Matter for Expiation—Faults against Charity.

Matter for Expiation—Faults against Charity.


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—Faults against Charity.

CHARITY is the characteristic of God. “God is love,” says St. John. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”
If we were to take this one precept and concentrate all our efforts and thoughts upon it, we should fulfil all justice and leave no debt to be paid in Purgatory.
Once St. Margaret Mary prayed for two persons of high rank, who had died. One had had a number of Masses celebrated for its relief, but the Saint saw that his soul was still left to suffer. It was then made known to her that so many families had been ruined by the lack of charity of the deceased, that God had applied all the suffrages offered for it to these poor people, whom he had deprived of the means of helping themselves after death. She saw several other religious souls, who for lack of charity towards their sisters in life, were deprived of their suffrages after death, and received no help from all the prayers that were said for them.
In the life of St. Louis Bertrand we read that there was a young religious who attached too much importance to secular knowledge. One day he taunted Father Bertrand with his lack of knowledge and said: “Father, it is easily seen that you have little learning.” The Saint replied: “Brother, Lucifer was very learned, and yet he is damned.” The brother never thought of apologising for his rudeness. Some time afterwards he died, and after a considerable time, St. Louis was made Prior. One day the deceased brother appeared to him in the choir and said: “Father, I ask your pardon for the offensive words I addressed to you. God will not allow me to see His face until you have forgiven me, and offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for me.” The Saint willingly pardoned him, and said Mass for his repose, and the next night he beheld the deceased brother ascend into Heaven.
John Eusebius Nieremberg, S.J., was once praying for a Father who had been a good religious and a learned teacher, but had had one fault, namely of speaking uncharitably of others. The religious appeared to him and told him he was suffering terrible torments for his uncharitable language, especially in his tongue, which was tortured by fire. Our Blessed Lady, to whom he had been devoted, had obtained for him leave to come and ask for prayers. He added that this might serve as an example to others to be charitable in their speech. After many prayers and penances Father Nieremberg beheld that this soul was delivered from Purgatory.
There is nothing easier than to sin by uncharitable speech. Wherever men are gathered together, in great or in small numbers, they must of necessity discuss one another. After all, charity itself could not be maintained if people did not take an interest in one another, and they could not do this without speaking a great deal of each other. But criticism seems to be an inseparable part of such conversation, and hence it is so difficult to avoid uncharitable comments. By repetition and exaggeration these may easily become slanders. If we were to resolve daily to repeat to ourselves the verse of the Psalm: “I have said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue,” resolving at least that nothing we did not positively know to be true should pass our lips, or be believed by us, we should form a habit which would prove a very salutary restraint to uncharitable speech. We are all so ready to believe what we hear and to pass it on unthinkingly. Perhaps during the month of the Holy Souls we could take no resolution which would be more helpful to ourselves and to these Holy Souls than to avoid uncharitable speech.
We may fail in charity in other ways besides speech. We may be indifferent to the sufferings of others or slow to give them help in their needs and trials. If our vanity be wounded, our passion roused, we may even be guilty of unkind acts. Let us remember that for all such faults there is a severe penalty to be paid, unless indeed we repair the fault by penance and almsdeeds, and let us strive by constant effort, by watchfulness and prayer, to obtain from God the grace of true fraternal charity, for charity covereth a multitude of sins, both here on earth and at the judgment seat of God.

Practice.—Do as many acts of kindness to-day as you can for the Holy Souls.

Indulgenced Prayer.—The Sign of the Cross. (50 days each time; if made with Holy Water, 100 days.)


St. Brigid declares in her Revelations that she once heard a voice from the depths of Purgatory pronouncing these words: “May those be blessed and rewarded who relieve us in these pains!” At another time, she heard the cry: “O God, show Thy Almighty power in recompensing a hundredfold those who assist us by their suffrages and make the rays of the divine light to shine upon us.” In a vision the Saint heard the voice of an angel saying: “Blessed be those who come to the assistance of the poor suffering souls by their prayers and good works.” St. Ambrose says that all we offer to God in charity for the dead, is changed into merit for ourselves, and we shall find it increased a hundredfold after our death. St. Margaret of Cortona at her death saw a multitude of souls whom she had delivered from Purgatory form a procession to escort her to Paradise.
Father Rossignoli says that there is no doubt that the first favours the Poor Souls ask of the Divine Mercy on their entrance into eternal glory, are for those who have opened to them the gates of Paradise, and that they never fail to pray for these their helpers in any need or danger. They will be their protectors in reverses of fortune, sickness, and accidents. A person who had been very charitable to the Holy Souls was in a terrible agony on her deathbed; she was assailed by gloomy fears, when suddenly Heaven seemed to open and she saw thousands of defenders fly to her aid, reviving her courage, and promising her victory. She asked who they were, and they replied that they were the Souls she had delivered from Purgatory, and that very soon they would conduct her to Paradise. A short time afterwards she tranquilly expired, her heart filled with joy.


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.


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 Thy eternal Father in behalf of the Holy Souls in purgatory, the Most Precious Blood which poured forth from the Sacred Wounds of Thy adorable Body, together with Thy 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).


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 particular notice that it is necessary to recite the whole Chaplet without remarkable interrruption.) – Month of the Dead.


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


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,
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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