Matter for Expiation—Neglect and Irreverence at Prayer.

Matter for Expiation—Neglect and Irreverence at Prayer.


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—Neglect and Irreverence at Prayer.

WE constantly hear of instances in which monks and nuns are seen after their death in the choirs of their monasteries to expiate negligence and irreverence at prayer, thus proving the truth of the words of Holy Writ: “Cursed be he that doth the Work of God negligently.” But this fault is punished not only in priests and religious, but in lay persons as well.
St. Severin, Archbishop of Cologne, though a canonised Saint, appeared to one of the canons of his cathedral after his death to ask for prayers. This priest could not understand why so great and holy a prelate should suffer in Purgatory. The Bishop replied: “Owing to the multiplicity of my affairs, I often recited my Office in great haste. I am expiating this fault, and I come to ask your prayers.” He was six months in Purgatory for that one fault. If, such is the case with a canonised Saint, what will it be for others?
Sister Frances of Pampeluna saw in Purgatory a poor priest whose fingers were eaten away with frightful ulcers, for having made the Sign of the Cross carelessly at the altar. God showed her several priests in Purgatory. One was there for forty years for having let a soul die without the Sacraments, and another for forty-five for having performed the sacred functions of his ministry with levity.
In a convent known to the writer, an old nun who had been seven years dead, appeared to a postulant who had not known her in life, and said she was in Purgatory for not having behaved properly in choir. When the postulant described the appearance of the old nun and gave her name, the truth of the description was recognised by the other nuns. The novice had never seen or heard of this nun before.
In 1589, there died in the monastery of St. Mary of the Angels, in Florence, a religious, much esteemed by her Sisters in religion, but who soon after appeared to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, asking for aid in the rigorous punishment to which she was condemned in Purgatory. The deceased was seen by the Saint kneeling in the middle of the church in an attitude of profound adoration. She had on a mantle of flames, but under it she wore a white robe, which seemed partly to protect her from the fire. St. Mary Magdalen was told that she suffered thus for her want of reverence towards the Most Blessed Sacrament. Every day she was obliged to come and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in this torture of fire. But the white robe, signifying her virginal purity, protected her in part from suffering. The Saint redoubled her prayers for the poor soul, and often told her Sisters of this apparition to excite their fervour towards Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Practice.—Practice reverence in prayer, in expiation for the souls suffering for their faults in prayer.

Indulgenced Prayer.—“Most merciful Jesus, fond lover of souls, I pray Thee by the agony of Thy Most Sacred Heart, and the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, cleanse in Thine own Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and to die this day.”
“Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have pity on the dying.”
(100 days every time. Plenary indulgence once a month, if said thrice daily at three distinct intervals.)


Among the first companions of St. Francis of Assisi was Brother Corrado, who was distinguished for his spirit of prayer. There was among the brethren a youth whose relaxed conduct disturbed the community, but thanks to the prayers and exhortations of Corrado, he corrected himself and became a model of regularity. Soon after his conversion he died, and received the ordinary suffrages of the brethren. One day Brother Corrado kneeling before the altar, heard a voice asking for his prayers.
“Who are you,” asked the servant of God.
“I am the soul whom you reanimated to fervour,” replied the voice. “I died a holy death and am saved, but on account of my former sins, which I had not time to expiate, I am suffering a terrible chastisement, and I come to beseech your prayers.” Immediately the good brother prostrated himself before the tabernacle and said a Pater, with the versicle a Requiem Æternam.” “O my good Father,” cried the apparition, “how much good your prayer does me! I entreat you to continue.” Corrado devoutly repeated the same prayers. “O beloved Father,” said the soul, “still more I beseech you! I experience the most intense relief when you pray.” With renewed fervour the charitable religious repeated the “Our Father” a hundred times. Then, in accents of unspeakable joy, the soul said: “I thank you, my dear Father, in the name of God, for I am delivered; behold, I am about to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Behold the results of fervent prayer.


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 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).


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.


V. Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.

R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.

R. Amen.

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.


Act of Perfect Contrition
Oh my God! I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee and
I detest all my sins because
I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
But most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
To confess my sins, to do penance,
And to amend my life. Amen.


Prayers in Time of Calamity

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