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St. Alphonsus on aid to the souls in Purgatory March 13, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, true, true leadership, Virtue.

From The Great Means of Salvation and Perfection, pp.21-22.  As always with St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori’s books, make sure to get the versions translated by Fr. Eugene Grimm, CSsR.

St. Alphonsus notes our duty to the souls in Purgatory, arguing persuasively that failure to pray for them is not just a failure to perform a good act, but an actual sin of negligence and lack of charity:alph red037

On the other hand, since it is certain, and even of faith [that is, it is de fide – the highest level of belief required of Catholics, that the souls in Purgatory benefit from our prayers and penances on their behalf, something protestants violently deny] , that by our suffrages, and chiefly by our prayers, as particularly recommended and practiced by the Church, we can relieve those Holy Souls in Purgatory, I do not know how to excuse that man from sin who neglects to give them some assistance, at least by his prayers. [St. Alphonsus, the Great Moral Doctor, feels it is a sin not to pray for the souls in Purgatory]  If a sense of duty will not persuade us to succor them, Misa_con_ngeleslet us think of the pleasure it will give Jesus Christ to see us endeavoring to deliver his beloved spouses from prison, in order that he may have them with Him in paradise. Let us think of the store of merit which we can lay up by practicing this great act of charity; let us think, too, that those souls are not ungrateful, and will never forget the great benefit we do them in relieving them of their pains, and in obtaining for them, by our prayers, anticipation of their entrance into glory; so that, when they are there they will never neglect to pray for us.

And if God promises mercy to him who practices mercy towards his neighbor – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt V:7)- he may reasonably expect to be saved who remembers to assist those souls so afflicted, and yet so dear to God…….RIBBONS OF LIVING WATER

……So we may expect, that if any of us ever obtains, by his prayers, the liberation of a soul from Purgatory, that soul will say to God: “Lord, suffer not him who has delivered me from my torments to be lost.”………God will not refuse the salvation of a Christian to the prayers of a soul which is his own spouse.  Moreover, St. Augustine says that God will cause those who in this life have most succored those holy souls, when they come to Purgatory themselves, to be most succored by others. I may here observe that, in practice, one of the best suffrages is to hear Mass for them, and during the Holy Sacrifice to recommend them to God by the merits and Passion of Jesus Christ. 

—————-End Quote————–

There is a list of intentions I offer every time I assist at Mass, and the Holy Souls are one of the most prominent items on that list.  It is also vital to always have the intention at Mass of offering our assistance thereat in penance for our sins and for our heartfelt and total conversion to God’s Will.

But it is almost certain all of us have some souls near to us who are languishing in Purgatory.  Others are unknown to us, distant forbears, perhaps, who have been in Purgatory for centuries of time, even though time does not exist in eternity, from our perspective, they have been there a very long time. So have a general intention for all friends, family members, friends of family members, all the poor holy souls suffering in Purgatory.  But it is very helpful to have a list in mind of our deceased relatives.

And, of course, having Masses offered for the repose of certain souls is the most salutary way to aid them in completing their period of purgation.  Most souls are freed from Purgatory during Mass.

And Lord, please touch the hearts of all  your servant bishops that they may cooperate with Grace as St. Alphonsus did.  Make them great Saints – we desperately need them!



1. Baseballmom - March 13, 2014

Beautiful reminder. Thanks.

2. TG - March 14, 2014

I’ve had a devotion to the praying for the Holy Souls since I read a book “Purgatory Explained by Father F.X. Schouppe, S.J. That book scared me and led to my total conversion. There are all kinds of purgatorial societies I enlisted by dear ones to. Plus I also enroll my both living and deceased family and friends to perpetual enrollments such as the Association of the Miraculous Medal. Thanks for writing about this. We should all pray the St. Gertuade prayer for the poor souls every day. We should pray for the dying. There’s book written by a nun in the 1800 or something. I can’t think of the name or author right now.

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