Saturday, June 21, 2008

Daily Prayers for the Church Suffering

We ship a free copy of this booklet with every order placed because we would like to spread devotion to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. (It is also available for purchase, $1.85 for single copies, and discounted for large quantities.)

Below are a couple excerpts from the introduction followed by the prayer for Sunday. The booklet had prayers for every day of the week.



"It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." 2 Macc. 12:46

"There shall not enter into it anything defiled…" Apoc. 21:27

Praying for the souls of the dead is a tradition which goes back to our Jewish heritage. Judas Machebeus collected silver to send to Jerusalem to be offered for the sins of those fallen in battle. He understood that nothing unclean or defiled could stand before God and therefore provided for the offerings for the souls of those who had died so that they could see God. ...

Our Catholic heritage is no less rich in the theology of praying for the souls of our beloved departed.

In the gospel of st. Matthew, in the parable of the unjust servant, our Lord tells us that our debts must be paid. ("And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt" - Mt. 18:34).

St. Paul says that we are saved only through fire (1 Cor. 3:15). St. Peter likens our trials to gold being tested by fire. (1 Peter 1:7).

The councils of Lyons II (1274 A.D.), Florence (1439 A.D.) and Trent (1563 A.D.) reaffirmed earlier traditions in the Church of the existence and purpose of purgatory – that place where those who have departed in the love of God but before complete satisfaction has been made for their sins may be purged in order that they can approach God unblemished. Further, the custom and tradition of the Church Militant – the faithful left here on earth – of praying, sacrificing, and giving alms on behalf of those souls in purgatory to make satisfaction for their sins and thus to shorten their time of purging, was reaffirmed by these councils also.

Purgatory is truly a grace of God because it is the nature of God which demands that those approaching be unblemished, and thus without purgatory, many would never reach Heaven. ...

These holy souls in purgatory, the Church Suffering, can not help themselves. The Church Triumphant, those who have entered into their Heavenly reward; the Church Suffering; and the Church Militant – these three are in reality one Communion of Saints. As the Church Militant we ask the Church Triumphant to intercede for us before God; we offer our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving to aid the Church Suffering. At every Mass during the Eucharistic Prayer, we pray for the souls of our departed loved ones, those gone before us "marked with the sign of faith."

With all this Catholic tradition, however, it seems that prayers for the holy souls in purgatory have waned as a private devotion in recent years. Funeral notices for Catholics rarely plead for Masses to be said for the departed. The Truth that God is all-merciful has been distorted to exclude the notion of purgatory – even though this exclusion distorts the true nature of God and the true nature of God’s mercy.



LORD God Almighty, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy Divine Son Jesus shed in the garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and amongst them all, especially that soul which is most destitute of aid; and bring it to Thy glory, there to praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary...

Psalm 129, "DE PROFUNDIS"

Out of the depths I have cried unto Thee, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.

Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.

If Thou, O Lord, shalt mark our iniquities: O Lord, who can abide it?

For with Thee there is mercy, and by reason of Thy Law I have waited on Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word; my soul hath hoped in the Lord.

From the morning watch even until night let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plentiful redemption.

And He shall redeem Israel from all her iniquities.

Eternal rest give to them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Let us Pray.

O GOD, the Creator and Redeemer of all Thy faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through pious supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired; Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

May they rest in peace. Amen.

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