Offerings of Light – Day 18 of Susan Tassone’s Thirty-Day Devotion for the Holy Souls (pg 97 – 99)
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.
“… you shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may be set up to burn continually.” — Exodus 27:20
Lights have always played an important role in the history of the Church. Lighted candles have been part of the Mass and other liturgies since the early days of Christianity, and they were kept burning for periods of time at the tombs of martyrs, as a sign of remembrance.
During the Middle Ages, offerings were made for maintaining lamps that were kept burning on the graves throughout the year, which served to comfort the souls of the departed. The burning lamps or candles signified Christ, the eternal Light, whom we implore in our prayers to shine upon the departed. These lights were called “Dead Lights” or “All Souls Lights”.
The candles kept a silent vigil and so came to be known as “vigil lights”. The offering of a lighted candle is a praiseworthy prayer in action for the holy souls languishing in purgatory.
Graciously hear, O God, the fervent prayers we offer Thee for the suffering souls in purgatory, who, not having satisfied Thy 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.
“Though the deceased is buried in the earth, thou must not omit to burn oil and wax on his grave, for this is pleasing to God and merits great reward.” ———— St. Athanasius
My extra: It’s not unusual to see an increase in deaths around the holidays. I’m not really sure why, however, it is a well known fact among the medical field. Even though you know it, and you prepare yourself for it, it never seems to be the person who you “thought it would be”. We amazingly, every year, every holiday, guess on who it might be that we think will be the holiday “code” or holiday “death”.
We even do it in our families, there is the “it comes in three’s” theory or the “doesn’t look well” theory, and yet again, the person we expected, may or may not be the individual receiving the ultimate healing that night.
My neighbor, MK, was with her mother when she received her ultimate healing on Friday Dec. 9th at 8:45 a.m. This past week was also the one year anniversary of the death of Mk’s uncle-in-law; Dec 5, 2010. He was and continues to be a well loved man in this family, and it has been a hard year for MK and her family to be dealing with all of these first after death moments. Now MK and her family will be having another rough Christmas having two of their family members to mourn. Please keep MK and her family in your prayers.
Also this week, my girlfriend Alison’s mother died at 2:30 a.m. in the morning on the Feast Day of St. Nick. She also had multiple health issues, however, last year when everyone was prepared for her to die, she didn’t. She rebounded immensely well, especially after the length of her illness. Now, when the Christmas traveling plans were being made, and presents being shipped, and the anticipation of getting to be with her mom one more was growing, it all changed in a heartbeat. Please keep the Holy Soul of Dottie, along with Dottie’s family in your prayers, including Alison and her family in your prayers.
It’s hard, there is no wrong way or right way to deal with death. We all do it to the best of our ability. Sometimes we are just stunned more then other times.
However, I see one common thread in the passing of these individuals, they have passed the light of life onto their families, so that if it’s a candle or not, when the family members speak of their deceased parents we see the light of God shine down upon them to comfort and hold them during this difficult time. We also see the light of their parents in their loved one’s eyes as they reminisce, tear up, cry or even laugh over funny stories that they all enjoyed together.
The light may flicker for a moment, but returns quickly with every thought, every memory, every tear, every laugh, every time God thins the clouds for us to just “feel” for a second the “presence” of our loved ones.
Eternal rest grant unto Dottie and JoAnne, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen Padre Pio, please intercede for them. Amen.