Thursday, February 14, 2008

Prayers and Purgatory

I remember when my brother was dying from cancer last June, and I took him to what would be his last Mass. I picked him up from the hospital, and helped him get dressed into his best clothes. Since he was affiliated with the SSPX, that was the Mass we went to. As sick as he was, he knelt throughout the whole Mass, never once choosing to sit, even though it was very painful for him to kneel. During Holy Communion, he had tears in his eyes, and I know it was because he was overwhelmed at the reality of being able to receive Jesus; to be surrounded by His heavenly presence as angels sang His praises.

Later, when we got back to the hospital, he was extremely exhausted, and he sat on the edge of his bed with his head in his hands. He said to me,"So I'm dying." I said yes, and told him it was a great grace from God to know that he was dying, and thus he would be able to prepare for his death spiritually. He told me that he wasn't afraid to die, but he said he was afraid of purgatory. He was well schooled in Catholicism, and he knew that the punishments of purgatory are much worse than anything we can possibly suffer here on earth. I assured him that our family would have Gregorian Masses said for his soul, and we did.

It was then that I formed the habit of praying for the Holy Souls at the end of every Rosary decade. Right after the Fatima prayer, I pray the Eternal Rest prayer for my brother's soul, and for those in purgatory. This way I am praying for the holy souls many times in a day. We all have a duty to pray for the suffering souls, and it is a spiritual work of mercy to do so. I pray specifically for family members, for those I knew in my lifetime, for those who are most forgotten in the deepest depths of purgatory, for those who are closest to entering heaven, and for those who may be suffering the torments of Purgatory because of things that I have done or caused them to do.


7 comments:

Theocoid said...

Don't forget to seek those indulgences, too! That's something with which we don't avail ourselves enough.

+JMJ+ said...

Touching. Thank you for prayign for the Holy Souls and blogging this beautiful story.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Very moving post..thankyou..

Marilena said...

i was thinking of Joe yesterday and i couldn't believe he is not here with us on earth. i miss him. the loss is great indeed. i pray for him, and as you do, i pray for the holy souls in purgatory every time i pray. i also pray for those in purgatory who have no one to pray for them. the promise of the gregorian Masses is that the person they are said for we have the hope that they go to heaven. that is what father told me. i also ask the Blessed Virgin to comfort the holy souls in purgatory when i pray. i do it every time too. i miss joe. i really do. iam going to go visit his grave when the weather warms up. iam going to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet as well when we go.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

That was one of the best postings I've ever read. I'll remember your brother at Mass today.

Adoro te Devote said...

Thank you for that - I hadn't considered saying the Requiem after each decade, but will try to remember it next time. What a beautiful way to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

Shirley said...

I bought a little book called Purgatorian Manual which has spiritual readings and prayers for every day of the month. It also has a novena for the Holy Souls and many other prayers, and it is a wonderful aid in my daily prayers for the dead.I encourage those who can to have a Mass said for the Holy Souls once a month.