Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Charity

During Lent, we are called to increase our works of charity in our spiritual preparation for Easter. During these tough economic times, it may not be possible for some of us to increase the amount of money we give, but we can all take the time to increase our prayers; and prayer is a great form of charity- especially if we pray for those who have harmed us, or those we don't particularly like. Also, it is a good idea to pray for those whom you have sinned against, for because of you their soul may be stained with sin.
Those who really need our prayers are the souls in Purgatory, for they cannot help themselves, and rely on our charity to help them.
Here is an excerpt from my favorite prayer book, the Purgatorian Manual:

St. Thomas Aquinas the Angelic Doctor, affirms that the succor and suffrage given to the departed are more acceptable to God than tat which is bestowed upon the living, because the former are more in need and unable to obtain help for themselves as the living can. The revered Louis Blosius, a great master of the spiritual life, says: "Our good and merciful Lord loves the souls of His elect, who must be purified after death, and desires their release so ardently, tat whenever in Christian charity we set free, by our suffrages, any soul from Purgatory, we do a thing as acceptable to God as if we had delivered the Lord Himself from a hard captivity. He promises to give us as full a recompense as such a work of mercy practiced toward himself would deserve; for He Himself has said: "Amen I say to you: as long as you did it to one of these, My least brethren, you did it ti Me." (Matth.xxv 40)
The same is affirmed by St. Ambrose: "Whatsoever we do for the suffering souls, with a pious intention, will revert to our own merit, and will be returned a hundredfold, at the hour of death."
Prayer: O God of love and mercy! animated with charity and compassion for our departed brothers and sisters, we offer Thee our prayers and good works, and supplicate Thee to accept them as a propitiatory sacrifice in their behalf. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Special Intention: Pray for the souls of those who were negligent in offering good work for the suffering souls.
Eternal rest, grant unto them o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them; may they rest in peace. Amen (3 times)
Practice: Bear your sufferings with patience, and offer them for the holy souls.
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!

So, you see, this is a simple and effective way of increasing our works of charity, anyone can do it, and it doesn't take much time. Even just praying the requiem prayer a few times a day will help; for example, whenever you pass a hospital you can pray it for the souls of those who died there that day, and every time you drive past a graveyard, or the crosses on the highway where someone has died. And always when you think of someone you've known who has passed on.


1 comment:

Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for that great post. We often forget how important it is to pray for those we don't "like." Thanks for the reminder, I needed it!
And thanks for your prayers for our trip.
God bless you