Praying for our Departed....

The following paragraph was taken from a recent Sunday Mass leaflet.. 'A danger of too much prayer for the dead is that we do not let them go.  As time goes on, we allow them their new life with God.  Not that we don't miss them nor mourn them but we move forward in our own lives with loss and with faith.' 

This is not correct to say there is a danger of too much prayer for the dead.... we can and must pray for our dead, especially for the Holy Souls in Purgatory because not everyone goes to Heaven straight away except those who have been already purged of their sins in this earthly life through their suffering and saintly lives.  Many of the Saints prayed fervently for the Holy Souls and we cannot pray enough for them who need prayers so much.  They cannot help themselves but they depend on our prayers, offerings of Holy Mass and our sacrifices.  Of course we must not hold on to grief for too long but we must pray for our dear departed.  The souls we pray for will in turn help us in this life.  We remember them especially in this month of November. 

St. Faustina and the Holy Souls

Whenever possible, Sr. Faustina would pray for the release of the Holy Souls from purgatory. During her annual retreat on Jan. 10, 1934, she records Jesus’ desire that she use her time in saying “short indulgenced prayers for the souls in purgatory” (Diary, 274). Then, Sr. Faustina records that right before Midnight Mass in 1934, “I offered the indulgences for the souls in purgatory” (Diary, 346).

Further, on the occasion of her perpetual vows as a religious on May 1, 1933, Sr. Faustina begged Jesus “to free all souls from purgatory” (Diary, 240). Also, Jesus Himself asked her to devote the eighth day of The Divine Mercy Novena to praying for the release of the souls in purgatory. (See Diary, 1226.)

Inspired by St. Faustina, we can remember the Holy Souls through indulgenced prayers, The Divine Mercy Novena, and most especially at Holy Mass. Remembering these souls when in Eucharistic Adoration and when praying the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary are also powerful means to aiding them.

In the case of indulgences, they make up for penances omitted or poorly done. Indulgences arise from the mercy of Jesus. With them, we can satisfy our debts to God. Christ has given His Church a treasury of indulgences that we, the faithful, can draw from for the Holy Souls. These include litanies, short aspirations, and reading the Bible. The Holy Mass is our most efficacious means to helping the Holy Souls.

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