The Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant – (pg.46 – 48)
Church Militant – us Catholics living on earth now. Our spiritual armor is Baptism, Communion, Confession, Penance, Confirmation, Marriage in the Catholic Church with realizing it is “Three to be Married” with God above the couple, Adoration, Rosary, Almsgiving, ”Offering it Up”, etc.
Church Suffering – the Holy Souls in Purgatory who in turn can pray for encouragement, endurance, courage, perseverance for the Church Militant on earth, as long as we pray for them, and remember to ask for their prayers.
Church Triumphant – the Saints in Heaven, who can continuously intercede for us with God, as we ask for their help with our needs.
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.
“If one part suffers, all parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” 1 Corinthians 12:26 (I would suggest reading all of Chapter 12 to get the true feeling this verse.)
In days past, Trappist monks greeted one another with the words Memento mori (“Remember that you must die”). Death is the end merely of earthly life, but it is not the end of love. We are encouraged to make as many amends as possible in this life for the sins we have committed. Life is filled with suffering and sorrow, but Christians see in these things the love of a merciful God. It is the work of divine mercy that we are given the opportunity to do penance here on earth. Suffering comes to everyone.
Generous acceptance of all hardships in a spirit of penance –to accept every bereavement, illness, privation, as well as the wicked treatment of men, and every humiliation and difficult task, with humble hearts, for the intention of aiding the holy souls in purgatory –is all that is needed. If we use the treasures that are in our daily sufferings, we shall enrich ourselves with merits for eternity. We shall be the benefactors of the holy souls, and we shall prepare ourselves for entry in to heaven.
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.
“All that we offer to God in charity for the dead is changed into merit for ourselves, and we shall find it increased a hundredfold after our death.”" – St. Ambrose