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Secrets of Purgatory

Contents
Foreword

Chapters:

1.  Can We Avoid Purgatory?
2.  How Can We Avoid Purgatory?
3.  The First Means: Removing the Cause
4.  The Second Means: Penance
5.  The Third Means: Suffering
6.  The Fourth Means: Confession, Communion, Holy Mass
7.  The Fifth Means: Asking God
8.  A Sixth Means: Resignation to Death
9.  The Seventh Means: Extreme Unction
10. Indulgences and Purgatory
11. The Third Orders
12. Those Who Earnestly Help the Holy Souls May Well Hope to Avoid Purgatory
13. To Avoid Purgatory, Do as Follows
14. How We Can Help the Holy Souls


Appendices:

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Sabbatine Privilege
The Mother of Mercy
The General Means of Spiritual Perfection


Foreword

Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, came on earth to Redeem mankind.


Christ summarized the Ten Commandments as the Perfect Law of Love:

1) Love of God;
2) Love of Neighbor.

His laws, counsels, and promises all breathe the sweet, clean air of peace, joy, and mercy, which vibrate with the three theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

But the thought that some of us shall, nevertheless, have to experience excruciating pain in the fires of Purgatory after death for an unknown period of time underscores the fairness of God and His judicious exercise of the Virtue of Justice.

It is true that we are weak and fall many times into sin and that God’s justice is rigorous, exacting - but also fair.

It is no less certain that Our Lord has given us abundant Graces and Spiritual strength to help us to overcome temptations to sin.  Yet, if we do fall into sin, we will find the Seat of Divine Mercy in the Confessional so that we may confess our sins and receive absolution for them.  Of course the temporal punishment due to sin still remains, although indulgences can either partially or totally remove such temporal punishment.

But those who continue to deliberately sin and who make no real, sincere effort to avoid sinning, and who refuse to correct their faults and refuse to use the many merciful means God offers them for satisfying for their sins and imperfections, automatically condemn themselves at least to Purgatory, and, in the case of Mortal Sin, they automatically condemn themselves to Hell for all eternity until and unless they make a good Confession.


(Padre Pio Hearing Confession)

Holy Sacrament of Penance

A Merciful God instituted the Holy Sacrament of Penance which Catholic frequently call “Confession”.

Nevertheless, for those who are sincere, who do confess their sins in the Sacrament of Penance, receive Sacramental Absolution, and perform the Penance the Confessor gives them, can in fact avoid Purgatory IF they make use of the means God has so generously given to all Catholics.  In other words, the good news is that the means to avoid Purgatory are withing the reach of every ordinary Catholic!

May the Eucharistic and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Bless them and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary help them.


Chapter 1

Can We Avoid Purgatory?  Yes!

Many Catholics seem to erroneously think that it is almost impossible for them to  avoid Purgatory. They think it is inevitable.  Some even have set their ultimate goal so low, that they seem to focus more on the “inevitable” of going to Purgatory instead of the “possible” and even “probable” of going straight to Heaven when they die.

But this foolishness will be realized too late for them and only then will they realize how terribly rash and irrational they were. As the result of such foolish fatalism, many Catholics seem to make no real serious effort to avoid Purgatory, or even to lessen the term they may have to stay there.

Fortunately, not everyone is so foolish.  This is why what follows is very well worth reading and re-reading.  The sad fact is that a great number of souls go to Purgatory and remain there for many long years simply because they had never been told how they could have avoided Purgatory in the first place!

In other words, you will learn:

1) How you can actually avoid Purgatory!

2) But, IF, God forbid, you should somehow end up in Purgatory, you can learn what to do now to shorten  your period of expiation in Purgatory.

The means to this end are easy, practical, and within reach. Plus, far from being irksome, the use of these means will only serve to make your lives on this earth holier and happier and will take away the exaggerated fear of death which terrifies so many people, even Catholics.

Dear Reader, you may want to consider telling your friends about this little work so that they, too, can learn these things.  How could you possible do a greater service for them than this?


Chapter 2

How Can We Avoid Purgatory?

The reason why some souls have to pass through Purgatory after death is that they have committed venial sins for which they have not received Absolution in the Sacrament of Penance, and also they have not made satisfaction for the temporal punishment due to at least some of their sins, even those sins they have already confessed.

Each sin must be expiated, whether in this life or the next life! No one with even the slightest shadow of sin or of any remaining temporal punishment due to sin, can enter Heaven which is totally pure wherein is the all-holy presence of God.

The graver one’s venial sins, the more frequent the venial sins, the longer will be the period of expiation and the more intense will be the pain.

One must face the facts, either now or later, that it is not God’s fault, nor even God’s wish, that anyone would go to Purgatory! On the contrary, the fault is all our own.

We have sinned and have not made satisfaction.

Even after we commit sin, Almighty God, in His infinite goodness and Divine Mercy, places at our disposal many easy and efficacious means by which we may considerably lessen our term of expiation, or even entirely cancel it, and thus go straight to Heaven when we die.

For your practical resolutions,  make this your # 1 goal - to go straight to Heaven when you die.

Sad to say, too many Catholics, with an irrationally incomprehensible rashness, neglect these means and so have to pay their debts in the dreadful prison called “Purgatory”.

What are some of the primary means by which we can avoid Purgatory, or at the very least, lessen its severity and duration.


Chapter 3

The First Means: Removing the Cause

The First Means of avoiding Purgatory is to remove the cause which sends us there which is sin.

At first, it may not be easy for one to refrain from all sin, even the smaller sins, but every ordinary Catholic can, by the frequent use of the Sacraments, more easily abstain from mortal sin.

Secondly, we can all avoid deliberate and grave venial sin. It is an awful thing to offend the good God deliberately. Deliberation intensifies enormously the malice of sin and offends God much more than faults of weakness, or sins committed when we are caught off guard, e.g. at the end of a long, hard day when we are physically and mentally drained and exhausted and can think of nothing but to collapse onto our bed for much need rest and sleep..

Lastly, by the Grace of God, we must use our best efforts to break our bad habits. Habits, like deliberation, add seriousness to the malice of sin

A deliberate falsehood is very much worse than a hasty lie of excuse, and a lie resulting from the inveterate habit of lying is far worse than a casual lie.  The so-called “white lie” is nothing but a lie of the Devil because it tends to lessen the perception of the seriousness of the sin of lying and because it is the springboard to develop the habit of lying.

It has been related how a certain Lady had admitted how she had fallen into the habit of constantly speaking ill of her neighbors when she was younger.  But, after she heard a Sermon about this, she made a strong resolution never to do this again.  And, by the Grace of God, she was able to keep her resolution.

Thus it came about that her strong resolution, aided by the Grace of God, changed the whole direction of her life and thereby prevented her from committing untold numbers of such sins and most assuredly, from a long and painful Purgatory.

All it takes is a determined act of the will and the humility and meekness to pray to God and Our Blessed Mother for the Graces necessary to keep one’s resolution to avoid committing sin, most especially an habitual sin, e.g. speaking ill of others, lying, stealing, cheating, sins of the flesh, etc.

If, in this way, a Catholic avoids these three classes of sin, i.e. mortal sins, deliberate and grave venial sins, and habits of sin, it will be much easier for such a one to atone for faults of frailty, as will become apparent below.

Practical Suggestions

Is there some way to at least partially atone for the sins which a person commits each day, whether sins of commission or omission?  Yes?

Perfect Act of Contrition

One way is to get into the habit of making a Perfect Act of Contrition every night before going to bed.  A “perfect” Act of Contrition is having sorrow for your sins, not because of the terrible punishments they deserve, but rather having sorrow for your sins because they have offended the good God whom you love more than anyone else and you have deep regrets and sorrow for having “hurt” God by your sins.

Another way, in addition to making a Perfect Act of Contrition, is to say the following prayer:


Prayer for Daily Neglects

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with all of its Love, all of its Sufferings and all of its Merits.

First, To expiate for all of the sins that I have committed today and during every day of my entire life.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Second,  To purify all the good I have done poorly today and during every day of my entire life.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Third, To supply for the good that I ought to have done today and that I have neglected today and during every day of my entire life.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

A Poor Clare Nun, who had just died, appeared to her Abbess who was praying for her and told her:  "I went straight to Heaven, for, by means of this prayer, recited every evening, I paid all of my debts."  Of course this does not, and can not, replace the Sacrament of Penance, but it is prudent and wise to use it nonetheless.


Saint Theresa's
"Little Way" of Sanctity
 

Little Acts of Supererogation

Is it possible to ever overcome every sin in advance and thus rarely, if ever, sin?  Yes!

Here is a great “secret” of some of the Saints which is really an easy, teeny, tiny act, the immense value of which most people probably do not realize?  What follows is only ten paragraphs long, but it can not only help you to shorten your time in Purgatory, but possibly even help you to totally avoid Purgatory so you can in fact go straight to Heaven when you die!

You can EASILY (anyone can do it!) become and remain one of the handful of God’s FAVORITES! How do you do this?  By overcoming all temptations in advance by acts of supererogation!  This is explained in detail by the following source:

Another Weighty Reason for Setting Great Store by Little Things

1.  Another considerable reason why we should make account of little things is that, if we are careless and negligent in little things and take small heed thereof, it is to be feared that God will refuse us His particular and special aids and graces which we stand in need of to resist temptations and not fall into sin and to obtain the virtue and perfection which we desire; and so we come to great harm.

2.    The better to understand this, we must presuppose a very good piece of theology taught us by Saint Paul when writing to the Corinthians--that God our Lord never refused to anyone that supernatural assistance and succor whereby, if he will, he will not be overcome by temptation but be able to resist and come out victorious.  God is faithful, Who will not permit you to be tempted above your strength, but will give you such aid in temptation as that you may be able to suffer it with advantage (I Cor. 10:13).  God is faithful, say the Apostle; you may rest assured that He will not permit you to be tempted more than you are able to bear; and if He adds more trials and there come greater temptations, He will also add more succor and bounty that you may be able to come out of them, not only without loss, but with much profit and increase of good.  But there is another aid and succor of God more special and particular.  Man could resist and overcome temptation without this special aid if he availed himself as he ought of the first supernatural assistance, which is more general.  But, oftentimes, with that first aid man will not resist temptation unless God give him that other aid more particular and special.  Not that he could not, but that he will not; for if he willed, he might well resist with that first aid, since it is sufficient for the purpose if he would make the use of it that he ought.  In that case his falling and being overcome by temptation will be his own fault, since it will be by his own will.  And if God gave him then that other special assistance, he would not fall.

3.    But to come to our point.  This second aid and special superabundant and efficacious succor is not given by God to all, nor on all occasions, since it is a liberality and a most particular grace of His own bestowal; and so God will give it to whom He pleases; He will give it to those who have been liberal with Him.  So the prophet says:  With the holy, Lord, Thou wilt be holy; and with the benign, benign; and with the liberal and sincere, Thou wilt be sincere and liberal; and with him that shall not be such, Thou wilt pay him in the same coin (Psalm 17:26-27).  This is what our Father puts in his Rules:  “The closer one shall bind himself to God our Lord, and the more liberal he shall show himself to His Divine Majesty, the more liberal he will find God to him; and the better shall he be disposed to receive every day greater graces and spiritual gifts.”  This is the doctrine of Saint Gregory Nazianzen and other saints.

4.    What it is to be liberal to God may be well understood from what it is to be liberal to men.  In this world to be liberal to another is to give him, not his due and bonded right, but more than his due and bonded right.  That is liberality; the other is not liberality, but justice and obligation.  Now in the same manner, he who is very careful and diligent to please God, not only in matters of obligation, but also in those of supererogation and perfection, and not only in greater, but also in lesser things, he is liberal to God.  Now to them that are thus liberal, God also is very liberal.  These are God’s favorites to whom He shows His bounties; to these He gives not only those general aids which are sufficient to resist and overcome temptations, but also those special and superabundant and efficacious aids wherewith they will nowise fall when they are tempted.

5.    But if you are not liberal to God, how can you expect God to be liberal to you?  If you are niggardly with God, you deserve that God should be niggardly with you.  If you are so mean and close as to go sounding and measuring as with rule and compass--“Am I bound or not bound?  Am I bound under sin or not bound under sin?  Does it amount to a mortal sin or to no more than a venial?” --all this is being niggardly with God, since you want to give Him no more than you are obliged, and even in that possibly you fail.  God then will be niggardly with you and give you no more than He is obliged by His word; He will give you those general and necessary aids which He gives to all, which are enough and sufficient to enable you to resist temptations and not fall in them; but you will have much reason to fear that He will not give you that special superabundant and efficacious aid which He is wont to give to such as are liberal to Him; and so you will come to be vanquished by temptation and fall into sin.

6.    This is what theologians and saints commonly say, that one sin is often the punishment of another sin.  That is to be understood in this way, that by the first sin a man loses, as punishment of his sin, all claim to that special and particular aid of God, and renders himself unworthy of it; and so he comes to fall into a second sin.  They say the same of venial sins, and further of faults and negligences and general carelessness of life; for this also they say that a man may lose all claim and render himself unworthy of that special and efficacious assistance of God with which he will persevere and actually overcome temptation, and without which he will be overcome and fall into sin.  So some saints explain the words of the Wise Man:  He that despiseth small things, shall fall little by little (Ecclus. 19:1).  By despising small things and making little account of them one comes to render oneself unworthy of that special assistance of God, and so one comes to fall into great faults.  In like manner is to be understood the saying of the Apocalypse (3:16):  Because thou art tepid, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.  God has not yet vomited and thrown up entirely the tepid man, but He has begun to vomit and throw him up because by this negligence in which he lives, and these faults which he commits with advertence and of set purpose, he goes the way to make himself undeserving of that special and efficacious aid without which he will fall; and God will end by vomiting and throwing him up.

7.    Let us consider how much reason we have to fear lest we should lose all claim and render ourselves unworthy of this special aid of God through our tepidity and sloth.  How often do we see ourselves assailed with temptations and in great danger, and many times we find ourselves in doubt--“Did I dwell on it or not?  Did I consent or not?  Did it amount to a sin or not?”  Oh, how well it would be worth our while for those critical moments to have been liberal to God and so made ourselves worthy of that special and liberal aid of grace whereby we should be quite secure of always keeping our footing, and without which we shall be in great danger and possibly be overcome!

8.    Saint Chrysostom assigns this means as one of the chief that we have for overcoming temptations.  Speaking of the devil, our enemy, and of the continual war that he wages against us, he says:  “You know well, my brethren, that we have in the devil a perpetual enemy who is always making war upon us, who never sleeps nor relaxes his efforts:  you can have no truce with that cruel monster.  So it is necessary always to be very wide-awake and very careful and watchful not to be overcome by him.”  How, then, shall we stand on our guard and prepare ourselves well not to be overcome, but always to get the better of this traitor and keep him under?  Do you know how?  Saint Chrysostom says:  “The only means to overcome him is to have gained beforehand this special assistance of God by our good life in the past.  In this way we shall be always victorious, and in no other.”  Notice the expression, “in no other”.  Saint Basil makes the same observation in these words:  “He who wishes to be helped by the Lord never ceases doing what lies with him to do.  He who does this is never left destitute of the divine assistance;”  wherefore, he concludes:  “We must make it our effort that our conscience shall not reproach us in anything.”  A sound conclusion is that we must be very careful in our spiritual exercises and in all our works to be worthy of this special aid from heaven.

9.    Hence it will be seen how important it is to make much account of small things--if we can call those things small which bring us in so much good or so much harm.  He who feareth God, neglecteth nothing (Eccles.  7:19), because he knows full well that out of small things neglected one comes little by little to fail in greater; and he fears that, if he ceases to be liberal with God in these things, God will cease to be liberal with him.

10.    In conclusion I say that this matter is so important, and we should make so much account of it, that we may take it as a general rule that, so long as a man makes much of little and minute things, all will go well, and the Lord will befriend him; and on the contrary, when he ceases to reckon much of little and minute things, he will incur great danger, because it is in this way that all evil enters into a religious.  This Jesus Christ gives us to understand, saying:  He that is faithful in what is little, will be faithful also in what is much; and he that is unfaithful and evil in what is little, will be the like in what is much  (Luke 16:10).  And therefore when one wishes to see how one is getting on in spiritual progress--and it is reasonable that we should often make reflection thereupon--let him examine himself by this and see whether he makes account of little things or whether he is getting into free and easy ways by taking small heed of them; and if he sees that now he does not trouble himself about small matters, nor does his conscience reproach him thereon as it used to do, let him look for a remedy with all care.  The devil, says Saint Basil, when he sees that he cannot drive us out of religion, applies all his powers to persuade us not to give ourselves to perfection, and not to make account of small matters, deceiving us by a false assurance that one does not lose God for that.  But we, on the contrary, should make it our effort that as he cannot drive us out of religion, so neither shall he hinder our perfection; but we will apply ourselves thereto with all our strength, setting much store by little and minute things.  (Source:  Father Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J., a.k.a. Alonso Rodriguez, S.J. [b. at Valladolid, Spain, in 1526 A.D. - d. at Seville, Spain on Sunday, February 21, 1616 A.D.], “Practice of Perfection and Christian Virtues,”  Newly Translated from the Original Spanish by  Joseph Rickaby, S.J., In Three Volumes, Volume  I, Chapter  X; emphasis added).


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For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

1) Get into the habit of making a Perfect Act of Contrition every night before you retire.

2) Recite the “Prayer for Daily Neglects”, remembering how A Poor Clare Nun, who had just died, appeared to her Abbess who was praying for her and told her:  "I went straight to Heaven, for, by means of this prayer, recited every evening, I paid all of my debts."

3) Perform little Acts of Supererogation, This is how you can create a good habit for a change!  This is a great “secret” of some of the Saints!  Anyone can perform a little act - it does not have to be a big act (big acts bring with them the possibility of the sin of pride, or at least the shadow of pride, and would therefore be counter-productive) - of supererogation, of being generous with God.  Opportunities abound everywhere, e.g. in the parking lot of a grocery store, find an empty shopping cart (some call it a “basket”) and take it into the store with you.  When you return to your vehicle and after you unload the shopping cart, put the shopping cart into the special stall or area designated for shopping carts.  Do this little act of supererogation, an act of generosity to God, for the love of God and simultaneously as a little penance for the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory.

4) Every time you say the Our Father, put a special emphasis and fervor on these two sentences:

a) “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

b) “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

These are the very words of God Himself and repeated frequently and fervently will certainly help us to obtain humility by uniting and conforming our wills with God’s Holy Will and will also obtain for us the spirit of charity and forgiveness towards our neighbors.

Chapter 4

The Second Means: Penance

The Second Means of avoiding Purgatory is to satisfy for our sins in this life by doing penance. "Do penance or you shall all likewise perish" Do penance, or you will burn long years in Purgatory, is a fact rom which there is no getting away.

This is a terrifying thought and one that makes the bravest man shudder. Which of us does not tremble when he thinks of those who have been burnt to death in a slow fire? What fear would not be ours if we had to face a similar death? Yet their suffering was of relatively short duration. The incomparably fiercer fire of Purgatory, which we may have to face, may last 20, or 50 or 100 years, or even more?!

Many people have such a horror of penance that they never even dream of practicing it. It is like the fear that children have of ghosts, a very great but a very unfounded fear. Their idea is that penance is something awful They think perhaps of the severe penances of the great Saints and of course are afraid to attempt anything of a like kind.

God does not ask us, as a rule, to do what is heroic. When He does, He gives us the special Grace necessary, called “Heroic Grace” or “Heroic Virtue”.  He asks each one to do a little. If we are afraid of doing much, and it is only natural that some should be, let us do at least a little. No one but a coward is afraid to do a little, especially if he gets much in exchange.

The easy road to Heaven of Saint Theresa, the Little Flower, is to do many little things, the little Acts of Supererogation you read about in the previous chapter. God was infinitely pleased with the widow's mite; He will be equally pleased with our little penances.

As a result of little mortifications, we can deliver ourselves from the awful fires of Purgatory and amass rich merits for Heaven. To go into the matter further, there is not much difficulty about mortification or penance, notwithstanding the absurd fear that people have of it.

Penance is not only easy, it is useful and necessary, and it will bring us very great happiness. Not to do penance is the greatest penance of all. As a matter of fact, every man of the world naturally, spontaneously mortifies himself. The first principle, for instance, of politeness and good breeding is to sacrifice our whims and tastes for the sake of others. The selfish man is a boor; the generous man is the idol of all, especially if he is also humble and meek.

Again, the only way of securing good health is to eschew the most appetizing viands when they do us harm and to make use of plain foods when they do us good. Overeating is one of the causes of illness and sometimes of a premature death.

The secret of success is strenuous, methodical, regular work. Now generosity, self-denial, method, regularity are other forms of very genuine but practical mortification. Yet no man can do much without them. To insist on our own likes and dislikes, to do only as we please, is to lead a life bristling with difficulties, in which every duty is a burden, every good act an effort and a labor.

Boy scouts and girl scouts are bound to do a kind act every day, even though it costs them a big effort. Catholics can do more than this, e.g. daily acts of self-restraint, of patience with others, of kindness to others, the exact fulfilment of duty are splendid penances and a great aid to happiness.

The Most Perfect Penance

But the most perfect penance of all is to unite and conform your finite will to the infinite Holy Will of God.  It is the most perfect penance because it is void of all pride.  Pride can sneak in when one performs other kinds of penance, no matter how big or small they are.  But the penance of uniting and conforming one’s will to God’s Holy Will is not only an act of the Virtues of Humility and Meekness, but an exercise of Wisdom, one of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

In what does the sanctification and spiritual perfection of a person consist?  Saint Francis DeSales [b. at Thorens, in the Duchy of Savoy, 21 August 21, 1567 A.D. - d. at Lyons, France on December 28, 1622 A.D.], Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church,. says that “some place it in austerity, others in giving to a charity, others in frequenting the Sacraments, others in prayer.  But for my part, I know of no other perfection than loving God with all one's heart.  Without this love all of the virtues are only a heap of stones.”

In the same way that virtue is ennobled and perfected by the love of God, “so likewise”, says Rodriguez, following Saint John Chrysostom, “the highest, purest and most excellent part of this love is absolute conformity to the Divine Will and having in all things no other will but God’s.”

“Whoever makes a habit of prayer should think only of doing everything to conform his will to God’s.  Be assured that In this conformity consists the highest perfection we can attain and those who practice it with the greatest care will be favored by God's greatest Gifts and will make the quickest progress in the interior [Spiritual] life.  Do not imagine there are other secrets.  All our good consists in this”  (Saint Teresa of Avila, Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada [b. at Avila, Old Castile, Spain on Sunday, March 28, 1515 A.D. - d. at Alba de Tormes on Monday, October 4, 1582 A.D.]; emphasis added).

Blessed Stephanie of Soncino, a Dominican Nun, was taken in spirit to Heaven one day where she saw among the Seraphim several persons she had known before their deaths.  Having asked why these souls were raised to such a high degree of glory, she was told that it was because of the conformity and perfect union of their will with God's Holy Will while they lived on earth.

Therefore, conformity and uniformity to the Divine Will shall raise one while on earth to the highest degree of Grace and on it is founded the highest perfection anyone can attain in this life.  Whoever practices entire and complete submission to God's Holy Will lays up inestimable treasures at every moment and amasses more riches in a few days than others are able to acquire in many years and with great labor and horrendously severe corporal penances.  This means that a person must remain indifferent to good fortune or to adversity by accepting all of it from the Hand of God without questioning; not to ask for things to be done as we would like them to be, but rather as God wishes.

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

1) Pray for the Graces necessary to develop the habit of uniting and conforming your will with God’s Holy Will.

2) Every morning when you arise for the day, perform this simple devotion with these very brief prayers of uniformity and conformity to God’s Holy Will:

Prayer of Uniformity and Conformity to God's Holy Will

Kiss the feet of your Crucifix and lay it upon your pillow,
after you have made your bed in the morning, saying:

I freely and joyfully pick up the Cross which Thou hast given me to carry today, O Merciful God. Permit me to carry it today for Thy Greater Honor and Glory so that by this, my Cross, Thy Most Holy Will may be done fully in me and by me. Let not prosperity lift me up nor adversity cast me down.

Uniformity and Conformity to the Divine Will

Most Holy Trinity please give me today each and everyone of those things which Thou, O Most Holy Trinity, has willed to give me today from all eternity.  Amen.


Chapter 5


The Third Means: Suffering

The Third Means of avoiding Purgatory is very easy. It consists in making a virtue of necessity, by bearing patiently what we cannot avoid, and all the more since suffering, borne patiently, becomes easy and light. Suffering, if accepted with calmness and in uniformity and conformity with God’s Holy Will, loses all its sting. If received badly, in the spirit of revolt and with repugnance, it is intensified a hundredfold, and becomes almost intolerable.

Everyone in this vale of tears has to face sorrows innumerable and infinite in variety. Crosses light and crosses heavy are the lot of us all. Strange as it may seem, these sorrows, which most of us would gladly dispense with, are in truth God’s greatest graces. They are the little share He offers us of His Passion and which He asks us to bear for love of Him and as penance for our sins.

Borne in this spirit they will lessen considerably our time in Purgatory and very possibly completely remove it, but with difference.  A period in  Purgatory of even 50 or 100 years, will in no way increase our merits in Heaven.  However, every pain and sorrow and disappointment in this life will lessen our suffering in Purgatory, and also bring us more happiness and glory in Heaven.

Consider these sufferings as “opportunities”.  Opportunities to help to purify your soul, but also opportunities to offer up to God all of your pain and sufferings, not only for you own sins, faults, and imperfections, but also for the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory.

How many Souls in Purgatory are “left” in Purgatory by God because, when they were yet in this life, they lacked Charity for the Poor Souls then in Purgatory.

How many missed opportunities did such souls have when yet in this life they could have had Masses offered for the happy repose, and hopefully release, of souls from Purgatory?  How many prayers did they say for the Poor Souls?

But because God is never outdone in generosity, those souls in Purgatory who, when yet in this life, had Masses offered for the Poor Souls, prayed for the Poor Souls, gained indulgences, especially plenary indulgences for the Poor Souls, will assuredly have a much shorter stay in Purgatory than those who totally ignored the Poor Souls in Purgatory!

The awful truth is this: the Souls who are left to “rot” (as the expression goes) in Purgatory, maybe for thousands of years?, are most probably those souls which had no mercy, no compassion, and no charity for the Poor Souls when they were yet in this life and who failed to say any prayers for them, or gain any indulgences for them, or have any Masses offered for them.

Therefore, the Justice of God, being fair, IF it happens that those who are left behind in this life after such a soul ends up in Purgatory after their death, have Masses offered for the newly deceased, or say prayers for them, or gain plenary indulgences for them, God will apply all such things, no matter what they are, to those other souls in Purgatory who, while yet in this life, did do such things for the Poor Souls - thereby leaving the inconsiderate, unmerciful, uncharitable souls who in this life totally ignored the Poor Souls - will now be totally ignored during their perhaps very long stay in Purgatory?

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

1) Take the sufferings God sends you and make of them “opportunities” to partially expiate your own sins, faults, and imperfections, and apply the merits of your sufferings to the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory who are too often ignored or forgotten in this busy world in which we live today for indeed, the world is too much with most of us!


Chapter 6


The Fourth Means:
Confession, Communion, Holy Mass

The Fourth Means by which we can lessen our time in Purgatory, or avoid it altogether, is by frequent Confession, Communion and daily assistance at Mass.

Confession applies to our souls the Precious Blood of Christ, wipes out our sins, gives us light to see their malice, fills us with horror of sin and, above all, it gives us strength to avoid it. In Holy Communion we receive the God of infinite mercy and love, the God of all sanctity, Who comes expressly to pardon our sins and by His Grace, helps us to sin no more.

Many, alas, never feel, never grasp the immense joys and consolation of Holy Communion.

The Mass is identical with the Sacrifice of Calvary, in its ontological and metaphysical essences, in its Infinite value, in the Graces it bestows. The Sacrifice of Calvary was sufficient to save all the world, even sufficient to save countless other sinful worlds, if they  existed, but not all men desire to partake of such sufficiency due to free will.

This is why the Roman Catholic Council of Trent teaches:  “With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation.  And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says:  Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many [Heb. 9:28]; and also of the words of our Lord in John:  I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me, because they are Thine [John 17:9]”  (“The Roman Catechism”, the Eucharist, #64).

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

Before going to Confession, going to Mass, and receiving Holy Communion, try to make sure the Liturgical Rite being used is Catholic, not the Protestant Memorial Supper Meal which is not a Catholic Rite of Mass because it does not have either the ontological or the metaphysical essence of the Mass Christ perfectly instituted and which, therefore, no one has the power to change.  Without these valid essences, there is no Mass, only a Protestant Meal on a Table.


CHAPTER 7

The Fifth Means: Asking God

The Fifth Means of avoiding Purgatory is asking God for this Grace. Some wise Catholics have a really great, if simple secret, which is well worth learning and using for our own benefit.

God promises us in the most solemn and deliberate way (and He cannot fail to do what He promises) that He will give us everything we ask in prayer, if it is good for us.

Now two conditions, especially, make prayer infallible, namely perseverance and faith. God cannot refuse such a prayer.

These Catholics we speak of pray expressly every day of their lives that God will free them from Purgatory. In every single prayer they say, in every Mass they hear, in every good act they perform, they have the express intention of asking God first of all and with all their hearts to deliver them from Purgatory and instead to take them straight to Heaven when they die.

How? That is for God to decide.

It is not easy to see how God can possibly refuse such constant, unceasing prayer. The fact that such prayers are said daily and many times in the day, for 20, 30, 50 years, shows that they are said with undoubting faith and magnificent perseverance.

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

1)  Practice the above devotion of asking God that you may totally avoid Purgatory and be taken straight to Heaven when you die.

2)  Every time you say the Hail Mary, say with all the fervor of your heart: “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen”


Chapter 8


A Sixth Means:
Resignation to Death

A Sixth Means of avoiding Purgatory is given to us by some great Saints who say that when a sick person becomes aware that he is dying and offers to God his death with perfect resignation, it is very likely that he will go straight to Heaven.

Death is the awful punishment of sin, and when we accept it, as of course we ought to do, with submission and resignation, our act pleases God so much that it may satisfy perfectly for all our sins.

The idea of Pope St. Pius X was the same when he granted a plenary indulgence at the hour of death to those who say at least after one Holy Communion the following prayer:

"Eternal Father, from this day forward, I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death it will please You to send me, with all its pains and sufferings."

It will be better still to say this prayer after every Holy Communion we receive.

It is for our best interest to accept God's will in everything that happens to us in life and in death.

Nothing can be easier when we remember that God always wishes what is best for us. If we do what God does not will, we shall surely suffer.

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

1) Recite this prayer after Holy Communion:

“Eternal Father, from this day forward, I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death it will please You to send me, with all its pains and sufferings.”

2) Here are several other prayers for your consideration:

Act of Accepting One's Own Death from the Hands of God

O Most Holy Trinity, with a sincere spirit of love of Thee and with a contrite heart, I accept calmly and gladly from Thy hands whatsoever manner of death it may please Thee to send me, together with all of its pain, anguish and suffering.  Amen.

Act of Perfect Resignation

O Lord, my God, from this moment I do accept from Thy hands, with a quiet and trusting heart, whatsoever death Thou shalt choose to send me, with all of its pains and griefs.  Help me to accept death itself patiently, in satisfaction for the punishments due to my sins.  Amen.


An Offering of the Most Precious Blood

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ in atonement for all of my sins, faults and imperfections and in supplication for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for the needs of the Catholic Church.  Amen.


Prayer for Final Perseverance and a Happy Death

O Supreme and Eternal God, I thank Thee for creating me, redeeming me by Jesus Christ, making me a member of the Mystical Body of Christ and having waited for my repentance after so many sins.

O Infinite bounty, I love Thee above all things, and I repent with all of my heart for ever having offended Thee.  I have confidence that Thou hast already pardoned me, but being always in danger of again falling into sin, I beg of Thee, for the love of Jesus Christ, to grant me holy perseverance until death.  Amen.

Help me, O Lord, for Thou knowest my weakness and suffer me not again to be separated from Thee.  May I die a thousand times rather than again have the misfortune of losing Thy grace by Mortal Sin.  Holy Mary, my Mother, obtain for me the grace of a holy and final perseverance and the Grace of a happy death in thy arms.  Amen.


Prayers to Our Lord Jesus Christ
To Obtain the Grace of a Good Death

O Jesus, Lord, God of goodness and Father of eternal mercies!  I humbly present myself before Thee with a contrite and humble heart, and I commend to Thee my last hour and what shall await me after it.

When my feet begin to become motionless, thus warning me that my end is near; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my hands begin to lose the sense of touch and, trembling, can no longer hold the Crucifix, letting it fall, to my grief, on my bed of pain; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my eyes, already blinded and making contortions for horror at death so near, fix in Thee their languid and dying looks; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my lips, cold and convulsive, pronounce for the last time Thy Holy and Adorable Name:  JESUS; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my face, pale and livid, causes pity and terror to those around me; and my hair, bathed with the sweat of death, becomes stiff, announcing that my end is near; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my ears, shut forever to the things of this world will hear the final sentence of my eternal destiny; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my imagination, troubled by horrible and frightful visions, becomes submersed in mortal anguish and when my spirit, troubled with the fear of Thy Justice at the remembrance of my iniquities, is struggling against the infernal enemy, the Devil, who will want to deprive me of hoping in Thy mercies and precipitate me in the horrors of despair; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my heart, weak and oppressed by the pains of sickness, shall be overtaken by the fear of death, fatigued and wearied by the efforts it has made against the enemies of my salvation; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When I will shed my last tears, a sign of my approaching death, O Lord! receive them as a sacrifice of expiation so that I may die a victim of penance; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my family, relatives and friends, standing around my bed, become terrified at seeing me in such a state and invoke Thy aid; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When, having lost the use of my senses, and the world is vanishing from my sight, I groan under the anguish of my last agony and the affliction of death; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When the last groans of my heart force my soul to leave my body, accept them, O Lord, as effects of a holy impatience to unite myself to Thee; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

When my departing soul goes forever from this world and leaves my body pale, cold, and lifeless, accept this as an act of homage which I render to Thy Divine Majesty; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

Finally, when my soul comes before Thee and beholds for the time the splendor of Thy Majesty, do not cast it away from Thy presence; but rather deign to receive it into the bosom of Thy mercy, that I may eternally sing Thy Praises; then, Merciful Jesus, have pity on me.

O God, Who has condemned all to die, but has hidden the day and the hour, grant that I, passing all the days of my life in justice and holiness, may be able to merit to leave this world in Thy holy love.  Through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ may I live and reign with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.


Chapter 9


The Seventh Means: Extreme Unction

The Seventh Means of avoiding Purgatory is Extreme Unction: God Himself has given us a Sacrament, the end of which is to take us directly to Heaven. This Sacrament is Extreme Unction, which according to Saint Thomas and Saint Albert was instituted especially to obtain for us the grace of a holy and happy death and to prepare us for immediate entrance into Heaven.

Many Catholics do not understand this most consoling doctrine, and because they do not understand it, they prepare themselves insufficiently for the reception of Extreme Unction and so lose many of its great graces.

Every Sacrament properly received produces its effect. Baptism cleanses us from Original Sin and any other actual sins that may have been committed by adults before receiving the Sacrament.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders gives a priest all his tremendous powers. Matrimony makes man and woman husband and wife. In the same way Extreme Unction, if devoutly received, prepares the dying Catholic for immediate entrance into Heaven, thus delivering him from Purgatory.

How foolish it is, therefore, to put off receiving this Sacrament until very late, when the dying person is too exhausted to receive it with full knowledge of what he is doing and with due fervor and devotion. The moment of death is the supreme moment in our lives. It is the moment which decides our fate for all Eternity.

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

Advise your family members that when you are dying to call a Priest to give you the Last Rites which include the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and not to wait until you are unconscious or unable to converse with the Priest.  The sooner a Priest is called, the better.


Chapter 10


Indulgences and Purgatory

God in His infinite mercy and compassion offers us a most wonderful and easy means for lessening or cancelling our Purgatory.

Fully aware of our weakness, and knowing, too, how fearful many are of penance, He opens wide the treasury of His Goodness and offers us most abundant Indulgences in exchange for some small act of devotion.

For one recitation of short ejaculatory prayers, He grants 100 or 300 or more days Indulgence. These we may say hundreds of times in the day. Those who say the little ejaculation: "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee" one hundred times a day gain 30,000 days Indulgence. Those who say it 1,000 times, as many do, gain 300,000 days Indulgence each day!

Nothing can be easier than to acquire the habit of saying this little prayer all day long, countless times each day.

Then, for each Hail Mary of the Rosary, one gains more than 2,000 days Indulgence!

Besides an immense number of Partial Indulgences, there are very many Plenary (full, complete) Indulgences which may be gained during life and at the hour of death.

These are specially given by the Church to enable us to avoid Purgatory.

These Indulgences can be applied to our own souls, and we shall thus directly make satisfaction for our sins. Or, we may apply them to the souls in Purgatory, who will see to it that we do not lose by our generosity.


Indulgences Come from the Spiritual Treasury

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

1)  Gain all the Plenary Indulgences possible, but at least partial indulgences, and apply all of them to the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory.

2)  Indulgences for the Act of Accepting One's Own Death from the Hands of God

The Faithful who at any moment of their lives, from a sincere spirit of love of God and with at least a contrite heart, express their intention of accepting calmly and gladly from the hands of God whatsoever manner of death it may please Him to send them, together with all of its pain, anguish and suffering, may gain the following Indulgences:  One Plenary Indulgence for themselves each time they recite it (not to exceed one per day).  In addition, One Plenary Indulgence for themselves at the hour of death if they have devoutly made this Act at least once during their lifetime under the following 3 conditions.

Requirements to gain the Plenary Indulgence:

1) be in the State of Grace (no mortal sins on soul;

2) make this act devoutly and, or recite a prayer which expresses this act; and, 3) have the intention of gaining these indulgences.

3) Prayerfully consider making the Heroic Act of Charity for the Poor Souls.

The Heroic Act of Charity
For the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory

O Holy and Adorable Trinity, desiring to co-operate in the deliverance of the Souls in Purgatory and to testify my devotion to the Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin, I cede and renounce on behalf of those Holy Souls all of the satisfactory part of my works, and all of the suffrages which may be given to me after my death, consigning them entirely into the hands of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, that she may apply them according to her good pleasure to those souls of the Faithful Departed whom she desires to deliver from their sufferings.  Deign, O my God, to accept and to bless this offering which I make to Thee at this moment.  Amen.

Indulgences for making the HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY

Those who make this Act may gain the following Plenary Indulgences:

A Priest or Prelate who makes this Act gains the indult of a Privileged Altar which means that he gains a Plenary Indulgence for the soul of the departed for whom he offers the Mass, no matter at which Altar Mass is offered.  The Mass does not need to be a Requiem Mass.  The Propers of the Mass may be the feast of the day, or even a votive Mass, so long as it is offered for the soul of the departed person.  In addition, such a Priest or Prelate may also gain 100 Plenary Indulgences applicable only to the Poor Souls in Purgatory each time he offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at any Altar.

Those who make this Act may also gain 100 Plenary Indulgences applicable only to the Poor Souls in Purgatory each time they:

1) worthily receive any Sacrament;
2) devoutly assist at a Catholic Rite of Mass.
Those who make this Act surrender, on behalf of the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory, all of the satisfaction made to God by their good works, including whatever satisfaction may be offered for them by others during their life and after their death.  They may temporarily suspend the Heroic Act if they wish to gain a Plenary Indulgence for themselves, either at that time or at the moment of their death, or both, and they simply renew the Act by reciting it again.

In order to gain these indulgences, one must be in the State of Sanctifying Grace, perform the work required, and have the intention of gaining the indulgences.


Chapter 11

The Third Orders

Among the extraordinary graces which Catholics gain by becoming members of a Third Order is a share in many Masses and prayers.

To mention, for instance, the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Pope Benedict XV, himself a Tertiary, said: "One of the easiest and most effectual ways of reaching a high degree of sanctity is by becoming a Dominican Tertiary"

The members of this order receive during life a share every day in thousands of Masses and prayers, and after death, when, alas, so many are neglected by their relatives, those who are members of this Third Order have a share daily in thousands of other Masses and prayers, this for as long as they remain in Purgatory!

Among the many beautiful characteristics of the Order of St. Dominic is its intense devotion and love for the Holy Souls, especially for the souls of its members, friends and benefactors. So true is this that a young Italian nobleman who consulted the Pope as to which religious order he would do well to enter received for answer: "My dear son, you may with much profit join any of the Orders, for in each you will find abundant means of becoming a Saint. After death, however, be a Dominican" The Holy Father meant to imply that the suffrages given after death to their deceased members are, indeed, most abundant in the Dominican Order.

The conditions of becoming a member of this order are so easy and the advantages so many that half the world would become Dominican Tertiaries did they know these advantages.


Chapter 12

Those Who Earnestly Help the Holy Souls
May Well Hope to Avoid Purgatory

The Holy Souls whom we relieve or release by our Masses and good works pray for us with such indescribable fervor that God cannot refuse to hear their prayers. One of the principal graces they ask for their friends is that these shall have little or no Purgatory. No one knows better than they the awful intensity of the Purgatorial flames; no one, therefore, can pray for us as they do. Let us remember that:

a) God thanks as done to Himself what we do to others. When we relieve or release any of the Holy Souls, we relieve or release, as it were, God Himself. How ready, therefore, will He not be to hear the prayers offered by these souls for us.

b) Our Blessed Lord lays down clearly the great law: "By that measure by which you measure, it will be measured to you again" In proportion, consequently, to our generosity towards the Holy Souls will God's mercy and generosity be towards us. Those who work heart and soul for the relief of the Holy Souls may thus well hope that their Purgatory will be entirely remitted, or notably lessened. On the other hand, those who neglect the Holy Souls may justly fear a severe judgment and an extremely long Purgatory.

For your practical resolutions, the following is suggested:

Saint James the Apostle gives another very effectual method of avoiding or lessening our stay in Purgatory. He says: "He who saves a soul, saves his own, and satisfies for a multitude of sins"

If someone were fortunate enough to save the life of a King's only son, the heir to his throne, from a horrible death, what reward might he not expect to receive from the grateful monarch? No King, however, could be as grateful to and anxious to reward the person who saved his son as God is grateful and ready to reward the person who saves one soul from Hell.

All of us may, in a thousand different ways,
save not one but many souls from Hell. For instance:

1) We can do so by praying earnestly for them. How often does not a mother save her son's soul by her fervent prayers. We can save souls by giving good advice and also by our good example. How many boys owe their sterling qualities to the wise counsels of a good Father or friend!

2) Masses are what is most desired by the Poor Souls.  Here is a true story about a soul in Purgatory requesting a Mass from a particular Catholic Priest.


A True Story About Purgatory
Involving One of Our Priests

This true story involves one of our Priests.
Here, quickly, is what happened a number of years ago.


 
There was a Lady who was a member of one of the Parishes where one of our Priests was the Pastor.  She called her Pastor to ask him if he could go to the local hospital to visit her Father and to say some prayers for him.

After getting the necessary details, the Pastor went to the hospital.  During this visit, the Grace of God touched the heart and Soul of the Father of this Lady and he asked to go to Confession and to receive the Last Rites of the Catholic Church from which he had been away for over 50 years!  Of course, the Pastor was more than happy to comply with the wishes of this very sick man.

A few days later, the Mother of the Pastor called him to tell him she had just become very ill and, with no one else to take care of her, she was hoping he could get permission from his Bishop to leave the Parish and to take care of her during her illness.  She lived about a thousand miles away.  The necessary arrangements were made, the Pastor left, and was temporarily replaced by another Priest.

Within several days after arriving at his Mother's home, the Pastor received an emergency call from the Lady to whose Father he had given the Last Rites only about a week earlier.

She explained to her Pastor that her Father had just died a few hours before that and that he was in desperate need of having her Pastor offer a Requiem Mass for him as soon as possible.

Why was she in such a great hurry?

In her great sorrow and deep grief, she explained to her Pastor, that her Father had just appeared to her!

She and her young Daughter were kneeling on the floor of their living room, saying the Rosary for the happy repose of his immortal Soul, when the floor beneath them opened up, as it were, and she could see her Father in a sea of huge flames! She could also hear him screaming from the horrible pain of the agony of the never-consuming fires of Purgatory!

Yes, her Father told her, he was in Purgatory, although he had been destined to go to Hell.

Her Father explained to his Daughter that because of the Last Rites which he had received from her Pastor, that he was able to escape going to Hell for all eternity!

He also told his grieving Daughter that although God had spared his Soul from going to Hell, there was no way he could go to Heaven without first going to Purgatory because between the time that the Pastor had left him in his hospital room, and the time he died, due to a bad habit, he had committed a few venial sins.

Now this Father begged his Daughter to call her Pastor immediately in order to request that he  immediately Offer a Catholic Requiem Mass for him.

He was very insistent that it had to be her Pastor who was the one to Offer this Catholic Requiem Mass because he knew her Pastor was a validly Ordained Catholic Priest and that her Pastor would use his Requiem Missal with which to Offer the much needed Requiem Mass for him.

He told his Daughter that if her Pastor would offer this one Mass for his Soul, before the conclusion of this one Catholic Requiem Mass, he would be released from Purgatory and go straight to Heaven!

Who could be so heartless, so lacking in true, Christian Charity, not to offer a Requiem Mass for such a suffering Soul, irregardless whether or not one would want to believe in the authenticity of this reported vision?

Of course, the Pastor, who had, about a week before that, administered the Last Rites to this elderly man in the hospital, now immediately after this frantic telephone call from his agonizing Parishioner, Offered the requested, and even required, Catholic Requiem Mass.

This Soul obviously wanted to get out of Purgatory as fast as possible and he knew what he needed to do in order both to get out of Purgatory and to get to Heaven super quick!  So this is why he insisted that his Daughter's Pastor Offer this Catholic Requiem Mass.
 

 
We all get much too busy at times with what are ultimately non-essential things and tend to forget about praying for the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory! Therefore, let this be a gentle reminder to you that YOU need to take action!

For example, ask yourself when was the last time YOU gave a Stipend to have the required  Catholic Requiem Mass Offered for the happy repose of the Soul of someone YOU know who is deceased, whether it might be a Parent, or Grandparent, or a relative, or even a close friend?

But don't limit yourself in the practice of the Theological Virtue of Charity!

Perhaps the Priest who Baptized you, or maybe the Bishop who Confirmed you, or perhaps some of the Priests at whose Masses you assisted years ago are deceased? Such Bishops and Priests need Masses, too!

So, if you would like to request us to offer the required Catholic Requiem Mass for such a Soul, please click on this link:  Catholic Requiem Mass and follow the directions.

Think of all of the terrible, horrible sufferings YOU will spare a Soul that is in Purgatory!

"Blessed are the Merciful:  for they shall obtain Mercy."
(Matthew 5:7)

Remember, IF you should have the misfortune to find yourself in Purgatory, would you not want someone in this life to request at least one Catholic Requiem Mass to be Offered for Your Soul in order to lessen the intensity of your sufferings and perhaps be sufficient to even release you from Purgatory and to go to Heaven much, much sooner?

According to one book on Purgatory, the intensity of the pain in Purgatory is so terrible that one hour in Purgatory seems like it is ten years in earth time!!!

Please understand that those who ignore helping the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory, most especially by not sending us one or more Stipends requesting that Catholic Requiem Masses be Offered for the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory, if, after they die, end up having the misfortune to find themselves in Purgatory, very quickly will discovered that then it will be their turn to be ignored, not just for a few hours or days or months, just like they did to those Souls they could have helped who were in Purgatory when they were yet in this life, but for the entire time they are supposed to be in Purgatory which, in some cases, could be hundreds of years, or maybe even longer - and, yes, one hour in Purgatory seems like ten years of earth time?!!!


Chapter 13

To Avoid Purgatory, Do as Follows

1. In every prayer you say, every Holy Mass at which you assist, every Holy Communion you receive, every good work you perform, have the express intention of imploring God to grant you a holy and happy death and that you will go straight to Heaven when you die. Surely God will hear a prayer said with such confidence and perseverance.

2. Always unite and conform your will with God’s will. It is in every sense the best for you. When you do or seek anything that is not God's will, you are sure to suffer. Say fervently, therefore, each time you recite the Our Father: "Thy will be done"

3. Accept all the sufferings, sorrows, pains and disappointments of life, be they great or small: ill health, loss of goods, the death of your dear ones, heat or cold, rain or sunshine, as coming from God. Bear them calmly and patiently for love of Him and in penance for your sins. Of course one may use all his efforts to ward off trouble and pain, but when one cannot avoid them let him bear them manfully.

Impatience and revolt make sufferings vastly greater and more difficult to bear.

4. Christ's life and actions are so many lessons for us to imitate.

The greatest act in His life was His Passion. As He had a Passion, so each one of us has a passion. Our passion consists in the sufferings and labors of every day. The penance God imposed on man for sin was to gain his bread in the sweat of his brow. Therefore, let us do our work, accept its disappointments and hardships, and bear our pains in union with the Passion of Christ. We gain more merit by a little pain than by years of pleasure.

5. Forgive all injuries and offences, for in proportion as we forgive others, God forgives us.

6. Avoid mortal sins and deliberate venial sins and break off all bad habits. Then it will be relatively easy to satisfy God's justice for sins of frailty. Above all, avoid sins against charity and against chastity, whether in thought, word or deed, for these sins [and the expiation for them] are the reason why many souls are detained in Purgatory for long years.  Practice little acts of supererogation.

7. If afraid of doing much, do many little things, acts of kindness and charity, give the alms you can, cultivate regularity of life, method in work, and punctuality in the performance of duty; don't grumble or complain when things are not as you please; don't censure and complain of others; never refuse to do a favor to others when it is possible.

These and suchlike little acts are a splendid penance, but the most perfect penance is to unite and conform you will with God’s Holy Will.

8. Do all in your power for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Pray for them constantly, get others to do so, have Requiem Masses offered for them, gain plenary indulgences and partial indulgences for them.

9. There is no way more powerful of obtaining from God a most holy and happy death than by weekly Confession, daily Mass and daily Communion.

10. A daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament, kneeling in the presence of the Eucharist Christ, with your eyes fixed on the Tabernacle, while you say a few prayers such as: "My Jesus, mercy." "My Jesus, have pity on me, a sinner" "My Jesus, I love You" "My Jesus, give me a happy death".  Always remember to make a Spiritual Communion.

Here is one prayer for a Spiritual Communion:


Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art really present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  I love Thee above all things and I desire to possess Thee within my soul.  Since I am unable now to receive Thee Sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace Thee as being already there, and I unite myself wholly to Thee; never, never permit me to be separated from Thee.  Amen.

Spiritual Communion

A Spiritual Communion is also a way to properly prepare oneself
to receive Holy Communion from the Mass Celebrant.
 


Chapter 14

How We Can Help the Holy Souls

1) Nothing helps the Poor Souls more than Masses.  So, when you are able to do so, have one or more Masses offered for the souls of your deceased family members - parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  Assist at Masses with the intention of offering up all of the benefits and Graces of the Mass for one or more Poor Souls, or just the Poor Souls in general without mentioning anyone.

2) Pray for the Poor Souls.

3) Gain indulgences, especially Plenary Indulgences for them.

4) Recite the Holy Rosary, make the Stations of the Cross, etc. for the Poor Souls.

It is said that Saint John Massias released more than a million souls from Purgatory primarily by saying the Rosary and offering the Rosary indulgences for them.

5) Brief prayers, called ejaculations, are quick and easy to say.  Offer up the indulgences attached to them to the Poor Souls.  Some people have the custom of saying 500 or 1,000 times each day the little 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 practice them and give immense relief to the Holy Souls.

Those who say the ejaculations 1,000 times a day would gain 300,000 days Indulgences. What a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will it not be at the end of a month, a year, or 5 years or 10 years or more?  But, if they do not say the ejaculations, what an immense number of graces and favors they shall have lost. It is quite possible and even easy to say these ejaculations 1,000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1,000 times, let him say them 500 or 200 times.

6)  "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, with all the Masses being said all over the world this day, for the Souls in Purgatory."

Our Lord showed Saint 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.

6) Prayerfully consider making The Heroic Act of Charity.  It consists in offering to God in favor of the Souls in Purgatory all the works of satisfaction we practice 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 the Laity from praying for any persons or other intentions they desire. We counsel everyone to make this act.

7) Give alms to help the Poor Souls.  Saint Martin gave half of his cloak to a poor beggar, only 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 belt or cincture which he prized dearly. Shortly afterwards, he entered a church and found his cincture encircling the waist of an image of Christ Crucified. He, too, had given his alms to Christ. We all give our alms to Christ.

Give whatever alms you can afford, but consider using the money first and foremost for Masses for the Poor Souls because Masses and many times much more powerful than alms to help the Poor Souls.

8) Offer up your pain and sufferings for the relief of the Poor Souls.

In doing these things, you will deliver countless souls from Purgatory, who will repay you many, many times over and you will also gain a much higher place in Heaven, too!!!


Appendices


Our Lady of Mount Carmel

On certain days, the Queen of Heaven, who is also Our Lady of Mount Carmel and  the Mother of Mercy, exercises her mercy in Purgatory.  These privileged days are:

1) every Saturday of the year;

2) every Feast Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  These Marian Feast Days become festivals in Purgatory.

We see in the revelations of the Saints, that on Saturday, the day specially consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, who is also the Mother of Mercy, descends into the dungeons of Purgatory to visit and to console her devoted children. Then, according to the pious belief of the Faithful, she delivers those souls who, having worn the Holy Brown Scapular, enjoy the Sabbatine privilege.



The Sabbatine Privilege

Two wonderful promises of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are available to those who have been enrolled in the Brown Scapular.

The great promise of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which she gave to Saint Simon Stock on July 16, 1251, is this:  “Whoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.”

Our Lady's second Scapular Promise, known as the Sabbatine Privilege (the word “Sabbatine” meaning “Saturday”), was given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Pope John XXII in the year 1322 and is as follows: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death, and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free.”

There are three conditions for obtaining  the Sabbatine Privilege:

1) the wearing of the Brown Scapular;
2) the practice of chastity according to one's state of life;
3) the daily recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Those who cannot read can abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays instead of reciting the Little Office. However, any Priest who has diocesan faculties (which includes most Priests) has the additional faculty to commute (change) the third requirement into another pious work: for example, the daily Rosary.

Because Catholics in this age today are beset by many numerous temptations every day, and because the making of the Catholic Traditional Sign of the Cross has been a powerful asset in helping a person to overcome the vanity of the world, the lust of the flesh, and the deceits of the devil in past centuries, in order to help Catholics of today to return to this holy devotion, our Ordinary has now granted that the “pious work” is now but making one Catholic Traditional Sign of the Cross once a day and for those who are physically unable to do so, to devoutly say the Holy Name “Jesus”, once a day.

Afterwards, the Mother of Mercy gives relief and consolation to other souls who had been particularly devout to her. A witness to this was the Venerable Sister Paula of Saint Teresa, a Dominican Religious of the Convent of Saint Catherine in Naples.

Being rapt in ecstasy one Saturday, and transported in spirit into Purgatory, she was quite surprised to find it transformed into a Paradise of delights, illuminated by a bright light, instead of the darkness which prevailed at other times.

While Sister Paula was wondering what could be the cause of this change, she saw the Queen of Heaven who was "surrounded by a multitude of angels, to whom she gave orders to liberate those souls who had honoured her in a special manner, and conduct them to Heaven.”

If such takes place on an ordinary Saturday, Catholics can scarcely doubt that the same happens on the Feast Days of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Mother of God.



The Mother of Mercy

Among all of her Feast Days, that of the glorious Assumption of Mary into Heaven seems to be the chief day of deliverance for the Poor Souls.

Saint Peter Damian tells us that each year, on the Feast Day of the Assumption, the Blessed Virgin Mary delivers several thousand souls from Purgatory.

The following account of a miraculous vision illustrates this subject:

“It is a pious custom,” he says, “which exists among the people of Rome, to visit the churches, carrying a candle in the hand during the night preceding the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady.”

Now it happened that a person of rank, being on her knees in the basilica of the Ara-Coeli in the Capitol, saw before her, prostrate in prayer, another lady, her god-Mother, who had died several months previous. Surprised, and not being able to believe her eyes, she wished to solve the mystery, and for this purpose placed herself near the door of the church.

As soon as she saw the lady go out, she took her by the hand and drew her aside. “Are you not,” she said to her, “my god-Mother, who held me at the baptismal font?”

“Yes,” replied the apparition immediately, “it is I.”

“And how comes it that I find you among the living, since you have been dead more than a year?”

“Until this day I have been plunged in a dreadful fire, on account of the many sins of vanity which I committed in my youth, but during this great solemnity, the Queen of Heaven descended into the midst of the Purgatorial flames and delivered me, together with a large number of other souls, that we might enter Heaven on the Feast of her Assumption. She exercises this great act of clemency each year, and, on this occasion alone, the number of those whom she has delivered equals the population of Rome.”

Seeing that her god-Daughter remained stupefied and seemed still to doubt the evidence of her sense, the apparition added, “In proof of the truth of my words, know that you yourself will die a year hence, on the feast of the Assumption; if you outlive that period, believe that this was an illusion.”

Saint Peter Damian concluded this account by saying that the young lady passed the year in the exercise of good works in order to prepare herself to appear before God. The year following, on the Vigil of the Assumption, she fell sick, and died on the Feast Day of Assumption  itself, as had been predicted by her god-Mother.

The Feast Day of the Assumption is, then, is among all of her other Feast Days, the one great day of Mary’s mercy towards the Poor, Suffering Souls in Purgatory.  The Mother of Mercy delights to introduce her children into the glory of Heaven on the anniversary of the day on which she herself first entered its blessed portals.  This pious belief, adds Father Louvet, is founded on a large number of approved private revelations.


The General Means of Spiritual Perfection

1.  The observance of the Ten Commandments of God.
2. The observance of the Precepts of the Church.
3. Uniting and conforming your will to the Most Holy Will of God.
4. Assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as frequently as possible.
5. Receiving the Sacraments, i.e. Penance and Holy Eucharist, as frequently as possible.
6. Meditation or Contemplation.
7. Practicing self-control, self-discipline and self-denial.
8. Being faithful in small things.
9. Establishing order and regularity.
10. Forming a habit of prayer.
11. Spiritual Reading.
12. Having frequent recourse to solitude.
13.  Implement a School of Spirituality.
14   Practice the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.

 


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Holy Rosary Web Page
Our Blessed Mother asks that all Catholics Pray her Traditional Rosary daily.
The Rosary will really make a Powerful difference in Your Life!

HOPE

 
“Rejoicing in Hope.  Patient in tribulation.  Instant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

“Now the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in Hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost”  (Romans 15:13).

“Charity is patient, is kind: Charity...beareth all things, Believeth all things, Hopeth all things, endureth all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 7).

“Now Faith is the substance of things to be Hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not” (Hebrews 11:1).


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