lost, its condition was most miserable. The following night the poor soul appeared to his fellow-religious, and led him to the edge of a large and deep pit, filled with smoke and flames. “Here,” said the soul, “am I tormented. I am forever being plunged into this dread abyss, and then withdrawn, only to be plunged into it anew.” When the religious made this known to the Abbot, he called a special Chapter, and related the vision to the brethren, imploring them to take warning and to help their deceased brother by their suffrages.
In the life of Mother Agnes of Jesus, it is related that a Sister of the Monastery at Puy, who had been dead ten years, began to appear to the Venerable Mother with a sad and distressed countenance. After this, for the space of three weeks, she appeared continually to Mother Agnes of Jesus at all times, especially after Holy Communion and at prayer, but without speaking. The Mother prayed for her, but feared that the apparition might be a delusion. Her guardian angel then made known to her that it really was a soul from Purgatory, who suffered thus for her negligence in the service of God. After these words were spoken, the vision did not again appear, and no one knows how long this poor soul had to remain in Purgatory.
An Ursuline nun, who had been a holy religious, appeared after her death to her superior and told her that she was in Purgatory for being negligent in some of the common exercises, and for other faults, especially the habit of keeping things in her use without permission, and disposing of them as she chose. She added: “God’s judgments are very different from ours.” She then drew near to her superior, who had asked her if her sufferings were very great. It seemed as if the face of the superior were burned by a coal of fire, although the apparition had not touched her, and her arm was seriously scorched. The superior prayed most earnestly for a month, and at the end of it the soul came to announce her deliverance.
Venerable Louis of Blois speaks of a soul who appeared to a friend of his, saying she endured horrible torments for the negligence with which she had prepared for Communion, and said she would only be released if a fervent Communion were made for her. Her friend made haste to fulfil her desire and then saw the soul ascend to Heaven, in incomparable splendour. . . .
By abuse of grace is understood neglect to respond to the invitations which God gives us for the practice of virtue or the sanctification of our souls. I can hear Mass, or pray, or do some good work or refrain from evil; an interior voice urges me to do so, but I refuse to respond. This is an abuse of grace.
St. Magdalen of Pazzi tells us that a Sister whom she knew had to suffer much after death for having resisted grace on three occasions. For these three faults she was sixteen days in Purgatory, and might have been longer, had not God abridged the penalty on account of her purity of intention, her fidelity to the Rule, and her charity towards her sisters. Those who have had more grace in this life, and thus more opportunity of satisfying for their faults, will be more severely judged than those who have had less.

Practice.—Fidelity to the inspirations of grace, to atone for the infidelity of deceased souls.

Indulgenced Prayer.—“Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.” (300 days each time, applicable only to the dead.)

EXAMPLE.

The grandmother of Thomas of Cantimpré had lost a son in whom she had centered her fondest hopes. Day and night she wept for him and refused all consolation. But the unfortunate object of this barren tenderness languished in the flames of Purgatory, receiving no alleviation in his sufferings. One day, while still plunged in the depths of her grief, this woman had a vision. She saw a procession of young men, beautiful as angels, advancing full of joy towards a magnificent city. She understood that they were souls from Purgatory making their triumphal entry into Heaven. She looked eagerly to see if her son was among them. Alas! he was not. Finally she beheld him approaching far behind the others, sad, suffering, and weary, his garments drenched with water. “Oh, my dear child,” she called out, “how is it that you are so far behind? I want you to be at the head of this band.” “Mother,” replied the boy in a plaintive tone, “it is your fault that I am in this wretched condition; these tears you shed over me moisten and soil my garments, and retard my entrance into glory. Cease to abandon yourself to this useless grief. If you truly love me, have Masses said, give alms for me, and thus you will deliver me from the prison where I languish, and bring me forth to eternal life, which is far more desirable than the earthly life you have given me.’’
The vision disappeared, and the mother, thus admonished, applied herself earnestly to the practice of every good work which could give relief to her son.

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.
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.

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.

 


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