Our Morning Offering – 25 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory”
Prayer for the Faithful Departed By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O God of the Spirits of all flesh, O Jesu, Lover of souls, we recommend unto Thee, the souls of all those Thy servants, who have departed with the sign of faith and sleep the sleep of peace. We beseech Thee, O Lord and Saviour, that, as in Thy mercy to them, Thou became man, so now, Thou would hasten the time and admit them to Thy Presence above… May the heavens be opened to them and the Angels rejoice with them … May all the Saints and elect of God, who in this world suffered torments for Thy Name, befriend them, that, being freed from the prison beneath, they may be admitted into the glories of that Kingdom, where, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, Thou lives and reigns, one God, world without end … Eternal rest give to them, O Lord. And may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 12 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Wisdom 13: 1-9; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 17: 26-37
“On that day, … a person in the field, must not return to what was left behind.” – Luke 17:31
REFLECTION – “He that will be in the field, do not let him turn back.” How may I understand what is the field unless Jesus Himself teaches me? He says, “No-one putting his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” The lazy person sits in the farmhouse but the industrious person, plants in the field. The weak are at the fireplace but the strong are at the plough. The smell of a field is good because the smell of Jacob is the smell of a full field. A field is full of flowers. It is full of different fruits. Plough your field if you want to be sent to the Kingdom of God. Let your field flower, fruitful with good rewards. Let there be a fruitful vine on the sides of your house and young olive plants around your table. Already aware of its fertility, let your soul, sown with the Word of God and tilled by spiritual farming, say to Christ, “Come, my brother, let us go out into the field.” Let Him reply, “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my vintage of myrrh.” What is better than the vintage of faith, by which the fruit of the resurrection is stored and the spring of eternal rejoicing is watered?” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and one of the original four Fathers and Doctors of the Latin Church (Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 8)
PRAYER – Lord God, grant to us that the power of Your protecting hand may keep us unshaken in the face of our ancient enemy and all his hidden snares. Lighten our way so that, through the prayers of intercession of the Angels and Saints, we may experience the joy of Your presence in our hearts, courage in times of suffering and the wisdom to obey Your instructions. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Thought for the Day – 9 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Indulgences are among the means by which we can help to satisfy the Divine Justice for our own offences and for those of the faithful depared.
Unfortunately, very few Christians understand the true nature of indulgences. As a result, they neglect to fulfil the conditions necessary to gain them.
Canon Law defines an indulgence as “the remission in the sight of God of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, which, the proper ecclesiastical authority concedes from the treasury of the Church, for the living, by way of absolution and for the dead, by way of suffrage” (Canon 911). The main requirement is to be in the state of grace, which sinners can attain by means of the Sacrament of Penance, or by an Act of PERFECT CONTRITION. If properly made, Confession takes away sin and eternal punishment but, not temporal punishment. This may be cancelled by means of penance, prayer and good works. In the early days of the Church, the penitential system was most severe (I wish it were so again!) According to the degree of gravity, different sins drew penances of days, weeks or months of fasting on bread and water. As times changed, the Church reduced these penalties and granted indulgences instead.
What we may ask, is the theological basis for these indulgences? It is the spiritual treasury which is at the disposal of the Church, made up of the infinite merits of our Redeemer and added to, by the merits of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. These merits are communicated to us by the Church by reason of the consoling Dogma of the Communion of Saints, according to which, the Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant, constitutes one Mystical Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head.
The Church has power to dispose of this immense treasure by reason of the injunction given to her by her Founder, when He said to St Peter: “Whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). There are no reservations – the injunction applies, not only to sin but, also to its punishment. It is clear that indulgences are not merely a dispensation from the penitential discipline in the eyes of the Church, as certain heretics held and still hold but also, in the sight of God. Indulgences reflect, both the mercy and the justice of God. They reflect His justice because complete satisfaction is rendered by the merits of Jesus Christ. They reflect His mercy because these merits are applied to us poor sinners and also, by way of suffrage, to the souls of our departed friends.”
Thought for the Day – 8 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Advantages of Devotion to the Souls in Purgatory
“As Sacred Scripture says, it is a holy and wholesome thought, to pray for the dead (2 Mac 12:46). Besides being profitable to them, however, it is profitable to ourselves too. There are two reasons for this: (a) Devotion to the Faithful Departed reminds us, that even venial sin, carelessness and tepidity, will one day be punished with terrible severity. As a result, we are encouraged in our efforts to lead better lives; (b) In the second place, we all know, that the souls in Purgatory are holy and are already in the antechamber of Paradise, which they yearn to reach but from which they are kept far apart, by the imperfections which they have still to purify. If we can help them by our prayers to enter Heaven, even a little earlier than they had expected, they will certainly intercede for us with God at all times and, especially at the moment of death. In their gratitude, they will implore for us,. all the graces of which we stand in need. “Whatever we do for the departd souls,” says St Ambrose, “redounds to our own benefit; after death it will be restored to us with interest!”
While we are assisting our dear ones to ascend ,as soon as possible, into the everlasting happiness of Heaven, it is comforting to know, that one day, their patronage will enable us to join them there.”
Thought for the Day – 7 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
How We Can Help the Faithful Departed
“We have a natural obligation to help the faithful departed, for they are our fellow-men. Are we capable of watching another human being in agony, without feeling pity for him? If there is some way in which we can help him, moreover, ought we not to do so? The Holy Souls are in agony, however, they are on fire with the love of God, yet cannot be united to Him. We have a means of helping them through our prayers and good works.
There is a further obligation on us, arising from our religion. They have been redeemed, like ourselves, by the Blood of Christ and God has told us that the same degree of mercy, will one day be shown to us, which we have shown to others. The time will come when we also shall find ourselves in Purgatory and shall be in need of prayer. If we remember the dead now, they will be in a position, one day, to do the same for us. Blessed are the merciful, Jesus says, for they will obtain mercy.
When we appear before the judgement seat of God in order to account for the way in which we have spent our lives, He will count as done to Himself, whatever we have done to the poor, hungry and ill-clad. Only if we have been merciful towards them, will He receive us into the Kingdom of Heaven. Otherwise, He will send us away, accursed, for all eternity. Now the Souls in Purgatory are more unfortunate than those who are poor, hungry and homeless in this world. They hunger for God, they are full of regret for the sins which they have committed and they languish far from the eternal home, to which they belong.
Finally, we have a duty in justice, to help their souls. Some of them are our parents, brothers, sisters, friends and benefactors. Perhaps they are suffering now because they loved us too much because they wished to make money for us or because, they were led astray by our bad example! It is not only charity, therefore but justice, which obliges us to pray for them.”
Thought for the Day – 6 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Communion of Saints and the Souls in Purgatory
“The Communion of Saints is one of the most consoling Doctrines of our religion. This Dogma assures us, that the Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant, is one family, whose members are bound together by the bonds of divine charity. As the Saints in Heaven love and pray for us and for the Souls in Purgatory, so the suffering souls love and intercede for us and so, we should love and pray for them too. This is a triple harmony of love and prayer, a hymn which rises to the throne of God, from our place of pilgrimage, from the region of expiation, where the separated souls are aflame with the desire to be united with their Creator and from the joyful choirs of Heaven. The result is the pouring of divine grace on ourselves and on the Souls in Purgatory.
The souls of the dead, therefore, whether they are among the blessed in Heaven, or are expiating their sins in Purgatory, are united to us in that they love us and pray for us. Between them and us, there is a real but invisible link, an exchange of thought, of affections and of prayer. There are all the elements of a true and lasting friendship.
This is a very consoling realisation. We have not lost our dear ones, who have gone to God. They are looking down on us, thinking of us and waiting for us. We, in our turn, can think of them, love them still and pray for them, always.
Thought for the Day – 5 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Consolations of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory
“The following is an excerpt from a book by a spiritual writer named, Father Alberione:
“There is suffering in Purgatory and there is suffering in Hell but there are essential difference between one and the other. Hell is eternal, while Purgatory is temporal. In Hell, there is no hope of salvation, whereas in Purgatory, there is the certainty of future happiness in Heaven. Hell is the lasting state of a soul rejected by God, while Purgatory is the temporary state of a soul loved and awaited by God in Heaven. In Hell, suffering is without hope and altogether unprofitable but in Purgatory, the purpose of suffering, is to become worthy of entering Heaven. Hell is a place forever cursed by God, whereas Purgatory is a place which He has blessed. Hell is governed by the stern and exacting justice of God, whereas Purgatory is under the dominion of the divine justice, which seeks to be merciful. Hell is the abode of the damned. Purgatory is the abode of the saved and this earth is the abode of those who are still uncertain of salvation.”
The writer goes onto examine the three main reasons why there is joy in Purgatory, even in the midst of the most dreadful torments. The first reason is that the suffering souls are sure of eternal salvation. They are confirmed in grace and it is impossible for them to sin any more. No Saint on earth had this wonderful certitude, which makes the sufferings of Purgatory seem desirable to those confined there.
In the second place, these souls recognise their own imperfection and need of purification, therefore, they are glad to suffer in order to become worthy, at last, of the happiness of God’s company.
The third source of consolation, is their ardent love of God. Love does not measure or feel sacrifices; it even desires them because it knows that they are a necessary means of achieving an intimate union with the beloved. It is the greatness of their love for the Supreme Good, which makes it a joy for the suffering souls, to suffer for His sake and for the purpose of being united with Him.
If only we could love God as they love Him, we should avoid and abhor the least imperfection. We should accept ,with perfect resignation, the sorrows and trials of this life, as a means of making reparation for our sins and, we should pray often for these suffering souls, so that they might at last, fulfil their intense desire to be united with their Infinite Good.”
Thought for the Day – 4 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
More About the Sufferings of Purgatory
“Apart from the physical pain which we have considered in the preceding meditation, the souls in Purgatory suffer a much greater torment, which theologians call “the pain of loss.“ St John Chrysostom writes, that the pain of loss, which is the unsatisfied yearning to be united with the Supreme Good, is a far more agonising torment, than the flames of a hundred hells! This is because, the souls in Purgatory, having been set free from the bodily confinement which prevented them from seeing the Eternal Truths in all their clarity, now experience an unceasing and irresistible need, to be united with God. Being aware of their own imperfection, however, they undergo a terrible anguish at their inability to satisfy this burning desire. They love God with an immense love and long to enjoy His intimate friendship but, they realise, that they will be rejected by His divine justice as long as they have not perfectly expiated their faults.
If we would have a faint idea of the cruel agony of this unsatisfied desire, let us recall the keen anguish experienced by the Saints, whenever they remembered the sins which they had committed before their conversion. They shed tears of repentance before the Crucifix and inflicted terrifying penances upon themselves in reparation for their misdeeds.
What are we doing in order to avoid offending God and to wash away our past transgressions? Let us remember, that the divine justice must be satisfied, either in this life, or in the next. If we fail to make satisfaction now, we shall do so with much greater suffering in Purgatory, where we shall no longer have the benefit of the Sacraments and of Indulgences.”
Thought for the Day – 3 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Pain of Purgatory
“The Tradition of the Fathers and the ordinary teaching of the Church, describe the pains of Purgatory in such a fashion, that they should prompt us to avoid even the smallest sin, not only because it is an offence against the most amiable God but also because, it will be severely punished by Him. This teaching, moreover, should move us to pity for the poor suffering souls, who are enduring such torments.
St Cyril of Jerusalem states, that the sum total of the sufferings of this world, is nothing in comparison to the sufferings of Purgatory. He adds, moreover, that the pain of Purgatory is equal to the severity of the torments of Hell; the only difference is that the latter are everlasting, whereas the former, will have an end. St Athanasius assures us that the least pang of suffering in Purgatory, is sharper than all the torments which it is possible to undergo on earth. Moreover he adds, in comparison with the fire which afflicts the suffering souls, earthly fire is hardly even real! St Bede the Venerable tells us, that even if we could imagine all the tortures to which tyrants subjected the Martyrs, such as iron hooks, red-hot pincers, roasting gridirons and boiling pitch, we should still have failed to form any idea of the pains of Purgatory!
But what is the reason for such severe torments? It is that God loves these souls and desires that they be purified of sins, as soon as possible and be made worthy of infinite happiness.
The fires of Purgatory are nourished by a twofold love – the love of God, Who desires the purification of souls and, the love of these souls, who desire to expiate their faults in order to become worthy of being united to Him forever.”
Thought for the Day – 2 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Purgatory is the masterpiece of God’s justice and mercy. St John tells us in the Apocalypse, that nothing defiled can enter into the Heavenly Jerusalem (Apoc 21:27).
There are very few, however, who are privileged to arrive at the supreme moment of death, still wearing their Baptismal robe of innocence. Even the just man falls very often as the Holy Spirit warns us (Prov 24:16). We all possess many failings and have been guilty of many sins, either mortal or venial. It is true, that we can obtain forgiveness by penance and by receiving the Sacraments but, there still remains the temporal punishment due to our sins. Neither the small penances imposed by the confessor, nor our own tiny acts of voluntary mortification, are sufficient to satisfy our debt. We cannot be certain, moreover, that we shall be able, at the hour of our death, to cleanse ourselves of all our sins, by means of one good Confession. Even if we appear before the judgement seat of God without any grave faults, there will still, unfortunately, be many debts to be paid and many imperfections to be purified.
What then will happen to us? The justice of God cannot admit us, imperfect and defiled as we are, into the everlasting happiness of the Beatific Vision. Will He reject us, therefore, even as He rejects those who die in mortal sin and are condemned to eternal punishment? This is unthinkable, for the mercy of God is as infinite as His justice. And so, there is Purgatory, where the souls of those who have died in the state of grace but, still scarred with imperfections and burdened with debts to be paid, can find a way of purifying themselves and, of making themselves worthy of an everlasting reward.
Let us thank God for this gift, the last link in the chain of His mercies, which enables us to prepare ourselves for our entry into the Beatific Vision.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 November – All Souls Day – Readings: Wisdom 3: 1-9; Romans 5: 5-11 or Romans 6: 3-9; Gospel: John 6: 37-40
“We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment, our soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly lusts, to a place where they cannot come near, to hold it fast. It must take on the likeness of death, to avoid the punishment of death!”
“Death is then no cause for mourning, for it is the cause of mankind’s salvation. Death is not something to be avoided, for the Son of God did not think it beneath His dignity, nor did He seek to escape it.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“We should consider how much good our Lord did us, by His first coming and how much more He will do for us, by His second. This thought will help us, to have a great love for that first coming of His and a great longing for His return.”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“Keep a clear eye toward life’s end. Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creature. What you are in His sight, is what you are and nothing more. Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take nothing that you have received… but only what you have given – a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
“Do now, what you wish to have done, when your moment comes to die.”
St Angela Merici (1474-1540)
Sabbatum Sanctum By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
I look at You, my Lord Jesus and think of Your most holy Body and I keep it before me, as a pledge of my own resurrection. Though I die, as die I certainly shall, nevertheless, I shall not forever die, for I shall rise again. O You, who are the Truth, I know and believe with my whole heart, that this very flesh of mine will rise again. I know, base and odious as it is at present, that it will one day, if I be worthy, be raised incorruptible and altogether beautiful and glorious. This I know, this by Your grace, I will ever keep before me. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 2 November – Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed – All Souls Day – Readings: Wisdom 3: 1-9; Romans 5: 5-11 or Romans 6: 3-9; Gospel: John 6: 37-40
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him, may have eternal life and I shall raise him [on] the last day.” – John 6:40
REFLECTION – “He has said two things: “This is the work of God that you should believe in the One whom He has sent,” while here He added, “whoever sees and believes.” The Jews saw but did not believe; they had the one condition, lacked the other. How could they attain to eternal life without the other? The reason those who saw did not attain eternal life was because they did not also believe. If so, what about us, who have believed but have not seen? If it is those two things that earn eternal life, seeing and believing—and whoever is lacking one of them cannot attain to the reward of eternal life — what are we to do? The Jews [who saw Him] lacked the one; we ,the other. They had seeing but lacked believing. We have believing but lack seeing. Well, as regards our having believing and lacking seeing, we have prophetically been declared blessed by the Lord Himself just as Thomas, one of the Twelve, was blessed when he felt his scars by touching them.” – St Augustine (354-430) Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 14)
PRAYER – Merciful Father, hear our prayers and console us. As we renew our faith in Your Son, Whom You raised from the dead, strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters will share in His Resurrection, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 2 November – Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)
My Jesus, by the Sorrows You Suffered Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
My Jesus, by the sorrows You suffered in Your Agony in the Garden, in Your Scourging and Crowning with Thorns, on the Way to Calvary, in Your Crucifixion and Death, have mercy on the souls in Purgatory and especially on those, who are most forsaken. Deliver them from the dire torments they endure. Call them and admit them to Your most sweet embrace in Paradise. Amen
The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed – All Souls Day (Commemoration): Commemoration of the faithful departed in Purgatory. Abbot Odilo of Cluny instituted it in the Monasteries of his congregation in 998, other religious orders took up the observance and it was adopted by various Diocese and gradually by the whole Church. The Office of the Dead must be recited by the clergy on this day and Pope Benedict XV granted to all Priests, the privilege of saying three Masses of requiem – • one for the souls in Purgatory • one for the intention of the Holy Father • one for the Priest’s intentions If the feast should fall on Sunday it is kept on 3 November. Patronage: Monselice, Italy
Notre-Dame D’Emminont / Our Lady of Emminont. Abbeville, France (12th Century) – 2 November:
The Shrine to Our Lady of Emminont, or Notre-Dame D’Emminont, is near Abbeville in France. It is much visited by pilgrims devoted to the Mother of God who at their prayers and petitions, still performs many miracles and favours for her people.
The relics of Saint Wulfram (also spelled Wulfran or Vulfran) of Sens, who died in 656, were brought to the Shrine in the year 1058. Until that time, the Church had been known as the Collegiate Church of Our Lady in Abbeville but after the relics of Saint Wulfram were interred there, the Church was rededicated in Saint Wulfram’s honour. The Church retains that name to this day.
Franciscan Friars, well-versed in wood carving, cared for the Shrine. They were consulted in 1510 concerning work on the Cathedral of Amiens. In richness of detail, Abbeville surpasses many other Cathedrals. The nave was built between the years 1488 to 1539 and the small choir between 1661 and 1663. The construction was paid for by the King of France, and Count of Ponthieu and the faithful of Abbeville. The Church is much smaller than it was originally intended to be, as the initial blueprint for the Church was never completed. The nave is quite short, has only two bays and the choir is extremely small. Still, the façade is a superb masterpiece of the flamboyant Gothic style. During the French Revolution the Church of Saint Wulfram was profaned and given the name of a “Temple of Reason” by the unreasoning revolutionaries who sought to destroy the immutable God by demolishing priceless monuments and artifacts and even, the glory of their own history. The Town of Abbeville was heavily bombed by the German’s during World War II, so that much of what is seen there today is of fairly modern origin. The Church was also damaged, but efforts were made to restore it to its former grandeur. The list of favours granted by Our Lady of Emminont, is indeed very long. It includes miraculous cures, astounding spiritual and temporal favours and streams of graces and blessings.
St Ambrose of Agaune St Ambrose of Agaune St Amicus of Fonte Avellana St Amicus of Rambone St Baya of Scotland St Domninus of Grenoble St Erc of Slane St Eustochium of Tarsus St George of Vienne Bl John Bodey St Jorandus of Kergrist St Justus of Trieste
St Marcian of Chalcis Bl Margaret of Lorraine St Mateo López y López St Maura of Scotland St Theodotus of Laodicea St Victorinus of Pettau (Died c 304) Bishop Martyr
St Willebald of Bavaria — Martyrs of Isfahan – 5+ saints: Acindynus, Pegasius and Anempodistus were Persian priests who were imprisoned, tortured, interrogated and martyred in the persecutions of king Sapor II of Persia; he considered any Christian to be a Roman spy and anti-Persian. The three were brought back to life, miraculously healed, freed from their chains and began preaching Christianity, miraculously healing Sapor II in the process. This defiance enraged Sapor so much that he ordered them executed again; they were thrown into a cauldron of molten lead but walked out unharmed. This miracle brought one of the torturers, Aphthonius, to convert; he was immediately martyred. Other attempts were made to kill them, and they emerged each time unharmed. Senator Elpidiphorus led a group speaking in favour of the Christians for their courage and faith; he was immediately executed. In the end the original three Christians were burned to death. Martyrs all – Acindynus, Anempodistus, Aphthonius, Elpidephorus and Pegasius. They were born in Persia and Died: • c.350 in Isfahan, Persia • relics transferred to Constantinople and enshrined in a church dedicated to them • some relics taken to France in 1204 during the 4th Crusade • relics in France were lost when hidden from anti-Christian forces in the French Revolution • relics in France re-discovered in 1892 in Grozon.
Martyrs of Sebaste – 10 saints: A group of ten soldiers in the imperial Roman army of Emperor Licinius Licinianus who were executed together for refusing to burn incense as a sacrifice to the emperor. The only details that have survived are five of their names – Agapius, Cartherius, Eudoxius, Styriacus and Tobias. They were burned at the stake in 315 in Sebaste (in modern Turkey).
Devotion for the Month of November – The Holy Souls in Purgatory
“Twelve Months Sanctified by Prayer” By Father Antoine Ricard (1834 – 1895)
“It has been said and with reason, that “amongst all Catholic devotions, one of the most solid, most fruitful and the most conformed to that spirit of charity which constitutes the soul and principle of Christian morality, is, without doubt, devotion to the souls in Purgatory.”
And now, let us see what really is the end of this beautiful devotion. Is it not to deliver from expiatory flames, souls who find in our suffrages, a compensation for the slowness of their painful expiation? But the real and immediate object of devotion to the souls in Purgatory, leads to various consequences, which multiply its fruits. For to deliver a soul from Purgatory, is it not to procure the glory of God, since it allows that soul to praise Him in heaven for all eternity? And to deliver a soul from Purgatory, is it not to exercise one of the best works of charity a Christian could practice, since it procures for that soul, the greatest of all benefits, heavenly bliss?
To deliver a soul from Purgatory, is to create for ourselves in heaven, a most powerful friend, whose gratitude will never fail us.
Finally, to work for the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory, is to compel ourselves, so to say, to the frequent remembrance and serious consideration of our last end and consequently, to obtain a pledge and infallible means of salvation, according to the word of the Holy Ghost: “Remember thy last end and thou shalt never sin.” (Page 13 – 14)
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon them and may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 13 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 2: 1-15a; Psalms 69: 3, 14, 30-31, 33-34; Matthew 11: 20-24
“Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, for their failure to repent.”
“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness and relenting in punishment.”
“Let us fix our thoughts on the Blood of Christ and reflect how Precious that Blood is, in God’s eyes, inasmuch, as its outpouring for our salvation, has opened the grace of repentance to all mankind.”
St Pope Clement I (c 35-99)
“… In the conceitedness of our souls, without taking the least trouble to obey the Lord’s commandments, we think ourselves worthy to receive the same reward as those who have resisted sin to the death!”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“For this all-powerful Physician, nothing is incurable. He heals without charge! With one word, He restores to health! I would have despaired of my wound were it not, that I placed my trust in the Almighty.”
St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church
“ … Yet only grant me repentance here below That I may make reparation for my sins, … That these tears may extinguish the blazing furnace With its burning flames. …
And, instead of acting like the merciless, Set merciful compassion within me, That, by showing mercy to the poor, I may obtain Your mercy.”
St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173) Armenian Bishop
“ It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices, than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.”
Our Morning Offering – 8 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
By the Merit of the Precious Blood of Jesus By Servant of God Pope Pius VII (1742-1823) Papacy from 1800 to 1823 Indulgenced Act of Oblation to Our Father
Eternal Father! I offer Thee the merit of the Precious Blood of Jesus, Thy well-beloved Son, my Saviour and my God, for all my wants, spiritual and temporal, in aid of the Holy Souls in Purgatory and chiefly for those who most loved this Precious Blood, the price of our redemption and who were most devout to the sorrows and pains of most Holy Mary, our dear Mother.
Glory be to the Blood of Jesus, now and forever and throughout all ages. Amen.
Indulgence of 300 days, each time this prayed is offered 22 September 1817 with a Plenary Indulgence, once a month, under the usual conditions.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI approved and granted it the Nihal Obstat – (nothing stands against), the process towards Canonising Pope Pius VII and he was granted the title Servant of God. In late 2018, the Bishop of Savona announced that the cause for Pius VII would continue following the completion of initial preparation and investigation. The Bishop named a new Postulator and a Diocesan tribunal began work into the cause. The first Postulator for the cause, was Father Giovanni Farris (2007-18) and the current Postulator since 2018, is Father Giovanni Margara.
Note of Interest: On 15 August 1811 – the Feast of the Assumption – it is recorded that the Pope celebrated Mass and was said to have entered a trance and began to levitate in a manner that drew him to the Altar. This particular episode aroused great wonder and awe among attendants, which included the French soldiers guarding him, who were awestruck at what had occurred and left records of it.
Thought for the Day – 16 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“God has given us two supernatural means of purifying ourselves after we have sinned – the Sacrament of Penance and Indulgences. The Sacrament of Penance is the plank of salvation to which we can cling when we have been shipwrecked by sin and, by means of Indulgences, we can draw on the infinite treasury of the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, in order to make partial or total satisfaction for the temporal punishment due to our sins. In this way, we can shorten our purgatory in this life and escape it in the next!
We should make good use of the Sacrament of Penance. If we fall into mortal sin, let us have recourse at once to this fount of grace. Even when we are not in mortal sin, let us be faithful to the practice of weekly or at least, fortnightly, confession.
We should not abuse this great gift simply because it seems such a simple method of obtaining pardon. God is infinitely just, we must remember and, He expects us to co-operate with His graces.”
Thought for the Day – 27 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Human Soul
“Consider that you have only one soul, which belongs entirely to God and has Heaven for its true home. God has given you two hands, two feet, two ears and two eyes but, He has given you only one soul. What a disaster, if you should lose it, for you would then be damned forever! When God made you to be free, He placed your fate in your own hands. “When God, in the beginning, created man, He made him subject to his own free choice” (Ecclus 15:14). Remember that the salvation of your soul is the most necessary work which you have to do! It is more precious to you than gold or silver. “More precious than gold is health and well-being, contentment of spirit, than coral” (Ecclus 30:15). All our attention should be devoted to keeping our soul free from sin and endowing it with every virtue.”
Thought for the Day – 7 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Devotion to the dead and the belief in a place of expiation and purification after death, can be traced back, not only to the early days of the Church but, even to the dawn of the human race. Although Luther denied the existence of Purgatory, he was compelled to acknowledge the existence of this ancient and universal belief, sanctioned by Tradition, by faith and by human reason. This belief was already present among pagan people, as is attested by the better-known writers of antiquity such as Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Virgil and, by ancient funeral inscriptions. Evidence of the belief among the Jews, is found in Sacred Scripture, where it is related that, after he had conquered the worshippers of Jamnia, Judas Machabaeus, collected twelve thousand drachmas of silver, in order to have sacrifices offered for the dead. It is a holy and wholesome thought, adds the text, to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins (2 Macc 12:46).
This is a very consoling doctrine. It is comforting to know, that one day we shall find a way of purifying ourselves of all trace of sin and imperfection and, that meanwhile, we can be spiritually united with our departed loved ones and can help them by our prayers.”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 February – The Memorial of Blessed Mary of Providence HHS (1825-1871) and the Holy Souls in Purgatory
“Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice (Job 1:5), why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“One of the holiest works, one of the best exercises of piety, which we can practice in this world, is to offer sacrifices, alms and prayer for the dead.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“If it were but known how great is the power of the good Souls in Purgatory with the Heart of God and if we knew all the graces we can obtain through their intercession, they would not be so much forgotten. We must, therefore, pray much for them, that they may pray much for us.”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)
Blessed Mary of Providence HHS (1825-1871), friend of St John Vianney, was the Founder of Society of the Helpers of the Holy Souls their objective is assisting theHoly Ssouls in Purgatory through their service to the needy of the world. She said:
“If one of our friends was imprisoned in a house on fire, how we should rush to her help. Then think how we should try to deliver the Souls in Purgatory.”
Devotion for the Month of November – The Holy Souls in Purgatory
The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Church commemorates all her faithful children who have departed from this life but, have not yet attained the joys of heaven. St Paul warns us, that we must not be ignorant concerning the dead, nor sorrowful, “even as others who have no hope … For the Lord Himself shall come down from heaven … and the dead who are in Christ shall rise.
The Church has always taught us to pray for those who have gone into eternity. Even in the Old Testament prayers and alms were offered for the souls of the dead by those who thought “well and religiously concerning the resurrection.” It was believed that “they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid up for them” and that “it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” We know that a defiled soul cannot enter into heaven.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon them and may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen