Offer Your Indulgences for the Poor Souls in Purgatory!

The Poor Souls in Purgatory suffer intensely, and they desperately need our help! One could quote many a Saint, Doctor of the Church, private revelation, and so on, confirming this fact; but the following consideration will suffice:

St. Teresa of Avila, while yet a pilgrim on earth, was overcome with such an intense longing for God that this constituted for her a veritable torture. Our Lord told her that this thirst for Himself – a manifestation of His intimate union with a soul – would be her Purgatory on earth, comparing her suffering and purification to gold in the furnace! (Perhaps you have read about the very “Purgatorial” sufferings of St. Catherine of Genoa?)

While it is true that Purgatory has varying types and degrees of punishments, the truth remains that there are many souls there who are literally burning with desire to see God face to Face, but who can do nothing to ease their pain. This is up to us. It is such an easy way to practice a very high form of charity! Also, the dividends are enormous… but that is secondary.

If Bl. John Massias released 1.2 million souls from Purgatory, we can at least hope to release a few souls! If St. John Vianney said that an aspiration (i.e. a short prayer, such as “My Jesus, mercy!”) often *saved* a soul, surely our prayers for the poor souls will not be in vain.

As you may know, the Church possesses the Keys to an Infinite Treasury of graces. Consider the Sacred Heart; consider the nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. “I am the Door,” said Jesus; yes, and He gave St. Peter (and, by extension, the Church) the Keys.

Indulgences, put simply, are the application of Christ’s merits to a soul; they are a means of repairing the damage done by sin; they remit some or all of the temporal punishment that one is owing to God. Indulgences can be partial or plenary. It is definitely worth doing some more reading on the subject if you are not too familiar with it.

Since praying more seriously for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, my life has changed for the better. If you want to please Christ; if you want to console His aching members; if you want to amass a treasury of merits for Heaven; if you want many holy souls (and Heavenly friends) praying for you, then say many indulgenced prayers, and offer them all to Our Lady. As the Queen of Purgatory, she will distribute our indulgences in the best way possible.

“Father Faber, in his beautiful book “All for Jesus,” enumerates six advantages which accrue to us, from our giving over our Indulgences to the
holy souls in Purgatory.

1. First, it considerably increases our merit, and consequently our claim to glory.
2. Next, it lays the soul that we release under a particular obligation to us, both because of the singular benefit it receives from entering all the sooner into glory, and also because of the tremendous sufferings from which it is delivered.
3. Moreover, it gives us the consolation to think that those, whom we have released from Purgatory, are doing for us in heaven the great work of loving, praising, and glorifying God on our behalf.
4. Again, it adds fresh joy to the Church triumphant, from the fact that to the heavenly hierarchy a new citizen is added who can sin no more, whilst to the Church militant it brings comfort from the gain she has made of a new advocate.
5. Besides, it secures a prompt application of our Indulgences, which, in the possible case that we were in no want of them for ourselves, might remain for many years buried in the treasury of the Church.
6. And last of all, it entitles us to a speedy discharge of our own debt in Purgatory; for, if temporal alms are satisfactory above most other good works, much more will spiritual alms be so. And if he who gives up anything for God receives a hundredfold, we may have a security that, to recompense us for our generosity, He will so deal with us, that we shall need little Purgatory, or He will inspire devout souls to
pray for us.”
(Taken from ‘Indulgences: Their Origin, Nature and Development’ by Alexius M. Lepicier)

“To become a saint it is sufficient to gain all the indulgences possible.”
– St. Alphonsus

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The Fruit of Good Intentions: A Vision Given to St. Mechtilde

‘A lady once consecrated her child to God, even before it was born, and desired that, if it proved to be a girl, she should be promised to God (in religion); but the child died at the age of two. Her soul appeared to St. Mechtilde as a most beautiful virgin, and said to her:

“All the gifts that I would have received from the Lord, if I had really taken the religious habit, have been given to me now by Him by an act of His great munificence, and I have in addition a special reward for having been consecrated to God from my mother’s womb.”

As this greatly surprised Mechtilde, the Lord said to her:

“Why be astonished? Are not baptised children saved through the faith of others? I accepted the very definite will of the mother for the deed, and in her child I reward all the good things she had desired for her.”
“But why, O Beloved,” asked the saint, “did You take that child so soon?”
“She was so attractive,” replied the Lord, “that it was inexpedient for her to remain on earth. Her father would, later on, when her elder sister died, have broken her mother’s vow, and would have kept her for the world.”
– ‘Divine Communications,’ Vol. I, p. 56 (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

St. Mechtilde, along with St. Gertrude, may well be called the Saint of desires. It was the near-constant practice of these two mystics to unite their prayers, their desires, their intentions, their works – in a word, everything that they did – to something greater than themselves; to something far greater than their own “little” hearts could offer. And God Himself took great delight in this; He encouraged it, and He often explicitly made known that He took the intention or desire for the act! What generosity! It is as if a peasant wished to honour his king, but, having nothing of his own to give, told the king that, if he were rich, he would make over his riches to the king.

To give one example: St. Mechtilde would unite her intentions before receiving the Adorable Eucharist, to all the loving intentions with which Our Lord has ever been received; for example, by Our Lady and the Saints. Likewise, we may unite our praise of Mary to the praise given her by the Archangel Gabriel, St. Elizabeth, and the Blessed in Heaven. There is great joy in “inventing” such ways to perfect our prayers, to honour God, and to grow in confidence.

God’s generosity is immeasurable; we should particularly take advantage of God’s goodness – so to speak – at Holy Mass. Fr. Garrigou Lagrange, O.P., reminds us that the bounty of God is infinite; we may ask of Him 5 things or 500 things. Be bold in your prayers; it is better to ask too much than too little. Don’t be too calculating; even God Himself does not know arithemtic, as Little Therese says.

Have no worries at all that you will be damned; if you fall, kiss the Adorable Face of your Divine Friend, renew your good resolutions, and move on. This was the practice of St. Therese. “There,” she would say; “all is forgiven.” Better still, imitate St. Mechtilde and thank God *here and how* for saving you; He cannot fail to reward such confidence (provided that we sincerely make an effort to love Him). Read St. Mechtilde and St. Gertrude if you doubt this.

‘Once when Mechtilde was praying for a certain person, she saw that person’s soul as [if] it were a little child within the Divine Heart. And Our Lord said:

“Let her come to Me thus in all her troubles, let her cling to My Divine Heart and seek comfort there, and I will never abandon her.”
– ‘Divine Communications,’ Vol. I, p. 125

Little St. Therese, pray for us.
St. Gertrude, pray for us.
St. Mechtilde, pray for us.
Sr. Gertrude Mary, pray for us.
Sr. Benigna Consolata, pray for us.

[The computer I am currently using has forced me to use a different format for posts… hopefully I will resolve this soon, so I can include pictures etc.]

If there were no Misery, there would be no Mercy

“The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy…”
– Psalm 119:64

The following words of consolation are taken from ‘Divine Communications,’ Vol. 1, by Rev. Auguste Saudreau, the master of mysticism:

‘Once,’ relates Mother Mary of the Divine Heart, ‘having committed some sins of impatience, I asked Our Lord to forgive me, and I said to him: “Why do you still let me have these faults, seeing that I do nothing but offend You by them?” He answered that when I fell into these faults and asked His pardon with humility and contrition, this act of humiliation glorified Him more than the faults offended Him, as they were committed more out of human frailty than deliberately, and they gave Him an opportunity to show His mercy and to wash the soul in His Precious Blood, and that thereby His precious Blood became daily more fruitful.’

Another time, in order to reassure her, Our Lord made this comparison: “Suppose a wife was carrying a precious vase that belonged to her husband, and let it drop out of weakness or inattention, would not the husband feel more compassion when he thought of his wife’s weakness and the distress she would feel at her carelessness, than irritation at the loss of the vase?”

But in order that our contrition may make up for our negligences to this extent, it must be inspired by pure love; if we are only grieved at our own continual wretchedness, this too human sorrow will not have the same effect. (p. 113)

[Unfortunately I was too busy to post last Sunday; but henceforth I will post every Sunday, unless unforeseen circumstances prevent me from doing so… On another note, I am enjoying myself in the monastery! The Risen Lord is literally under the same roof… Lastly, for those who have contacted me by e-mail, I apologise for not replying; I am having problems accessing my account from another country. It could take a few weeks to sort out.]

All prayers are appreciated! I gratefully offer daily Mass for every reader of ‘Littlest Souls.’

Pax Christi!