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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Have mercy upon the suffering souls

This Year of Mercy, we are called to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy. One of the corporal works of mercy is "ransom the captive" or, in a more modern translation, free or visit the imprisoned. Now, for most of us, this is not possible as we don't have prisons handy to drop in and visit prisoners. However, there is one prison full of souls crying out for our mercy, and that is Purgatory.
Souls in Purgatory have no way of helping themselves; they must do their full sentence until they are cleansed of the temporal punishment of their sins. However, we can aid them by our prayers, penance and fasting; pleading with God for their timely release. One most effective help is to offer Masses frequently for the souls, and to offer up your Communion for them. When the priest raises the Chalice during the Mass, offer a precious drop of His Blood to fall on the souls in Purgatory, to wash them clean in the Blood of the Lamb.
This becomes also a spiritual work of mercy, as you are comforting the afflicted and a twofold corporal work of mercy as you care for their thirst for God by offering alms for their release.
Also note that the requiem prayer is indulgenced applicable only to the holy souls, so the more you pray it the more benefit there is for the souls; I like to pray it whenever I pass a roadside cross that marks where someone died, or when I pass a graveyard. It can also be prayed before and after meals and between decades of the rosary. So many opportunities to ransom the captive!

The requiem prayer:

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord.
Let perpetual light shine upon them,
and may they rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sanctify the moment

When we read the stories about the lives of saints, we see that many of them suffered much, either physically or mentally. And as we consider our own lives, we can see that our suffering is nothing compared to theirs.
Does it seem to you that perhaps sainthood is only for those of heroic virtue?
We are all called to be saints, for a saint is nothing more than someone who dwells in heaven for eternity. Their greatness does merit them a higher place in heaven than perhaps we will merit.
So if God's plan for us doesn't include heroic suffering, how do we make sure we can make it to the highest heaven possible for us?
By sanctifying the moment, and doing all for the glory of God and the relief of souls suffering in Purgatory.
Every action you do can have value if you do it for God and not for your own glory.
Every indulgence you gain increases in merit if you offer it for the Holy Souls.
A simple little prayer you can say many times during the day, as you perform even menial tasks, or are doing something you enjoy, is: "For the love of Jesus and Mary and the relief of the suffering souls".
Don't like washing dishes? Offer it up with that little prayer.
Have to back down in an argument with your spouse? Offer it up.
Enjoying a relaxing vacation on the beach with your family? Offer it up.
Scored the winning goal or completed a physical task well? Offer it up.

So many little things we do in our daily lives that will increase our merit if only we offer them up for the greater glory of God.