Friday, November 1, 2013

An All Soul's 7+1QT Friday

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about rattlesnakes, books, and holidays that should be more fun than they are
All Souls' Day
One of the biggest re-awakening in my reversion or awakening to the fullness of my Catholic faith was contemplating souls in purgatory.

An awareness awakened within my consciousness on All Souls' Day Mass while attending Assumption Grotto parish in Detroit in 1999.
On All Souls' Day the priests can offer three Masses for the release of souls from purgatory to God's Glory of heaven. Their vestments are a somber black. The tone and mood surroundings these Masses is heavy and serious, a serious you can feel.

That All Souls day, I took my three young children to church, a Mass I may have missed most of my life since it isn't a holy day of obligation like today (All Saints) or maybe I didn't understand the significance before that day. Our friendly priest from Africa was about to start his three Masses. I was spellbound and awed through his three Masses. Time stood still or passed without notice. My kids were unusually perfect, quiet and subdued all three back to back Masses. It was beautiful and reverent as always, but an air of thanksgiving for their remembrance almost as if the air itself was filled with souls thirsty for those powerful prayers of the holy Mass and they were so thankful for mention.

The term (Purgatory) does not indicate a place, 
but a condition of existence. Those who, 
after death, exist in a state of purification, 

are already in the love of Christ 
Who removes from them the remnants of imperfection.

Pope John Paul the Great

All Souls Day brings to mind the passage of the handicapped man who couldn't  make it to the healing waters in time because he had no one to help him:

John 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches.
5:3 In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered: waiting for the moving of the water.
5:4 And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water was made whole of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.
5:5 And there was a certain man there that had been eight and thirty years under his infirmity.
5:6 Him when Jesus had seen lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, he saith to him: Wilt thou be made whole?
5:7 The infirm man answered him: Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me.
5:8 Jesus saith to him: Arise, take up thy bed and walk.
5:9 And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed and walked. And it was the sabbath that day.

Poor souls are called so because they cannot do more for their salvation after death, when eternal reward or eternal punishment is decided. Whatever remaining punishment due to temporal sins can only be washed away through God's mercy, and urging by our prayers and sacrifices. Souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves. 

So we pray. 
We must pray for these poor souls, and teach others to. (We may be there ourselves...).
We pray for all those we have loved that have passed. 
We pray for ones we know of that have died, by name.
We pray for those that people think have already surely made it to heaven and wouldn't need prayers anymore.
And we especially pray for those forgotten souls that didn't have anyone to pray for them for having giving up on their soul or didn't have anyone to pray for them in the first place.
So many think their loved one "died and went to heaven." The journey can take longer than we could know.
God's time is not ours.

Our prayers will never be wasted.
If we pray for someone who is already in heaven, then we ask them to send their prayers for other forgotten souls, which would be that way in the Mystical Body of Christ anyway.

Actions and Devotions related to Souls to help those souls through the healing waters:

Offer masses for the souls of departed loved one.
Pray for them by name at Mass especially in the Canon.
Eight first days of November, make a visit to a cemetery and offer prayers for the poor souls for partial or plenary indulgence.
Enroll in brown/red scapular and add a special devotion for the poor souls along with our own.

"Oh my God, in union with the merits of Jesus and Mary, I offer Thee for the souls in Purgatory, all my satisfactory works, as well as those which may be applied to me by others during my life, and after my death. And, so as to be more agreeable to the divine Heart of Jesus and more helpful to the departed, I place them all in the hands of the merciful Virgin Mary."


We beseech Thee, O Lord, help the souls detained in the fire of Purgatory, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious Blood. Dear Lord Jesus, grant them (or him) eternal rest.

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