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