What would you want for Christmas if you were in Purgatory? HEAVEN! To see the Face of Jesus gazing on you with love for all eternity!
The suffering souls in Purgatory love, praise and Thank God. They are saved! But there greatest suffering is worse than any pain, illness, or loss on earth. They have seen the face of God! Now they know the goodness of God and want to be with him but are unable to. So the holy souls loss of the sight of God is their GREATEST suffering. This is Purgatory.
Souls undergo purification necessary for heaven...they never rest. They beg for our prayers and suffrages (that is, intercessions.) We often hear, "Oh the soul of this or that person is certainly in Heaven." How often does this false charity cause souls to suffer and delay their entry into Heaven? We do not know the state of the soul at death. Only God knows this. And if the soul is in Heaven PRAISE GOD! No prayer is ever wasted. God applies our prayers to other souls. It is our obligation to pray for our dead especially our family.
Let us be an advocate by our prayers and turn their pain into everlasting glory.
Insert the St. Gertrude prayer or your favorite Holy Souls prayer in your Christmas cards.
Sprinkle Holy Water on the graves of your loved ones and those around them when visiting the cemetery over the holidays. Teach the children. Parents form kind and merciful hearts in your children and grandchildren. You will have planted the seed of reverence and in due time this will manifest itself and will assure you of their suffrages. KNEEL AND PRAY!
Light blessed candles. The burning candle is a sign of our prayer, a bright silent intercessor for the Holy Souls.
Give the Holy Souls the Joy of a Holy Mass. Offer your Mass and indulgences for the Holy Souls on Christmas Day. Arrange to have Masses celebrated for the Holy Souls. The Mass is the most powerful form of prayer on earth we can do. It is the quickest way to move them on to their Heavenly home!
Place a special ornament on your Christmas Tree or wreath in honor of your deceased loved ones.
Give Alms this Christmas Season. Especially to the Missions! Priests in Mission countries have no income. Your $5 donation for a Mass for your loved ones helps them buy bread and wine for the Eucharist. Many times the people are unable to hear Mass for a whole year because the priest is unable to afford to buy gas to put into the jeep to get up to the mountains.
Remember, the Holy Souls are our departed loved one, friends, consecrated priests and religious. Our religious often times get neglected. Pray for the souls closest to Heaven, the most abandoned souls, most likely nonbelievers. And pray for the souls most like you!
Can we avoid Purgatory? You bet! Do all you can to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory. God has given us the grace to avoid Purgatory. God does not want us to go to Purgatory. God burns for love of us and the Holy Souls. He loves us more than anybody else and more than anybody can! "Our very nature is fire, created in the fire of His love. He is the fire, and we are the sparks," in the words of St. Catherine of Siena. Jesus wants to set our hearts on fire for the Holy Souls. The Immaculate Heart of Mary burns for the love of the Holy Souls.
Work while it is still day! Make good use of your time and perform the work and mission that has been given to you by God so you may weave golden threads of good works, of sacraments received, of charity given, of Sundays kept holy into the tissue of your lives!
And what will the Holy Souls do for us? There is no ungrateful soul in Heaven.
It is impossible to describe their unbounded gratitude to those who help them. Filled with an immense desire to repay the favors done them, they pray for us with a fervor so great, so intense, so constant that God refuses them nothing. The first act a soul does when it is released from Purgatory is to prostrate before the throne of God and pray unceasingly for those who have released now and until they are safely home in Heaven. By their prayers, they shield their friends from dangers, and protect them from the evils that threaten them. They will NEVER cease these prayers until you are safely home in Heaven. They become your sincerest, dearest and best friends for all eternity.
Just think of the extraordinary power and privilege God has given us. The power to release and relieve the Holy Souls. How AWESOME! Nothing gives God more glory, nothing gives Him more honor to His Holy Name, nothing rejoices His Heart more than charity for the Holy Souls. To open Heaven to the Holy Souls increases the numbers who praise and glorify God. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Of all prayers, the most meritorious, the most acceptable to God are prayers for the dead, because they employ all the works of charity both corporal and spiritual.
Give the Holy Souls Jesus so they too may have the gift of adoring our Lord and all His glory this Christmas. Make their desire your desire. Rest assured, they are ready and waiting to help you.
Susan Tassone is the author of 3 books, THE WAY OF THE CROSS FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY, PRAYING IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD FOR THE HOLY SOULS and THE ROSARY FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY.