+PAX If God allowed me to pass on only three things to others they would be the Morning Offering, the Divine Mercy and devotion to the Holy Souls, in thatMessage 1 of 228 , Nov 1, 2008View Source+PAX
If God allowed me to pass on only three things to others they would
be the Morning Offering, the Divine Mercy and devotion to the Holy
Souls, in that order. That explains my shameless re-run of this All
Souls' Day post.
First, a great quote:
"We must not make purgatory into a flaming concentration camp on the
brink of hell, or even a hell for a short time. It is
blasphemous to think of it as a place where a petty God exacts the
last pound or ounce of flesh.... St. Catherine of Genoa, a
mystic of the 15th century, wrote that the fire of purgatory
is God's love burning the soul so that, at last, the soul
is wholly aflame. It is the pain of wanting to be made totally
worthy of One who is seen as infinitely lovable, the pain of desire
for union that is now
absolutely assured, but not yet fully tasted" (Leonard Foley,
O.F.M., Believing in Jesus)
I beg the indulgence [now that is neither a Freudian slip nor a
pun!!] of all our readers to who belong to traditions which do not
believe in prayers for the dead. Given today's feast and the
content, this is going to be a very Catholic message, but we have
many Catholics in our midst, some of whom could well need to hear it.
For Catholics in union with Rome, Purgatory is a defined dogma, a
reality we cannot deny. How it happens, how long the purification
and cleansing lasts, these matters are less clear, but we have not,
as a Church abandoned the concept of Purgatory, nor could we. It is
de Fide, a permanent fixture of Catholic faith. It could be a flash
of brilliance in a twinkling, as is fashionable today to hope, but
it could be otherwise, too. We simply do not know and
our wishes in the matter, however charitable, are not normative!
We also believe that in the cleansing, however brief or long, the
soul has lost all ability to help itself. Help can come only from
our prayers and those of the Church on earth for the Church
Suffering, the Holy Souls. Hence, ANY assistance given them is held
by them in literally eternal gratitude. Their prayers of
intercession, I KNOW, from my own personal experience over years,
are very, very powerful with God. I have never had them refuse me
any good thing. Never.
I often think that their gratitude is even greater these days, when
so many Catholics have abandoned the practice of praying for them
or offering good works or indulgences for them. If you have a heart
for the underdog and neglected, for Heaven's sake (literally!!) take
another look at praying for the Holy Souls who await their final
entry to Heaven. Prayer for them is a work of mercy you can do any
day, at any time. Corporal works of mercy sometimes may be out of
our means or scope, but spiritual ones, never so!
So yes, this day there is a special urgency, but every year, every
day, stop forgetting the Holy Souls if you have been doing so in
the past. They are great friends to have and they need us so badly.
We can make the daily intention to gain all the indulgences we can
that day and offer them for the Souls. What a great good is offered
us to undertake every day.
Now, though you were all forewarned, this part is REALLY Roman
Catholic. A plenary (full) indulgence, applicable only to the Holy
Souls, may be gained by those who under the usual conditions and
having gone to Confession and Communion, visit a cemetery and say
there some prayer of any kind for the Holy Souls. This indulgence
may be gained on the feast itself and daily for 7 days thereafter.
Go for it!
If you have never tried the practice of saying a prayer for those
buried in every cemetery you pass, do so. I confess that I didn't
do that for most of my life, but I do now and it has become a
practice very dear to me. I got my first good example of it when
riding with the late Fr. Ernest Schultz of Saint Leo Abbey, himself
a convert. He used to bless the graves in cemeteries as we drove
past. I never forgot his example, but I am ashamed to say how long
it took for me to follow it regularly.
Last, but not least, a simple prayer, said to have been given to
our own St. Gertrude the Great, OSB! The revelation apparently is
contested by some as unverifiable, but I am willing to hope on the
side of mercy. Jesus is reputed to have told her that 1,000 souls
would be released for each repetition of this prayer, hence it is
sometimes known as the 1,000 Souls Prayer. It is one of my
Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious Blood of Your Divine
Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world
today for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
It is short, sweet and easily memorized!
Love and prayers,
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+PAX Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Br. Tobias, OSB, for his monastic community, his family and for all who mourn him. Please prayMessage 228 of 228 , Jan 19, 2009View Source+PAX
Prayers, please, for the happy death and eternal rest of Br. Tobias, OSB, for his monastic community, his family and for all who mourn him.
Please pray that the US Congress and the new administration will respect all human life, from conception till natural death.
Lord, help us all as You know and will. God's will is best. All is mercy and
grace. God is never absent, praise Him! Thanks so much. JL
January 20, May 21, September 20
Chapter 4: What Are the Instruments of Good Works
To fear the Day of Judgment.
To be in dread of hell.
To desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit.
To keep death daily before one's eyes.
To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life.
To know for certain that God sees one everywhere.
When evil thoughts come into one's heart, to dash them against Christ
And to manifest them to one's spiritual mother.
To guard one's tongue against evil and depraved speech.
Not to love much talking.
Not to speak useless words or words that move to laughter.
Not to love much or boisterous laughter.
To listen willingly to holy reading.
To devote oneself frequently to prayer.
Daily in one's prayers, with tears and sighs, to confess one's past
sins to God, and to amend them for the future.
Not to fulfil the desires of the flesh; to hate one's own will.
To obey in all things the commands of the Abbess, even though she
herself (which God forbid) should act otherwise, mindful of the
Lord's precept, "Do what they say, but not what they do."
Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be
holy, that one may be truly so called.
The first four on today's list are not very palatable to many modern
ears, but, like all of the Instruments of Good Works, they are
important, they are interrelated and each one helps one fulfill the
others. Arguably, one could say that the focus of the first four is
the fifth: "To keep constant guard over the actions of one's life."
We have largely "gotten over" dreading Judgment. We went from a
paralyzing, Jansenistic, scrupulous fear of it right into a smug
assurance that everyone passes the test with honors. Well, there's got to
be truth hidden between those two false extremes somewhere!
I know, beyond any doubt that I shall be both delighted and very,
very embarrassed and ashamed to meet God face to face, to find that
my faith has been confirmed. Ah, joy at the confirmation, but oh,
crushing shame at the simultaneous confirmation of how very far short
of Him I have fallen, through choice, through laziness, through
negligence, through sin.
One can dread that realization without thinking that God is some
intrinsically mean sort, just waiting for one to trip up, hunting for the
slightest loophole to nail us. Quite the opposite is the truth! God's awesome
Divine Mercy seeks every possible way to bring us to Himself and
His rewards of bliss. Every possible way!!
Let us admit that we have been all too good at tripping
on our own: God has no need to duplicate services there! Fearing
judgment is part and parcel of knowing who we are. We have all
sinned. And I know I have failed faith, hope and love, again and again
and again, usually with no more excuse than selfishness.
We keep goals in sight while training. Forget the Olympic gold and
you will quite likely forget why you are training so hard. For us,
between now and the "Olympics" of death, it is only the training that
matters. It is also good to recall that, as Benedictines, our goal is
NOT simply to "pass", but to stand on the podium.
That's not because we are any better, it is only because
we ourselves have added great holiness to our goal. Why else embrace
the Rule? Keeping "death daily before our eyes," we are ALWAYS at
the Olympics, thanks to our vow of conversion of manner of life, we
are daily in training, every minute, in fact.
All of these four lead to the fifth, keeping guard over one's
actions, or mindfulness. Here is a great connection between the
Benedictine way and the Buddhist way.
The Buddhists have a saying that monastics can preach a sermon just
by the way they walk. That's what the care of mindfulness can do!
Just wait till we get to the 12th degree of humility, which says that
the monastics' humility will shine through their outward appearance,
whether walking or sitting or working or praying.
Love and prayers,
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