St. Andrew Novena – prayer to obtain favors (Nov 30th – Dec 25th)



It is piously believed that whoever recites the prayer below fifteen times a day  from the feast of St. Andrew (November 30th) until Christmas (December 25th) will obtain what is asked:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O My God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen

Imprimatur     +Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York, New York, Feb 6, 1897

As we enter Advent (Day 2) and remembering the Holy Souls (Day 16)



As we are now entering Advent, we must still remember the Holy Souls in purgatory. I find it not to be a coincidence that the month of the Holy Souls is prior to Advent. Christmas Day is the day that the majority of Holy Souls in purgatory are released into Heaven. Let us remember to offer up our Christmas mass, along with our Communion for the Holy Souls that day.

Advent not only assures us, on earth, that we have the birth of Jesus to anticipate. So do the Holy Souls, they anticipate being with Jesus in heaven especially as Christmas becomes closer. Only they do not know which souls will be released into Heaven, they are at the mercy of their family members, friends and strangers in remembering them at Christmas mass that beautiful day as we celebrate the birth of our infant, Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Ambrose tells us:

In Christ we have all.  Let everyone approach him, those who are sick because of sins, who is as if nailed by his lust, who is still imperfect but eager to move forward with intense prayer, who has already grown in many virtues. We are all in the hands of the Lord and Christ is everything for us. If you wish to heal your wounds, he is a doctor; if you’re burning with fever, he is the spring; if you’re oppressed by sin, he is justice; if you need help, he is strength; if you’re afraid of death, he is life; if you desire heaven, he is the way; if you flee darkness, he is light; if you search for food, he is nutrition“If you belong to the Lord, reverence him; for everyone who does this has everything he needs.” — Psalm 34:9

This evening as I read my different Advent meditations and reviewed my emotionally difficult day; I decided to use a prayer from the book of Fr. Bendict Groeschel, C.F.R. called “Behold, He Comes: Meditations on the Incarnation”, to help me refocus my priorities, and to help me transform the diabolical dilemma of “what was once considered wrong is now right, and what was once considered right is now wrong”……..into it being right again.

Sometimes on difficult, emotionally trying days the only way to find those answers is to lean on Jesus and speak with him throughout the entire trial that one is enduring at the time, along with praying and thanking Him. It also helps to read the books that are right from Jesus, such as scripture, to depend on the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and to read books based on our Catholicism.

It actually begins to bring me great peace, a deeper trust in Jesus, and somewhat of an understanding to be able to look at myself and say, “what did I bring to the table on this issue?”. Sometimes I realize right away, others times I do not, and instead need to spend time alone, thinking, praying, thanking God, and asking him for his mercy and direct me.  It’s not easy, the pain and hurt can run deep if I allow it. A good amount of the time, I do not. The pain and hurt that is sent my way is a trial for me, and it is to help me grow in the darkness.  It is there to increase my faithfulness, trust, dependence, love and thankfulness to Our Lord Jesus Christ. I can only do it with God, I cannot do it by myself, and the longer I attempt to…………the longer I stay in the darkness. Fr. Groeschel’s prayer took me out of that darkness tonight. I have chosen to share it with you, in case someone is in their own place of darkness…………..may this prayer bring you the peace, love and serenity that it brought to me this evening:

Jesus, my Lord, You have come into our dark world with the promise of eternal life, giving our struggles meaning—-beautiful and profound meaning. But help me to remember this supreme truth in the rough-and-tumble of daily life. Help me to live what I believe: You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. By doing this consistently, may I show hope to those who have no hope. Amen  

I once again have the hope, faith, trust and love that I try to keep with me all the time. For me that is one of the greatest blessing any of us can be given. If we do not have these things to begin with in our lives, then we have nothing. May the peace, the Truth, the Way, and the Life be with you all as we move closer each day in preparing for our infant baby Jesus to arrive. Amen!

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 Source of Joy and Peace – (pg. 90 – 92) – using Susan Tassone’s book

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“….part of my work (Paul the Apostle) is to suffer for you; and I am glad, for I am helping to finish up the remainder of Christ’s sufferings for his body, the church.” — Colossians 1:24

The first and greatest consolation of the pains of purgatory is the absolute certainty of salvation, which sweetens the most intense pain of purgatory. However, the holy souls must atone for their sins. St. Catherine of Genoa tells us: “It is true that the overflowing love of God bestows upon the souls in purgatory a happiness beyond expression; this happiness does not in the least diminish the pain. In this manner the holy souls at the same time experience the greatest happiness, and the most excessive pain; and the one does not prevent the other.”

St. Gertrude states that the soul knowing the will of God and seeing its stains of sin would choose the pains of purgatory rather then ascend straight to heaven, even if it had the choice.

Have no fear of purgatory. Welcome the opportunity to be in union with God.

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“The more the soul loves, the more it desires to love, and the greater its suffering, the greater its healing.” — St. Columban

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My extra: Once upon a time, I feared death………..that was a long time ago. That fear is now gone, praise God!  I enjoy being a disciple of Jesus, and doing my best in evangelization, and I pray I am doing the mission I have been placed on this earth to accomplish for God. 

I hope everyday I am accomplishing the mission I have been placed on this earth to achieve for God. In many ways I feel I may be on that path, and then on other days I feel as though I am so far off the beaten path I’ll never find my way back. Nonetheless, I wake everyday and have been given a new beginning (as St. Paul states and Fr. Ed taught me well), and I do my best to start anew with everyone. 

Almost 11 yrs ago, a friend’s baby was in St. Christopher’s hospital in very critical condition. She was being comforted by their family priest, Fr. Stan (God rest his soul). I am not sure what happened during that conversation, however, I will never forget when she looked at me and said, “after Fr. Stan and I spoke, I turned towards the railing with my rosary beads in hands, looking down the cylinder opening and stated, “Lord, I give You my son, as You gave Your Son for the greater glory, I will give you my son if it is Your will.”  From that moment on, her son took a turn for the better, and continued to improve daily. He is now a pre-teen, an altar boy, and a wonderful young man. Was it true surrender  Our Lord was waiting for? We’ll never know, until the DVD/DVR/Blu-Ray Disc is played for us in review of our lives.   

I believe that was the beginning of my journey to being able to state today, “I do not fear death”. I’m not even shooting for purgatory, my goal is Heaven!  So, even on my hardest days, physically or emotionally, I work hard to give it all to God so that I may be in his presence immediately!  I don’t want to be in the bleachers waiting to be called to Heaven to be a saint!!!!!!!!!  I want to start RIGHT AWAY!  By no means am I speaking of being a “named” saint, being ”just a saint” fits me perfectly!  

I have no plans of going anywhere soon, I still have a young adult and two pre-teens that I would like to see settled in their adult life. I am just praying that what St. Columban states will be so true for my life and family!

 

 

My first blessings of Advent! (Day 15 novena for the Holy Souls follows)



Approximately two hours ago I received a phone call from my oldest stating her and her boyfriend were in a three car chain reaction accident. Her car was the first car, the two kids were jolted in their seats, but state they are physically OK!  Praise God! (First Blessing).

My side of the family has a sense of humor, on the dry side, and we don’t take ourselves seriously. When we are all together, all we do is laugh. It’s a great family to be around. If you started out sad when arriving, by the time you leave you’re in smiles. We even laugh at funerals. We try to do it discreetly, however, sometimes it’s really hard especially if the deceased is the one who gave us the great memories (a blessing my entire life!).

This is information that is needed for the story, lol!

As I’m speaking to my daughter, first I make sure she is physically and emotionally OK, along with her boyfriend. Both of them are, once again, praise God! Then I proceed to explain to my daughter she may be in a bit of a bind………..why you ask?

First – I haven’t made it to the inspection station yet for this year. Though I did make it early last year, only to discover I was a year early.  To make up for being early last year, this year I’m late! (not purposely, just those life things, and the visitors the dogs invited into our home!)

Second – As I’m speaking on the phone with my daughter I ask her to look for the vehicle registration. It’s there, the one from 2006……the one for 2011 is in my wallet (I wanted to keep it safe).

Third – Then I ask them to check for the new insurance card. They found the one from 2010, that expired Nov 24, 2010. Why isn’t the new one in the car you ask?   Well, probably because it is sitting on the front room table…….

Thank goodness, she has her father’s PBA card, until I can contact her father!

Ooops, he’s not answering the phone……not good! I decide to call my mother-in-law because he’ll answer his mom’s call! Nope he doesn’t.

Since I lost my old phone, I am missing a lot of cell phone numbers. I ask my mother-in-law to start calling her other sons. Well, she does get in touch with one….except he’s home sick with a cold. Nonetheless, he tells her he will attempt to contact whoever my husband is with………..apparently, my brother-in-law was able to contact the oldest brother………..who answers his phone. He was able to tell his younger brother, who is the father of the child in the car accident, HIS DAUGHTER, my husband!

I call my daughter and explain the whole situation. She decides to text her father (as did I, besides calling), and evidently she used CAPS to explain her “dire” situation. She states “dad called and spoke with the police officer. Everything is taken care of….”

I think to myself……….”well for now, lol!”

In the meantime, I call my mother to call her cousin (my second cousin), who is also our insurance person to find out a few things. My cousin calls me, made me feel fantastic, I was in stitches the entire time we were on the phone. By God’s blessing he was able to put me in a place of peace and happiness, because even though my husband may be angry with me……….I still have the blessing of the wonderful sense of humor from my side of the family that will keep me chuckling throughout the day. Because in the whole scheme of things……………..all these things are “small potatoes”……..my daughter is healthy and alive, along with her boyfriend, these are the “big potatoes of life” and the important thing!

The end result………..all is well! I received my first Advent blessing, and all the glory goes to God! I am very thankful! God is great, and shows his sense of humor even during the darkest hours. Thank you, Lord!  Thank you for giving me the humor gene on the DNA conveyor belt of life, it is truly a precious gift to have received! Praise God!

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State of Grace – (pg. 86 – 89) – using Susan Tassone’s Book

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“Offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” — 1 Peter 2:5

Any good work for the holy souls must be carried out in a state of grace in order for the holy souls to benefit from it. When the soul is in a state of mortal sin, it cannot make satisfaction either for itself or for others. Prayer from a soul in grace moves God and is, as St. Augustine says, “a key to heaven”.

When there is an indulgence, it is good to have the intention of applying it to the holy souls in general, or to a particular soul, or to a category of souls—-for example, the most abandoned souls, souls closest to heaven, deceased consecrated to God (clergy and Religious).

The souls in purgatory are unspeakably holy. They died in the state of grace. They can no longer sin. They are free from sin and temptation. However, they are called “poor” because their poverty is the loss of the sight of God. They are poor because they cannot help themselves. Their time of merit is over. They are poor because their voices are silent and are unable to speak to us. The plead for our Masses, Rosaries and Stations of the Cross.

St. Pompilius Pirrotti had a great devotion to the poor souls. When he prayed the Rosary, the holy souls prayed along with him, shouting in response to each Hail Mary recited. The souls in purgatory were tranquil and full of joy while the Rosary was prayed.

St. Joseph Cafasso was called a “glutton” for indulgences, as a means for both avoiding purgatory himself and for helping the souls in purgatory speedily attain heaven. We, too, must be greedy for grace for the holy souls. Let us pray that we will live and die in the state of grace.

Have you become a “glutton” for spiritual sacrifices?

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“The heart of a helper, so close to purgatory, must always be on fire.” — Blessed Mary of Providence,  Foundress of the Holy Souls Helpers

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My extra:  I’m not sure that I can call myself a “glutton” for indulgences, because it is extremely easy for me to mess up my prayer time…………..as you can easily see!

Nonetheless, my heart is on fire for the Holy Souls in purgatory!

I offer as much as I can for the Holy Souls, my pain, my disappointment, my happiness, my thanksgiving for the little miracles in my life and the big miracles in my life!

I do my best to attend weekly confession. We have a great church in my area, St. Gregory the Great, that has confession prior to every mass!  What awesome priests this parish has been blessed with, and the majority of the parishioners are very aware of this blessing.  So are the non-parishioners!  It is a true blessing for our community, and I take full advantage of it!

We also have another church in our community, St. Raphael’s that has daily 7 p.m. mass, followed by confession Monday through Friday. Again, how blessed our community has been blessed with these fantastic God led priests.

Then we have St. Vincent DePaul’s Church the epitome of Jesus Christ himself. Fr. Stan is an absolute beautiful soul. He lives and breathes Jesus Christ and his teachings. He is loved by many, more then he probably realizes. He is as wonderful to non-parishioners as well as parishioners. Recently, there was a family emergency, and my child specifically requested to speak with Fr. Stan.  I called the church, immediately the secretary put me through to Fr. Stan. I explained the situation, and Fr. Stan had my child come to the rectory immediately……..immediately!  I explained my child was just getting out of bed, and he stated, “fine, get dressed, and come here as soon as possible”. My child was out the door at 9:30 and did not return until 12:30/1 p.m.         Fr. Stan spent 3 – 3 1/2 hrs with my child! I am positive he had other commitments that morning, however, he cleared his schedule for my child! That was Christ who spent those 3 – 3 1/2 hrs with my child that day, the Christ I so deeply desire to be with at death. If Jesus was able to spend 3 – 3 1/2 hrs with my child, I most certainly can spend my time and the rest of my life doing my best to be Christ to others, and working hard to stay in a state of grace for my prayers to be able to help the Holy Souls and to help others!

Special Duty of Children (Day 14) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Special Duty of Children – (pg 82 – 85)

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like the one who lays up treasure.” — Sirach 3:3 – 4

Parents, grandparents, and guardians: form kind and merciful hearts in your children and grandchildren. You will have planted the seed of reverence, and in due time this will manifest itself and will assure you of their suffrages. Bring the children to the cemetery, teach them prayers and how to “offer up” little things for the suffering souls. During the July 13, 1917, apparition of Fatima, Our Lady taught this prayer to the children to be said when they would have some sacrifice to offer God:

Sacrifice Prayer 

O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Instruct children to pray and sacrifice for departed loved ones. Instruct them especially by your own example.

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“We reckon Paradise to be our home…There are a great many of those we love waiting for us there—–father, and mother, and brother, and children, there in great company they await us…Oh, when we come to see them and to embrace them, what gladness will it be for us and for them!” —St. Cyprian

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End of Day 14 Novena

My extra: I was raised with “offering it up”. If I didn’t hear it from my mother then I heard it from my maternal grandmother, maternal great aunts, aunts, family friends who we called aunt and uncle, definitely at school – the nuns, teachers, and priests, and even by my peers. It was the last generation of learning completely regarding “offering it up”, the Holy Souls, and Purgatory and what a blessing it was to be given this Catholic gem, to pass along down through the future generations. I now even have eighteen sixth graders who know the meaning of “offer it up”, and know what I’m going to say before the words even come out of my mouth! I pray it will be a blessing for them, that they will pass it along to their own families, the future generations in their life, and to the lives they touch as they walk throughout this world.

Along  with learning about “offering it up”, I was also raised from an early age with attending viewings of the deceased, followed by attending the mass, and burial. Then on the holidays, visiting the grave-sites of my loved ones. I am one of the few people you will meet who will say that I am not afraid of helping others through their last days, attending viewings, masses and burial, or visiting grave-sites. It brings me a wonderful sense of peace, and it allows me to perform the prayers for the dead that many in this generation are not aware that our deceased need for their souls.

I am very thankful to my parents, who believed we needed to learn about life, the ups and downs, in’s and out’s, the consequences of our actions, and the true realities of life. I’m sure it had to do with their upbringing, and they wanted us to be prepared for adulthood, as I want my children to be prepared for adulthood.

My parents lived through WWII with my father’s father serving in WWII, and the effect it had on his life. My paternal great aunt died of breast cancer. She lived with my paternal grandparents, and when I visited (weekly), it was expected that I would help my grandmother with the changing of the dressings on my great aunt. It was an amazing thing for me as I watched my paternal grandmother change the dressing, deal with the odor (using oil of wintergreen to help mask the offensive odor of untreated cancer, and to realize years later as a nurse I would once again use this oil in the emergency room I worked in. In some ways, I felt I had come full circle), help her get her comfortable, re-dress her draining wounds, change her bed, then feed her. This was a part of life that was true and real, and would help form my character in helping others, comforting the dying, being honest with life because life can be shorter then what we sometimes realize.  

I was raised in the last generation, where viewings were still held at the home. Especially the Italians. My godfather’s mother lived with them. She died in her sleep in their home, and her viewing was there. That is the only viewing I ever remember in a home, after that they were always at funeral homes.

My mother’s life was not easy. She lives with scoliosis of the spine, which the doctor’s were never able to properly align, causing my mother to live in pain since her teens. Even after multiple surgeries that were going “to do the trick”. My mother is the epitome of an “offering it up” soul. My maternal grandfather died in his 50′s from lung cancer. It was a very trying time for my mom, she was pregnant with her middle child who was due in July. It was the summer, and her father was nearing the end of his life. My mother was torn, one life was ending, while another was very close to beginning. The death of my maternal grandfather and the birth of my brother was two weeks apart. How devastating this must have been for her……yet my mother’s younger sister was 10 yrs. old when her father died and she was not allowed to see her father in the hospital, nor to say good-bye. To this day she remembers it all so well, that she was never able to say good-bye to her dad.

Due to my parent’s history of their life, led them to teach their children what happens when someone dies. This way, they felt, we would be prepared as adults and know how to handle the situation of death. I agree with my parents and the decision they made regarding their young children at viewings, masses and burials. It was a priceless lesson, and it is one my husband and I have, and are passing onto our children.

As a child, I remember thinking of my father’s family somewhat like The Munsters or The Addams Family (you need to be my age to remember those TV series, lol!). My father’s family had their viewings in the oldest, most architecturally breathtaking home I could remember. We were dressed properly, then taken into the “viewing” room, taught to kneel and pray, taken to the back of the room “to behave”. Once our behavior limit came to it’s end we were taken to the “quiet room or crying room”?  I honestly believed it was the playroom, and my cousin’s, brothers, and myself had a blast.

My mother’s side of the family had their funerals at a smaller, plainer facility, but for me a great “playroom”.  Very long, loads of chairs to crawl under, lay on, sleep on, and roll a ball down the length of the room. It was a fun room! Till one funeral…., there were so many adults who kept invading our “playroom”, I was becoming annoyed. I walked over to my mother with a purpose in mind!  The adults had their own room……….we kids shouldn’t have to give up “OUR PLAYROOM”!

That is the day I learned, after all the years I thought funerals were to have fun at and play with other children, and to honor the dead in a “fun” way. I discovered it was truly for adults to grieve silently, or to speak quietly, and to offer their help to their loved ones or friends. It was also the day I realized, we were being raised in a great way to not fear death, to not fear the death of our loved one’s and friends. How to honor the dead when we attended a “viewing”, and the families who have lost a loved one. What to say, how to act, and how to offer help.

These became valuable lessons for me as a young adult, when my “aunt” lost her brother in a plane crash………..words of “I’m so sorry for your loss”, and a big hug………were all that were needed to be said during her time of grief. My offer of help was whatever she needed……I babysat her younger ones. It is not how “we want to help”. It is “helping” the way they need, not the way we feel they need”.  Starting out as a young nurse and aging into nursing, I did my best to make sure no one died alone. I sat with my patients, stroked their hair, held their hands, and spoke with them. I was always devastated when a patient died alone.

As a parent, my parents valuable lessons of honoring the dead, I passed along to my oldest first, and then too my two youngest. When my oldest was five and under, we had many deaths that occurred. She did wonderfully at each and every funeral she attended. My oldest’s paternal grandfather died when she was 2 1/2 years old. She was a special gift to all of us during this time. She was brought to the hospital to say good bye to her Pop-pop. We asked him to “hold on” because my mom was bringing her to the hospital as quickly as possible to say good-bye. I saw my mom pull into the Emergency Room parking lot. I ran down to get our daughter. My husband and I agreed ahead of time, that if anyone was going to cry while our daughter was saying good-bye then they could not be in the room during that time. We wanted this to be a positive experience for our daughter. It was, and I will always be grateful to God for that gift. My father-in-law died as my mother was pulling out of the Emergency Room parking lot. At his viewing my oldest loved “hanging out with her Pop-pop”, she danced all morning, prayed at his casket, and would have intense conversations with him. She would kiss him, sit, watch him, tell him she loved him, and gave him “Bump” her elephant, to keep him company forever. So many times we attempted to talk her out of giving Pop-pop her Bump, but she wouldn’t hear of it. Imagine when she realized “Bump” wasn’t coming back. As I sit and type this, it never dawned on me, to remove “Bump” after she left the viewing with my mother, and before they closed the casket. However, it was an unexpected death, we were all devastated and doing the best we could to get through this very difficult time. We didn’t have our daughter stay through the closing of the casket, mass or burial, because we had no idea how any of us would react due to the unexpected death, and how hard it would hit the adults. Having her at his viewing was the best thing for her, and for the adults there to be able to see the special bond between her and her Pop-pop, and for the smiles she brought to many people’s faces that very sad day. 

Visiting cemeteries was a Sunday obligation when I was very young. Again, it was something I loved to do. I loved getting to speak to “the dead”. I enjoyed running through the cemetery, and being in the open fresh air. I made sure I was always properly mannered when I was near another family visiting at their family/friend’s grave-site. By myself, I was free, I was free to run, free to look at the mementoes left at the graves, and imagine…………imagine what the person was like, what they did, how many children they had. If it was a soldier from WWII with a picture, I would stare, and stare, and stare………..wondering what he did before he went into the service, how did he die? Did he know? Was it painful? What did he do in the service, and how did he die? How did the parents feel when the military pulled up in front of their home that day? So many questions went through my mind. 

Since our oldest’s first Easter, we drove from grave-site to grave-site to pay our respects, I watched my children pray, run through the cemetery, check out other graves, wonder and ask the same questions I used to ask when I was their age.  We still visit the cemetery, not as often as I would like due to life. Now, as I am getting back on my feet, I am praying to again return to visiting before they reach the age of ”teen”. 

I feel very blessed that we have been able to pass this gift onto our children, though I’m sure they don’t see it as that, now……However, they are the only one’s between the two families who are aware of all the grave-sites on both sides of the family. What a torch to pass down…………………..

My maternal aunt had taken a genealogy class a few years ago, and discovered other grave-sites I was not aware of……………my great-great maternal grandparents are buried straight down the path from my husband’s maternal grandparents “family” grave-site, I love it, what an awesome gift to be given from God!  What a great discovery!  At some point she stopped due to life and how time consuming that hobby can become for anyone. I asked her to please pass the information onto me when she is finished with it, so I will be able to continue searching for my family, and then be able to gift to my children what information I have, and for them to continue the search if they are interested. 

Wow, it is astounding to realize one paragraph can bring out so many memories, and have you see how family traditions are so easily passed down from the parents to the children without words even being said………..what a beautiful gift from God!

Empty Reminiscences (Day 13) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Empty Reminiscences – (pg. 79 – 81)

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“……Peter replied, “I see very clearly that the Jews are not God’s only favorites! In every nation he has those who worship him and do good deeds and are acceptable to him. I’m sure you have heard about the Good News for the people of Israel–that there is peace with God through Jesus, the Messiah, who is Lord of all creation. This message has spread all through Judea, beginning with John the Baptist in Galilee. …..you no doubt know that Jesus of Nazareth was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and  with power, and he went around doing good and hearing all who were possessed by demons, for God was with him. ” – Acts 9:34 – 38

If only the dead could speak from their graves, they would cry out and say: “All these monuments, and this worldly pageantry only crush us. They only satisfy the vanity of the living, but in no way alleviate our sufferings in purgatory.”

They would ask:

Give us your feet by going to hear Mass for us.

Give us your eyes by watching for opportunities to perform good deeds for us.

Give us your hands by giving alms or an offering for a Mass.

Give us your lips by praying for us.

Give us your tongue by encouraging others to be charitable to us.

Give us your memory by remembering us in your devotions.

Give us your body by offering up to God all it’s fruits, labors, fatigues, and penances for us.

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“Our dead are among the invisible, not among the absent”–Bl. Pope John XXIII

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End of Day 13th Novena

As I struggle to continue with the Thirty Day Devotions for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, I find in typing the 13th day of the Novena how appropriate it is in the requests they have for us, the church militant. What an opportunity and chance to please and serve God,  and our own deceased family members all the way back to the ancients, any family members or friends who have a special place in our hearts and lives.

So, as you go about your daily routine on this Thanksgiving Day, please stop and take a moment, breathe in the fresh air, and realize the opportunity that God is giving each and everyone of us to make a difference in a Holy Soul’s life, who in turn will be forever grateful and never stop praying and interceding for us, when in heaven!

Happy Thanksgiving, and may blessings rain down upon you and your family! Amen

Michele 

 

Duty, Power, and Privelege (Day 12) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Duty, Power, Privelege (Day 12) – pg. 74 – 78

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“Those living in my home, even my servants, regard me as a stranger. I am like a foreigner to them”. —-Job 19:15

Like Job, the holy souls in purgatory feel completely abandoned.

Charity and gratitude not only demand that we pray for the souls in purgatory, but it is also for us a positive duty, which we, in God’s justice, are bound to fulfill. God has given us the power and privilege to deliver the holy souls from purgatory. Nothing pleases God more than praying for the holy souls. God is more pleased with us if we pay our debts here on earth because of His paternal desire to receive us without delay into His home.

We must pray for all of the souls in purgatory in general, and in a special manner for the souls of our parents, friends, and benefactors, as well as for others who have a right to our grateful remembrance.

Perhaps some of these poor souls are suffering on our account. Perhaps they are relatives or friends who have loved us too much, or who have been induced to commit sins by our words or example.  Perhaps we owe these blessed souls our gratitude for the priest who baptized us or gave us our First Communion, or for a speaker or preacher who inspired us. God places His rights and gifts into our hands, and therefore our responsibility is great if we hold the ransom in hand without using it.

We tend to “canonize” our clergy and loved ones immediately after their death. Father Frederick Faber tells us, “We are apt to leave off too soon praying for our parents, friends, or relatives, imagining with a foolish and unenlightened esteem for the holiness of their lives, that they are freed from purgatory much sooner than they really are”.

Let us offer a very great part of our sufferages for those unknown forgotten souls, and in a special way for priests, consecrated religious, and nonbelievers.

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“If we were thoroughly convinced of the torments of purgatory, could we then so easily forget our parents?…..If God would permit them to show themselves, we would see them cast themselves down at our feet. “My children,” they would cry out, “have mercy on us! Oh, do not forsake us!” — St. John Vianney

 

 

 

 

 

Duration of Purgatory (Day 11) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Duration of Purgatory (Day 11) – pg. 70 – 73

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

At Fatima in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children: Lucia, Francesco, Bl. Jacinto & Francesco. Shortly before the apparitions took place, a young girl about fourteen years old died in the village. The children asked Our Lady whether she had been saved. The Blessed Virgin advised them that the girl had been saved but would be in purgatory until the end of the world. As a result of this revelation, many prayers were offered up for her soul.

This poignantly reminds us of the existence of purgatory, the length of time souls must remain there, and the tremendous importance of praying for the suffering souls. St. Augustine teaches that the duration of purification in purgatory for a soul is fixed according to the measure of sin and penance of each individual. The duration may be measured by days, and yet, because of the intensity of pain, it may seem longer.

Brother Constantine of the Redeemer appeared after his death and said, “I suffered three days, and they seemed to me to have been there three thousand years.”

Pray, pray, pray!

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“Some souls would suffer in purgatory until the Day of Judgment if they were not relieved by the prayers of the Church.”—-St. Robert Bellarmine

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Languishing for God’s Love (Day 10) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Languishing for God’s Love (Day 10) – pg. 66 – 69

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“They (two of Jesus’ followers) began telling each other how their hearts had felt strangely warm as he talked with them and explained the Scriptures during the walk down the road.” —Luke 24:32

What is this mysterious fire? Martin Jugie, an Augustinian of the Assumption, replies, “Is it not the very fire of love, burning in the depths of the soul, while the soul, drawn irresistibly toward its Well-beloved, can neither reach nor see Him?”

Stopped in its progress by an insurmountable obstacle, that love becomes a fire, a burning sorrow, a kind of spiritual fever, which cannot be adequately expressed by the human word fire. The holy souls burn “interiorly” for God. Their hearts are on fire for God.

Hebrews 12:28 – 29 teaches:  Since we have a kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts, and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.  

God burns for love of us. God loves us more than anybody else and more than anybody can. In the words of St. Catherine of Siena: “Our very nature is fire, created in the fire of His love. He is the fire, and we are the sparks.”

For love is like fire, which ever rises upward with the desire to be absorbed in the center of its sphere. Here is the burning desire and longing for God that far surpasses the heat of any earthly fire. Thus, we rightly speak of the fire of purgatory and of the cleansing of the fire of purgatory and of the cleansing flames. They are flames of love. Love itself is the fire that attacks and devours the impurities of the soul. The holy souls willingly suffer this agony of love.

St. Gregory the Great, speaking of purgatory, calls it “a penitential fire harder to endure then all the tribulation of this world.” St. Augustine says that the torment of fire alone endured by the holy souls in purgatory exceeds all the tortures inflicted on the martyrs.

Everything you do, do with love, today and always.

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“I will pray to You that You may give me holiness, and to all the living and dead, pardon, that someday we may all be together with You, our dearest God.” ——–St. John Neumann

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End of Day 10 Novena

My Extra:  We all want to be loved, and yet the love we are looking for is right inside of us. It has been from the time we were conceived. It is God’s love.

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit or stand.  When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment, you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me, and place your hand of blessing on my head.” ——– Psalm 139:1 – 5

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.  You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book!  How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me. …when I waken in the morning, you are still thiking of me!” —–Psalm 139: 13 – 18

Psalm 139 explains it very plainly how much we are loved by God. However, the “free will” of others, or of our own doing begin to cloud the words that God so clearly stated. In the day to day events of life, without intending too, we may inadvertently hurt another person by saying or doing something that gets in the way of them seeing, reading, feeling or understanding God is with us always. Which then puts them on a path of inadvertently hurting the next person, because in our selfishness we chose “our free will” vs. ”God’s will”. This is how “original sin” started with Adam & Eve. 

If we continue to choose ”our free will” over “God’s will”, we will only separate ourselves further and further from God, and instead of finding the true love we are looking for, instead we will find it in all the wrong places which leads us to tarnishing our souls. 

So, in our burning desire to be loved and to be with God, we again, inadvertently hurt ourselves by making the “free will” choices that instead helps us to choose the fires of purgatory. Because we truly want to be with God. Nonetheless, we want to present ourselves in  a sparkling white robe to God, and to accomplish this…first we must finish cleansing our souls in purgatory, where our souls will be cleaned by fire, and we will desire this, due to the ability of being able to see the glory that awaits us in heaven. 

Instead of waiting till purgatory for our souls to “burn for God”. Allow your soul to ”burn for God” now, here, on earth………..asking God to show you how you may work off the tarnish now vs. in purgatory. God will be happy to show you! He wants all of his children with him sooner, then later. If enough isn’t being done for the Holy Souls in purgatory, than Our Lord’s children will have to wait before entering heaven. 

For this generation, and the future generations……………..let us change that now. Learn about the Holy Souls, pray for them, offer up for them—good and bad deeds. In turn ask them to pray for you, they will, and you will have one more person helping you on your path to Heaven. Amen! 

 

 

 

Conformity to God’s Will (Day 9) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Conformity to God’s Will (Day 9) – pg. 62 – 65

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“Father, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take away this cup from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” —Mark 14:36

The greatest sanctity on earth below, or in heaven above, is conformity to the will of God.

The souls in purgatory are entirely conformed to the will of God; therefore, they correspond  with His goodness, are contented with all He ordains, and are entirely purified from the guilt of their sins. They are purified from sin because in this life they have abhorred sins and confessed them with true contrition; and for this reason God remits their guilt, so that only the stains of sin remain, and these must be devoured by the fire. Thus freed from guilt and united to the will of God, they see Him clearly according to that degree of light which He allows them, and they comprehend how great a good is the fruition of God, for which all souls were created.

Their zeal for appeasing God’s justice is so great that not only do they not decline to suffer, but they would also consent to their very annihilation for the greater glory of God; for God’s will is their will. They praise God’s justice, and their suffering is voluntary and loving. We must do God’s will on earth. This is how WE can avoid purgatory !

What have you done to accept your sorrows?

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

“God’s will—-nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.” – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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End of Day 9 Novena

My extra:  We all have sorrows, some constant, some hourly, some daily, some weekly. Some in big packages, some in small packages, some expected, some unexpected, most of our own doing when using our “free will” to turn our back from “God’s will”.

Some sorrows are “God’s will”, and if we accept “God’s will”, we will see the good that comes out of that sorrow.

The saints are such wonderful examples for us in helping to strive daily in conforming to God’s will: St. Padre Pio suffered to save souls, along with St. Therese of Lisieux. Bl. John Paul II suffered for peace in the world, conversions, reparation of sin, and so much more, he showed us the correct way of dying vs. all of the extraneous measures that are taken for people, and then the insurance company’s turn around and say “sorry, we’re not paying for that, and then families are financially destroyed by “being saved by the humans on earth” “. This is not of “God’s will”, it is from the “human will”.

As I sit and type this I have to wonder……..is that why we were blessed with Pope John Paul II as the youngest pope ever……….to see him as a young, vibrant, healthy, vigorous Pope, moving into being a “victim” of an unsuccessful assassination, followed by the MIRACLE of him being saved by the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, then watching him age with NORMAL aging issues, and ending with a NATURAL DEATH. No human intervention, no heroic measures, which truly aren’t heroic at all……something that was supposed to be for the “betterment of society” instead went the way of insidious evil.

Why, insidious evil, you ask? Because if it was for the “betterment of society”, we would take care of our elderly, the infirm, the terminal, the ill. However, we don’t. Instead, society puts our elderly into nursing homes, or there is elder abuse, or there is the lack of basic normal decency in treating someone as the face of Jesus. On the other end of the spectrum is the care of our babies and children, or at times, lack of proper care. Most of us have been guilty of this, in one way or another. The insurance companies, obviously, have left God out of their equation, which only increases the insidious evilness of less care for the people who are need of it, be it life saving or normal care that is more then a band-aide and neosporin at home.

Instead, let us conform to God’s will, and we will see the miracles of God all around us.

Mother Theresa suffered for peace in the world, and to teach the world charity towards others. Little did we know how many of her years were spent in the dessert without the feeling of Jesus in her heart, yet she knew, she knew he was, and she persevered with FAITH. Now, we have a saint that we can look to knowing that whatever we are suffering in this world……….as long as we stay on the path of Jesus, in the end he will show us he was with us the whole time, and our reward will even be greater, as was Mother Theresa’s. Her last days were filled with the love, peace and glory of God. She saw Him, was physically enveloped by Him, SHE FELT HIM, physically, spiritually, in her heart and in her soul. All those years, which now seemed so short to her, she now reached for and won the golden ring……to spend eternity in Heaven with God, Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, all the angels, saints, all the people she helped in life, and her family, praising and glorifying God for all of the blessings he sends down upon us in this world, and that we so often miss. Her sorrows were constant and many, yet her faith persevered and she was greatly rewarded.

Some of my other favorite saints that I love: St. Michael, Raphael and Gabriel,  St. Catherine Labore, St. Elizabeth of Hungrey, St. Maria Goretti, St. Rose of Lima, St. Theresa of Avila, St. John Bosco, St. Dominic Savio, St. John Neumann, St. Benedict, St. Dymphna, St. Ambrose, Sts. Anne & Joachim, St. Matthias, St. Bernadette, Bl. Jacinto & Francesco, Sr. Lucia, St. Gianna Molla & her husband Pablo, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Basil, St. Blaise, St. Stephen, St. Timothy, St. Lucy, St. Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, St. Robert Bellarmine………these are just a few of my favorite saints. I have so many sometimes I forget all of them. I love the Litany of the Saints, it’s a beautiful prayer to say thank you to them for all of their intercessory prayers.

Dear Lord,

As we all strive to grow in our holiness may you please show us the saints we need for our lives, to follow, emulate, to intercede for us, and to teach and guide us to stay on the path of Jesus. Amen.   

 

 

 

 

Pain of the Senses (Day 8) – using Susan Tassone’s book



Pain of the Senses (Day 8) - pg. 57 – 61

Prayer of Blessed James Alberione  (to be said daily) – pg. 27

Blessed Souls, YOU are suffering and asking suffrage from me; I am in great danger and need, and I await aid and protection from you. So for this (month or year) I will offer all my prayers and especially all my good works for you. And you in turn remember my needs; deliver me from the dangers I face, and in particular, obtain for me this grace (mention petition). And let the first of you to enter heaven not cease to plead for me before the Divine Mercy until I, too, arrive there. May the Sacred Heart bless this agreement. Amen.

“…..He (Jesus) came once for all, at the end of the age, to put away the power of sin forever by dying for us. ….just as it is destined that men die only once, and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and he will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time he will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for him.”Hebrews:9:26 – 28

The suffering of the holy souls is worse than any illness or suffering on earth.

They suffer the pain of loss; they suffer the pain of sorrow for their sins; and they suffer the pain of helplessness and desolation because they are unable to help themselves. They suffer the pain of desire, of being on fire for the love of God. They suffer the pain of not knowing when they will enter heaven.

The soul sees what God intended it to be; the beauty and the strength that God meant it to have; the place God intended for it in His plan of salvation for the entire world.

The soul sees what obstacles it erected—its selfishness, its cowardice, its shallow satisfactions, its perversions of God’s graces and His gifts. All these came between God and the soul in life.

The holy souls beg us for our prayers and sacrifices!

St. Patrick’s Purgatory on Station Island in Ireland has long been renowned as a place of penance and pilgrimage. Even today, barefoot pilgrims travel to Lough Derg in summer months and spend three days praying, fasting, and following the Stations of the Cross within the ninth-century cells.

What island do you use to pray and fast?

Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied They justice, confide in Thine infinite mercy and our intercessions. Extend unto them Thy consolations, and redeem them, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

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

If a ray of heavenly light could draw aside the veil from your eyes, you would see these suffering souls hovring around each station with upraised arms imploring you, “Have pity on me, have pity on me! In pity for us, make the Way of the Cross for me, your father, your mother, your friend.” —St. Leonard of Port Maurice

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This is the end of the Day 8 Holy Soul Novena

My extra: I wrote on November 8th regarding my girlfriend’s mother, JoAnne who is in the midst of dying. It has been a very difficult ten days for my young friend, as an only child, having to make the tough choices regarding her mom’s life.

Last night, by the grace of God, MaryKate was able to turn everything over into God’s hands, and step out of the way, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in her life and her mother’s life.

JoAnne was able to communicate to her daughter MaryKate that she no longer desired to be on the ventilator, and that she was ready to accept God’s will for her life. Once MK was able to see this, speak with her mom, and her mom signal the answers the best she could back at her daughter. They both resigned themselves to the glory of God’s will. They do not understand now, what that will mean, nor entail for JoAnne’s soul. However, God does, and JoAnne will be met with such love from all the individual’s who touched her life, and who in turn the lives she touched. Most of all, she will receive the ultimate healing which she has been desiring for so long.

Please keep JoAnne and MaryKate in your prayers, as JoAnne follows the path of Jesus to her final destiny. Let us pray that the intense suffering she has been experiencing since October 11th may very well have been her purgatory time; and with the plenary indulgence she received, she is on her way to heaven in all the radiance and beauty that her soul has possessed all this time, though “life on earth”, covered it up! Amen.

God Bless,

Michele