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“We Do Not Sufficiently Remember Our Dead” August 3, 2016

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

So said Saint Francis de Sales, and if he cause to make that comment in the 16th century, one can only imagine what he would say today, with mass instant canonizations and Purgatory treated like a bad relic from a benighted past.  Nevertheless, Purgatory remains, whether the modern world wants to believe so or not, and it is one of our most solemn duties to pray for the souls undergoing expiation for the temporal debt of sin therein.

Even more, St. Francis argues quite convincingly that in praying for the souls in Purgatory, all the other corporal and spiritual works of mercy are satisfied.

The excerpt below comes from Consoling Thoughts from St. Francis de Sales:

We do not remember sufficiently our dead, our faithful departed; and the proof of it is, we do not speak enough of them.  We turn way from that discourse as from a sad subject, we leave the dead to bury their dead; their memory perishes from us with the sound of their mourning bell; we forget that the friendship which ends, even with death, is never true.  Holy Scripture assuring us that true love is stronger than death.

St. Francis was accustomed to say that in this single work of mercy, the thirteen others assembled.

Is it not, he said, in some manner, to visit the sick, to obtain by our prayers the relief of the poor suffering souls in Purgatory?

Is it not to give drink to those who thirst after the vision of God, and who are enveloped in burning flames, to share with them the dew of our prayers?

Is it not to feed the hungry, to aid in their deliverance by the means which faith suggests?

Is it not truly to ransom prisoners?

Is it not to clothe the naked, to procure for them a garment of light, a raiment of glory?

Is it not an admirable degree of hospitality, to procure their admission into the heavenly Jerusalem, and to make them fellow citizens with the Saints and domestics of God?

Is it not a greater service to place souls in Heaven, than to bury bodies in the earth?

As to spirituals, is it not a work whose merit may be compared to that of consoling the weak, correcting the wayward, instructing the ignorant, forgiving offenses, enduring injuries?  And what consolation, however great, that can be given to the afflicted of this world, is comparable with that which is brought by our prayers, to those poor souls who have such bitter need of them?

————End Quote————

Our modern age so prizes efficiency and time-saving techniques, one would think praying for the souls in Purgatory would be a wildly popular practice!  It’s a veritable one stop shop for all your works of  mercy!

Seriously, though, I’d never considered that aspect before; it is quite a beautiful thing.  We are called to practice all the works of mercy as often as we can – pray for the poor holy souls in Purgatory, and that objective is satisfied!  Offer works of penance for them as well, of course.  In turn, they will intercede for us both from Purgatory, and from the perfect bliss of the Beatific Vision.

I’m sorry I probably won’t have time to post again today.  This  is one of those days when life must intervene.  I’ll see if I can find something short and quick in the 15 minutes I have left.


1. Brian Springer - August 3, 2016

This is quite uplifting! I never knew that praying for the dead satisfies all our Christian duties. What an honor it is to pray for the souls in Purgatory.

2. Baseballmom - August 3, 2016

It certainly is. And the instant canonization of souls is so disturbing… When told “Aunt Mary is in a better place” I am forced to respond, “let’s pray for that.”

Tim - August 4, 2016

My response in that situation is……”How do you know?”

3. MFG - August 4, 2016

This is wonderful to hear – we don’t do enough to remember the poor souls, but when we do, it benefits us in ways we don’t consider as St. Francis points out. One of my favorite time of year is November where we can make the plenary indulgence for the poor souls for 8 days.

If I had lots of money I would build a chapel and staff it with priests who would offer Masses only for the poor souls each day.

4. Daze Inde - August 4, 2016

Thanks for the great reminder. Too little is said of the poor souls, as if Purgatory did not exist. Doesn’t feel like I’m doing much, having Masses said for Poor Souls, then a much needed reminder like this. Lord have mercy on us and on the poor souls in Purgatory.

5. Mike - August 4, 2016

Saying an apostles creed, an our father, hail Mary, glory be and the prayer “Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord……….” obtains a plenary indulgence for a soul in Purgatory. It takes about a minute and a half to say these prayers. We could do it while cleaning or driving.

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