It is interesting that it would take me so long to touch the subject of the souls in purgatory… however briefly, I must do so now. I needn’t explain to you what purgatory is, it is a place of chastisement and purification to prepare a soul for the Beatific Vision. On earth our actions can have an affect on our future… we can work off our debts and work to gain spiritual treasures.
However, when one is in Purgatory he can not help himself… he has lost the opportunity to pay off his debt on earth, and can only wait for the purification process to end. I will not go into the nature of purgatory, or rather the nature of the purification one receives there, but I will say that it is an acutely disconcerting experience for he who suffers it. By virtue of the Mystical Body of Christ, however, we can work off their debt for them, to some extent. Just as the saints help us from the glories of heaven, so too can we help those suffering in purgatory from our opportune situation on the earth. Can you think of a kinder act than to release a soul from the pains of Purgatory into the utter happiness of heaven?
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.”
This is the prayer of St. Gertrude… Jesus Himself promised that each time this prayer was recited 1000 souls would be released into Heaven. What a wonderful feeling, to save 1000 suffering people with a single prayer! I have gotten into the habit of reciting this prayer during Mass, before meals, and other times simply because I am so grateful to God for this opportunity. Should our love of people through Christ stop at those still living on earth?
Absolutely not… we can love the souls in Purgatory also because they belong to our family of faith. It is our vocation to love others as God loves them and to help the Mystical Body when we can, just as It helps us. So, let us offer to the Almighty the gifts of good works and prayers to be given to these dear souls in reparation for their sins.