Please join us Monday 11/14/22 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MST (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EST).
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Opening Prayer: The Memorare
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
In the past, people used to carry cards in their wallets that read: “I am a Catholic. In case of accident, please call a Priest.” These days it might be wise to re-institute that practice. It may be wise to think about leaving a set of spiritual directives in the same way we leave medical directives for the hospital and for our families to follow.
Recently, while on a home visit, I found that one of our neighbors, growing up, had had a stroke and was placed in hospice. She was like a second Mom to the kids in the neighborhood. Her husband had already passed away, and so her two children were left to attend her. But one was unable to do much because of a long-standing drug problem, and the other only managed to see his Mother once because of anxiety issues and a fear of seeing his Mom “like that.” Neither child thought to call a priest, put a scapular on her, ask people for prayers, or do anything other than wait for her to die. They did not plan a funeral Mass for her but just a simple service at the funeral home, after which she was cremated. I was afraid to ask what they did with the ashes.
I took it upon myself to visit her several times, pray with her, put a scapular on her, call a priest to anoint her, and have Masses said for her. I did for her what I would want people to do for me, especially as one is about to step into eternity. Yet, this scenario is becoming increasingly frequent because grown children are no longer practicing their faith and do not think about the spiritual needs of their dying loved ones. Even those practicing the faith have fallen into the bad habit of neglecting the spiritual needs of both the dying and those who have already died. We put everyone in heaven, not remembering that many souls need the purifying fires of Purgatory. The saints tell us that the holy souls actually place themselves there to be worthy to stand before the purity and goodness of God’s spotless love for us. Once a soul experiences this all-encompassing love, there is nothing else they long for. And it is indeed heartless on our part to fail to help them.
Maria Simma, a mystic who received many visits from the souls in Purgatory, said the biggest complaint of the souls who came to her asking for prayers was that their families, their relatives forgot about them and never had prayers or Masses said for them. Sometimes all they needed was one or two Masses so they could be released and finally be with God in heaven, their one overwhelming and burning desire. Maria felt it was, at the least, neglectful on our part and, at the most, cruel to forget them this way since what they suffer in Purgatory is so much greater than we can imagine, and we can so quickly obtain relief and deliverance for them. They cannot help themselves because the time for meriting is passed. But we can help them from here. And they are so grateful that in turn they do much to assist us in return by obtaining special graces for us.
Do not forget to pray for the Holy Souls who are detained in Purgatory from their final beatitude. And seriously consider leaving instructions for your own passing, for Masses and prayers to be said. Nothing will go to waste. If our relatives or we no longer need prayer, Our Lady will apply them to other needy souls. And they will express their everlasting gratitude by imploring all the graces needed in our own lives.
Remember that arriving promptly and unerringly at a destination often depends on the directions we give and receive. This will apply in eternity just as it does here and now.
Questions for silent reflection:
- Do you have a clear idea of what you would like to have in place for your own transition into eternity? Have you written it down and shared it so that it is implemented at the proper time?
- How do you think about Purgatory? Do you think you can avoid it? Or do you see it as inevitable?
- Praying and offering things up for the Holy Souls is an act of charity for which they are very grateful and will offer assistance in return. Choose at least one prayer or practice to do for them daily.
- Do you pray regularly and have Masses said for your own deceased relatives and ancestors?
Some additional prayers that can be used:
- When blessing oneself with Holy Water: “By this holy water and Thy Precious Blood, cleanse me of my sins Dear Lord and deliver and relieve the Holy Souls in Purgatory.”
- According to tradition, St. Gertrude the Great was told by Our Lord that each time she piously recited the following prayer, it would release 1,000 souls (or a vast number) from their suffering in purgatory
- “Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home, and in my family. Amen.”
Thank you for visiting us. May God Bless you in abundance.