Saturday, October 31, 2009

November 2nd: All Souls' Day

Purgatory is something most of us don't think of. Maybe not even want to think of. When you really think about it it's overwhelming. The mere number of them there. Now that we are still here we have the opportunity to do something and maybe relieve some suffering or if God grants it release some from this immense suffering. After all it is not unlikely that we will have to spend time there as well. Wouldn't it be wonderful if then someone would pray for us as well?


From the group Catholicism on Facebook:

"Remember the Poor Souls!"

"We can never understand too clearly that every alms, small or great, which we give to the poor we give to God.

"He accepts it and rewards it as given to Himself. Therefore, all we do for the Holy Souls, God accepts as done to Himself. It is as if we had relieved or released Him from Purgatory. What a thought! How He will repay us!

"II. As there is no hunger, no thirst, no poverty, no need, no pain, no suffering to compare with what the Souls in Purgatory endure, so there is no alms more deserving, none more pleasing to God, none more meritorious for us than the alms, the prayers, the Masses we give to the Holy Souls.

"III. It is very possible that some of our own nearest and dearest ones are still suffering the excruciating pains of Purgatory and calling on us piteously for help and relief.

"Is it not dreadful that we are so hardened as not to think more about them, that we are so cruel as to deliberately forget them!

"For the dear Christ's sake, let us do all, but all, we can for them.

CHAPTER 1 : WHAT IS PURGATORY?

"It is a prison of fire in which nearly all [saved] souls are plunged after death and in which they suffer the intensest pain.

"Here is what the great Doctors of the Church tell us of Purgatory:

"So grievous is their suffering that one minute in this awful fire seems like a century.

"St. Thomas Aquinas, the Prince of Theologians, says that the fire of Purgatory is equal in intensity to the fire of Hell, and that the slightest contact with it is more dreadful than all the possible sufferings of this Earth!

"St. Augustine, the greatest of the Holy Doctors, teaches that to be purified of their faults previous to being admitted to Heaven, souls after death are subjected to a fire more penetrating, more dreadful than anything we can see, or feel, or conceive in this life.

"Though this fire is destined to cleanse and purify the soul, " adds the Holy Doctor, "still it is more acute than anything we could possibly endure on Earth. "

"St. Cyril of Alexandria does not hesitate to say that "it would be preferable to suffer all the possible torments of Earth until the Judgment day than to pass one day in Purgatory. "

"Another great Saint says: "Our fire, in comparison with the fire of Purgatory, is as a refreshing breeze."

"The other holy writers speak in identical terms of this awful fire.

HOW COMES IT THAT THE PAINS OF PURGATORY ARE SO SEVERE?

"1. The fire we see on Earth was made by the goodness of God for our comfort and well-being Still, when used as a torment, it is the most dreadful one we can imagine.

"2. The fire of Purgatory, on the contrary, was made by the Justice of God to punish and purify us and is, therefore, incomparably more severe.

"3. Our fire, at most, burns this gross body of ours, made of clay; whereas, the fire of Purgatory acts on the spiritual soul, which is unspeakably more sensitive to pain.

"4. The more intense our fire is, the more speedily it destroys its victim, who therefore ceases to suffer; whereas, the fire of Purgatory inflicts the keenest, most violent pain, but never kills the soul nor lessens its sensibility.

"5. Unsurpassingly severe as is the fire of Purgatory, the pain of loss or separation from God, which the souls also suffer in Purgatory, is far more severe. The soul separated from the body craves with all the intensity of its spiritual nature for God. It is consumed with an intense desire to fly to Him. Yet it is held back. No words can describe the anguish of this unsatisfied craving.

"What madness, therefore, it is for intelligent beings to neglect taking every possible precaution to avoid such a dreadful fate.

"It is puerile to say that it cannot be so, that we cannot understand it, that it is better not to think or speak of it. The fact remains always the same -- whether we believe it, or whether we do not -- that the pains of Purgatory are beyond everything we can imagine or conceive. These are the words of St. Augustine.

THE HOLY SOULS WILL LESSEN OUR PURGATORY

"Another great grace that they obtain for their helpers is a short and easy Purgatory, or possibly its complete remission!

"Saint John Massias, the Dominican lay brother, had a wonderful devotion to the Souls in Purgatory. He obtained by his prayers (chiefly by the recitation of the Rosary) the liberation of one million four hundred
thousand souls!

"In return, they obtained for him the most abundant and extraordinary graces and came at the hour of his death to help and console him and accompany him to Heaven.

"This fact is so certain that it was inserted by the Church in the bull of his beatification.

"The learned Cardinal Baronius recounts a similar incident.

"He was himself called to assist a dying gentleman. Suddenly, a host of blessed spirits appeared in the chamber of death, consoled the dying man and chased away the devils who sought, by a last desperate effort, to compass his ruin.

"When asked who they were, they made answer that they were 8,000 souls whom he had released from Purgatory by his prayers and good works. They were sent by God, so they said, to take him to Heaven without his passing one moment in Purgatory.

"St. Gertrude was fiercely tempted by the devil when she came to die. The evil spirit reserves a dangerous and subtle temptation for our last moments. As he could find no other ruse sufficiently clever with which to assail the Saint, he thought to disturb her beautiful peace of soul by suggesting that she would surely remain long years in the awful fires of Purgatory since, he reminded her, she had long ago made over all her suffrages to other souls. But Our Blessed Lord, not content with sending His Angels and the thousands of souls she had released to assist her, came Himself in person to drive away Satan and comfort His dear Saint. He told St. Gertrude that in exchange for all she had done for the Holy Souls, He would take her straight to Heaven and would multiply a hundredfold all her merits.

"Blessed Henry Suso, of the Dominican Order, made a compact with a fellow religious to the effect that, when one of the two died, the survivor would offer two Masses each week for his soul, and other prayers as well.

"It so fell out that his companion died first, and Blessed Henry commenced immediately to offer the promised Masses. These he continued to say for a long time. At last, quite sure that the soul of his saintly friend had reached Heaven, he ceased offering the Masses.

"Great was his sorrow and consternation when the soul of the dead brother appeared to him suffering intensely and chiding him for not celebrating the promised Masses. Blessed Henry replied with deep regret that he had not continued the Masses, believing that his friend must be enjoying the Beatific Vision but he added that he had ever remembered him in prayer.

"O dear Brother Henry, please give me the Masses, for it is the Precious Blood of Jesus that I most need!" cried out the suffering soul. Blessed Henry began anew and, with redoubled fervor, offered Masses and prayers for his friend until he received absolute certitude of his delivery.

"Then it was his turn to receive graces and blessings of all kinds from the dear brother he had relieved, and very many times more than he could have expected.

ALMS HELP THE HOLY SOULS

"St. 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 to give 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 cincture or "girdle" which he prized dearly. Shortly after, 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.

RESOLUTION

a) Let us give all the alms we can afford;
b) Let us have said all the Masses in our power;
c) Let us hear as many more as is possible;
d) Let us offer all our pains and sufferings for the relief of the Holy Souls.

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

THE CURE OF A CANCER

"D. Joana de Menezes thus tells of her cure: She was suffering severely from a cancerous growth in the leg and was plunged in grief.

"Remembering what she had heard of the power of the Souls in Purgatory, she resolved to place all her confidence in them and had nine Masses offered for them. She promised, moreover, to publish news of her cure if it were granted.

"Gradually the swelling went down, and the tumor and cancer disappeared." ~ Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, "Read Me or Rue It"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Devotion of a child

This needs no comment :)

(Click on image for a larger version)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Storia di S Gemma Galgani a "Miracoli"

A Youtube movie in Italian from Italian TV (i think) posted: October 22nd 2009. It has some nice footage of various places of Santa Gemma's life. Wishing i could speak Italian :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Beauty of Catholic Tradition

A movie i came across today:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Madre, tu mirada renueva nuestra esperanza"

Since i lived there:

October the 3rd was the 35th edition of the annual pilgrimage to Luján, Argentina. It is in honor of Nuestra Señora de Luján or Our Lady of Luján the patroness of Argentina. And that it lives among the people became clear by the number of people walking the 60Km (about) 40 miles. This year was a record with 1.300.000 people! The next day at Luján the pilgrimage came to a conclusion at the basilic of Luján, which is the church with the main altar of the Blessed Virgin in the country, with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Bergoglio. The theme this year was: "Madre, tu mirada renueva nuestra esperanza" which means: Mother, your gaze (look) renews our hope.

Nuestra Señora de Luján ruega por nosotros pecatores!