November is the month when we remember the souls in Purgatory. We ought to pray for them. Our Catholic Faith teaches us that we can aid the Souls in Purgatory by our prayers. The Souls in Purgatory are unable to pray for themselves but they can pray for us. How grateful they will be to us who have helped them by our prayers.
The Souls that have been helped by our prayers will pray for us and help us in our every need. When we die they will come to us and plead on our behalf to Jesus.
Padre Pio had a great devotion to the Souls in Purgatory. In fact, they would often say thank you to him as they made their journey to Heaven.
A nun went to visit an older man who was dying. The nun said to him that she would pray for him in death. The man was taken back by the sister’s offer and said why do I need prayers after death. She responded that we all do. The man said that everyone around him seemed to care about his money. He was touched by the sister’s offer of prayer, and her love moved him to convert to the Catholic Faith on his death bed. We know this man as John Wayne.
What is Purgatory? Purgatory is the fire of God’s Love. Heaven is hotter than Hell. When Dante went to the center of Hell he found the devil trapped in Ice. Scripture tells us that our God is a Consuming Fire. The Highest Angels in Heaven are the Seraphim, which mean the Fiery One. These angels are so close to God that they are On Fire. Is it not true in our life that if we are close to God we are on Fire?
In Purgatory the Fire of God’s Love burns away our selfishness, our attachment to sin. The fire of God makes our hearts able to fully love God and Neighbor. Pope Benedict says, “Purgatory strips off from one person what is unbearable and from another the inability to bear certain things, so that in each of them a pure heart is revealed, and that we can see that we all belong together in one enormous symphony of being.”
St Catherine of Genoa had many visions of Purgatory. She says that if we were to die and suddenly looked into the eyes of Jesus we would out of love throw ourselves into Purgatory. How pure we must be to look into the Eyes of Jesus.
Maybe it is the looking into the Eyes of Jesus that burns away our Imperfections. The Book of Revelation says that “Nothing Impure will enter into Heaven.” If I were to die today I pray that by God’s Mercy I would enter into Heaven. But I do not believe that I am without any imperfections. And that I must go thru the Fire of God’s Love in order to look into the Eyes of the Beloved.
All this make me remember an event in my life. The diocese sent all the priest a form to fill out to plan for their own funeral. I received the form and I wrote the words that St Monica said to Augustine when they were talking about where she was going to be buried. Monica said to Augustine, “I don’t care where you put these bones of mine just remember me at the altar of God.”
I wrote these words of St Monica to Augustine on the form that the diocese sent us. I got the letter back from the diocese, “very nice but we need more details about how you want your funeral to look, be more specific.”
During this month of November remember your love one who have died.
Blessing and Prayers