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HOW WE CAN HELP THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY

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I. The first means is by joining the Association of the Souls in Purgatory. The conditions are easy:

a) Say a prayer every day for the Holy Souls.

b) Offer all the good works, prayers, sufferings and indulgences, of one day in each week, preferably Sunday, for them. There is no necessity to do anything new or extraordinary but just offer what one is accustomed to do on that day.

c) Give an alms every year for the Association:

d) Get as many people as possible to join the Association.

Those who wish to join and have not the Association in their parishes can send their names, address and annual alms to the Association in Travessa do Corpo Santo, 32, Lisbon, Portugal.

This Association is approved by the Cardinal Archbishop of Lisbon. [These details are given as printed in the booklet “Read Me or Rue It”, reference below.]

II. A second means of helping the Holy Souls is by having Masses offered for them. This is certainly the most efficacious way of relieving them.

III. Those who cannot get many Masses offered, owing to want of means, ought to assist at  as many Masses as possible for this intention.

A young man, who was earning a very modest salary, told the writer: “My wife died a few years ago. I got 10 Masses said for her. I could not possible do more but heard 1000 for her dear soul.”

IV. The recital of the Rosary with its innumerable indulgences, the Way of the Cross, which is also richly indulgenced, are excellent means of helping the Holy Souls.

Blessed John of Massias, as we saw, released from Purgatory more than a million souls, chiefly by reciting the Rosary and offering its innumerable indulgences for them.

V. Another easy and efficacious way is by the constant repetition of short indulgenced prayers. Many people have the custom to say 500, or 1000 times each day the ejaculation “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee” or the one word “Jesus”. These are most consoling devotions and bring oceans of graces to those who practise them and give immense relief to the Holy Souls.

Those who say the ejaculation 1000 times a day gain many partial Indulgences! What a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will not be at the end of a month, a year, 50 years? And if they do not say the ejaculations what an immense number of graces and favours they shall have lost. It is quite possible and even easy to say these ejaculations 1000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1000 times let him say them 500 or 200 times.

VI. Still another powerful prayer is: Eternal Father, I offer you the most Precious Blood of Jesus with all the Masses being said this day all over the world for the Souls in Purgatory.

Our Lord showed St Gertrude  a vast number of souls leaving Purgatory and going to Heaven as a result of this prayer which the Saint was accustomed to say frequently during the day.

VII. The Heroic Act consists in offering to God in favour of the Souls in Purgatory all the works of satisfaction we practise during life and all the suffrages that will be offered for us after death. If God rewards so abundantly the most trifling alms given to a poor man in His name what an immense reward will He not give to those who offer all their works of satisfaction in life and death for the Souls He loves so dearly.

This Act does not prevent priests from offering Mass for the intentions they wish, or lay-people from praying for any persons or other intentions they desire. We counsel every one to make this act.

Alms help the Holy Souls

St Martin gave half his cloak to a poor beggar to find out afterwards that it was to Christ he had given it. Our Lord appeared to him and thanked him.

Blessed Jordan of the Dominican Order could never refuse an alms when it was asked in the name of God. One day he had forgotten his purse. A poor man implored an alms for the love of God. Rather than refuse him, Jordan, who was then a student, gave him a most precious girdle which he prized dearly. Shortly after he entered a church and found his girdle encircling the waist of Christ Crucified. He too, had given his alms to Christ. We all give our alms to Christ.

Resolution

a) Let us give all the alms we can afford;

b) Let us have said all the Masses in our power;

c) Let us hear as many more as it is possible;

d) Let us offer all our pains and sufferings for the relief of the Holy Souls.

We shall thus deliver countless Souls from Purgatory, who will repay us ten thousand times over.

– From: Read Me or Rue It, by E.D.M., approved of His Eminence the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon 4/6/1936, printed by Kerryman, Co Kerry, Ireland

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THIS PRESENT SITUATION IS THE ENVIRONMENT WE NEED TO GROW IN HOLINESS

Perfectionism is the enemy of efficiency

“An old adage says that ‘the best is the enemy of the good.’ The meaning is that a person who is never content with anything less than perfection may end up accomplishing little or nothing. A psychologist probably would rephrase the maxim to read, ‘Perfectionism is the enemy of efficiency.’

We need to be able to say, ‘It is good enough’

There is a fable of the sculptor who having carved a fine statue, was dissatisfied with his work. He made one more cut with his chisel. This necessitated another cut, and this in turn still another. Gradually the statue diminished in size until finally it had disappeared, with nothing left but a pile of stone fragments.

Whether we are carving a statue, writing a book, arranging a business deal or scrubbing a floor, there must come a time when we say, ‘It is good enough,’ and get on to something else.

We are never ‘good enough’ as far as our spiritual growth is concerned

This principle has an application in our spiritual lives. It is true that we never are ‘good enough’ as far as our spiritual growth is concerned. Since Jesus has set for us the ideal to ‘be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,’ we never may establish a lower goal for ourselves. However, we can and must learn to be content to be as good as we can be today.

Sanctity is the art of the possible

Sanctity, like diplomacy, is the art of the possible. A saint is above all a realist. He does not waste valuable time and energy in dreaming of great things which he may do for God tomorrow or next year when circumstances may be more propitious. He concentrates on doing the little things which he can do for God today and under the circumstances in which he presently finds himself.

The late President Kennedy, in one of his speeches, quoted the proverb that a long journey begins with the first step. That is something which we must learn, we who are far from sainthood but who do have good will. A parent may say, for example, ‘I wish that I had more time for spiritual reading and prayer. I am sure that when my family is raised I can be a much better Christian.

That, of course, is nonsense. The busiest parent (and non-parent, too) can be just as good today, in proportion to his opportunities and circumstances, as he can [at a later stage]. All too often we use the promise of our future imagined goodness to excuse ourselves from present effort.

Today matters

Five minutes of daily spiritual reading now will be more pleasing to God than the hoped-for hour twenty years from now. A periodic and fervent, ‘My God, I love You,’ during today’s hectic rush will mean more to God (and to self) than hypothetical hours of contemplation in later leisure years. One or two less cigarettes or drinks today will be more spiritually profitable than a projected complete abstinence ‘when I’m not under so much tension.’

Proceeding to do it

With some of us it may be a form of perfectionism; with others it may be simple procrastination – this making of future imagined greatness an excuse for neglecting the lesser but real possibilities of the present. Whichever it is, perfectionism or procrastination, we shall have made a long step towards heaven when we have learned to be content to do what we can do for God today – and proceed to do it.

God is well aware of all the limitations which surround us

Whatever the present circumstances of our life may be, we have not come to those circumstances by accident. Unless we have involved ourselves in an adverse situation by our own sin, we know that our present status is God’s will for us. It cannot be, either from His viewpoint or from the viewpoint of of our own ultimate best interests, an hour unfavourable environment. It is the environment in which we can and must grow in holiness.

We shall do so by making use of whatever small opportunities each day may offer. Above all we shall do so by accepting whatever limitations our state in life, our work and responsibilities may place upon us. God is well aware of all the limitations which surround us. He asks only that we do for Him what we can – today. 

– Fr. Leo J. Trese, One Step Enough, 1966

 

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A SELECTION OF SHORT INDULGENCED PRAYERS

Please memorise them that you can use them on any occasion and in particular needs.

To the King of ages, immortal and invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

An indulgence of 500 days. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, if this ejaculation is recited devoutly every day for a month.

My God and my all.

An indulgence of 300 days.

O God, be merciful to me, the sinner.

An indulgence of 500 days.

Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.

An indulgence of 500 days. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, when the invocation has been devoutly recited every day for a month.

My God, I love Thee.

An indulgence of 300 days.

My Jesus, mercy.

An indulgence of 300 days. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, when this invocation is devoutly recited every day for a month.

My Lord and my God!

The faithful who, at the elevation of the Sacred Host during Mass or when it is solemnly exposed, recite this ejaculation with faith, piety and love, are granted: An indulgence of 7 years; A plenary indulgence once a week, if this pious practice is followed daily, on conditions of confession, Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff.

Hail, O Cross, our only hope.

An indulgence of 500 days. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions for the daily repetition of this ejaculation. The faithful who invoke the sacred names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph conjointly, may gain: an indulgence of 7 years; A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily repetition of the invocation.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

An indulgence of 300 days. A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions if this invocation be devoutly repeated daily.

Queen of the most holy Rosary; pray for us.

An indulgence of 300 days.

Immaculate Queen of Peace, pray for us 

An indulgence of 300 days.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give you my heart and soul. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, let me breathe forth my spirit in peace with you.

An indulgence of 7 years for each invocation. A plenary indulgence on the usual condition, for the recitation of each of the foregoing invocations every day for a month.

From a sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord.

An indulgence of 300 days.

– Selected Indulgenced Prayers from ‘The Raccolta’

 

 

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HOW EASY IT IS TO PRAY!

“In truth, what is required in order to pray, and consequently to persevere in the grace of God during our whole lives, till the hour of death, and thus arrive at the blessed port of salvation?

Taking ourselves for what we really are

All that is required is to take ourselves for what we really are, that is, for poor beggars, and to conduct ourselves as such at God’s gates, our lips open in prayer, our hands stretched out towards His mercy, crying out unceasingly, imploring the aid of Heaven: ‘My Jesus, mercy! Do not permit that I should have the misfortune to separate myself from You.’ ‘Lord, assist me!’ ‘My God, help me!’ Here is the favourite prayer of the Fathers of the desert, which they recited constantly: ‘O God, come to my aid! Hasten, Lord, hasten to succour me! If You delay, I shall succumb, and shall be lost.’ We should do the same in our temptations. To act otherwise is our ruin.

O God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me.

But, while addressing ourselves to the Lord, we should remember to recommend ourselves also to the dispenser of graces, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Undoubtedly, it is God alone Who grants us graces, but it is through Mary’s hands that He gives them to us. ‘Let us seek for grace,’ says Saint Bernard, ‘and let us seek it through Mary,’ for her petitions to God are always successful; so that if the Blessed Virgin intercedes in our favour we may be satisfied that we shall be heard.”

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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AS CHRISTIANS, DO WE HAVE TO GIVE ANY NOSY PERSON TRUTHFUL INFORMATION ABOUT OTHERS WHEN THEY ASK?

The noble gift of speech

(by Fr. Leo J. Trese)

“It is a wonderful gift, this power of speech – this ability to communicate with our fellow men and especially with those whom we love. Sight and hearing are precious gifts, too. Yet, neither blindness nor deafness isolate us from others as much as does dumbness.

Perhaps we have encountered someone who has suffered a blood clot in the part of the brain which controls speech. If so, we know how pitiful it is to witness the frustration of such a person as he tries so hard to express what is in his mind, yet cannot.

As it is true of all God’s gifts, our power of speech must be used for God’s purposes. It must be used for good and not for evil.

Using the power of speech for good, not for evil

The noblest use to which our tongue can be put is to address God in prayer. It is a mean return we make to God for His gift if we seldom speak to Him, perhaps only on Sunday or when in need. We convict ourselves of ingratitude if we let a day pass without directing to God some words of love, praise, gratitude and repentance.

Our day may be a crowded one with no time for lengthy conversation with God. However, even the busiest day can be peppered through with brief salutations such as ‘Blessed be God,’ ‘My Jesus I love You,’ ‘Holy Spirit, guide me,’ or ‘All for You, God.’

After prayer, the most fruitful output of our vocal chords will be words spoken in charity. One of the greatest desecrations of our gift of speech is to indulge in malicious gossip and unkind criticism. It is especially offensive to God if we create unhappiness in our own home with angry, sarcastic or belittling words.

Mere absence of uncharitable speech is not enough

Mere abstinence from uncharitable speech is not enough. God expects us to use our lingual ability in positive acts of charity. We do so, for example, when we speak out in defence of someone whose character is being attacked. We do so when we cheer another with encouraging words or with words of honest praise. We do so when we give helpful guidance or instruction to another. Any dedicated teacher (especially a teacher of religion) is an outstanding example of speech well used.

The obligation to speak truthfully

After prayer and charity, the third duty which our gift of speech imposes on us is the obligation to speak truthfully. The virtue of veracity demands that there be agreement between what is in our mind and what is on our lips. We badly tarnish our Christian image if we make a lie (‘little lies,’ we say?) our standard tool for getting out of scrapes and for avoiding embarrassment or inconvenience. By our lies we make our gift of speech into a weapon to be turned against God, instead of an instrument to be used for His work.

A conflict between truth and charity?

It may seem at times that there is a conflict between our obligation to be truthful and our obligation to practice justice or charity. We may encounter a prying individual who asks questions about matters which we are not at liberty to reveal. These may be professional confidences, such as those of a priest, doctor or lawyer; or they may be matters which would be seriously harmful to another or to ourselves if revealed.

However, when questions are asked by someone who has no right to the information he seeks, the conflict between justice or charity and veracity is only a seeming conflict. Actually it is not a lie to say to the inquisitor, ‘I do not know.’ That is, ‘I do not know’ as far as this particular person is concerned.

Mental reservation

Theologians give this type of answer the name of ‘mental reservation.’ The purpose is not to deceive but simply to protect justice or charity. If there is any deception involved, it is the inquisitive person who deceives himself. If he has any intelligence, he should know that the answer means only, ‘Whether I know it or not, I cannot tell you.’

Prayerfulness, charitableness and truthfulness. If our talk always exemplifies these virtues, we shall be able to give God a good account of our stewardship. He will have no cause to regret having endowed us with the gift of speech.”

– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966

 

 

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EJACULATORY PRAYERS TO THE SACRED HEART

• Jesus, for Your glory I wish to be submissive and docile so that You may extinguish all my pride.

• O pure Heart, of my heart I pray You forge a lily agreeable to the Lord.

• Because You are my meek and humble Lover, I will consider every man my brother.

• My life, my joy and glory are the same as the angels, to love Jesus and Mary.

• Joseph, love for you lives in this heart of mine, because you are so dear to that divine Heart.

• O beautiful Heart, may my heart be joined to Yours, and to flaming and holy love open its doors.

• O loving Heart, I ask unity with You, that I may live all my life in humility with You.

• Wise, holy Heart, I do not deserve to live, unless I serve You with all my life.

• Jesus, may You find my prayer, the gift of my soul, beautiful and fair.

• O patient Heart of God my Lover, with You I want to weep, with You I want to suffer.

• O loving Heart, I am worth nothing, unless I give You glory, both in heaven and on earth.

• May the pious remembrance of Your pain help my soul to reach holiness.

• Beautiful Heart may I to this world in death be given, that I may for God and with You be risen.

• Loving Heart I know You are present mysteriously veiled in the Blessed Sacrament.

• Glorious Heart, how I yearn for unity with You and paradise for evermore.
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 
 

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SACRED HEART – EJACULATIONS

(Please meditate prayerfully on these short prayers, calling to mind the immense love Jesus has for you personally in his Heart; learn by heart one or two that appeal to you most, and repeat them in your head while going about your daily activities – “pray without ceasing”.)

SACRED HEART – EJACULATORY PRAYERS:

• O sweetest Heart, I love you so little, may I be set alight by the fire of your love.

• O resplendent flames, O cross, O thorns: from you everlasting grace is born.

• I am invited into that tender Heart so near by that holy sweet Wound so dear.

• For me, O tender Heart, you beat with love so fast. To you then I give my heart, before my time is passed.

• Sweet Jesus, eternal love, you are the God of my heart.

• What can I give to you, generous Heart that loves me best? In you I will live and in you I will rest.

• Lovable Heart you attract me, and I, O Heart so fine, removing every obstacle, do offer to you mine.

• I am unthankful and you suffer afflictions for me. From all my failing I now promise to flee.

• I have offended you O infinite good, but now hear the cries of a humble contrite heart.

• Death, judgement, heaven and hell, call me to you, O eternal God.

• O holiest Heart, mirror of God, I ask you, through the gifts of holiness and fervour, give me a heart that is new.

• Of love, you, O loving Heart, are victim sore, grant that your love may be all I too live for.

• O beneficient Heart, Heart so loving, with your love and your favour may I always love my neighbour.

• Most humble Heart, before you I must debase myself, for before God I am but mud and dust.

• Far from the cries of a blind world, with you I love to live, O Lord, may I too die with thee.

 
 

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