Monday, October 22, 2007
A Week Off
Sorrows of Mary
1. "I will grant peace to their families."
2. "They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries."
3. "I will console them in their pains and will accompany them in their work."
4. "I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls."
5. "I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives."
6. "I will visibly help them at the moment of their death-- they will see the face of their mother."
7. "I have obtained this grace from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy."
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Blessed Incense for the Dead
Another Suggestion to Shorten Your Own Purgatory
Thursday, October 18, 2007
How to Shorten Your Own Purgatory
In the end Jesus will triumph over all temptation. Put in simplest terms, growing in virtue will better prepare the soul for eternity. The way I like to think of it, the more virtue the less purgatory I can hope for! Not to mention the universal need to be closer to God, who is Perfect Virtue. We all have vices. We have the duty to combat them with the opposite virtue. Have a problem with pride? Pray and offer sacrifices for humility! I came across this handy chart on Jeff Cavin's blog:
"Combat the vices in your life by praying for and developing virtue. The list below will help you as a guide:"
What we cannot DO for ourselves, we can PRAY for. I cannot battle myself the vices that my soul are enslaved to. I am a poor, weak sinner. What I CAN do is PRAY for the opposite virute and commend to God what I myself am incapable of. Amen+
The Agony in the Garden of Olives
Monday, October 15, 2007
Interview on Purgatory VIII - Final
Answer: Up to now, I have never encountered the case of a suicide who was lost — this doesn't mean, of course, that that doesn't exist — but often, the souls tell me that the most guilty were those around them, when they were negligent or spread calumny.
At this moment, I asked Maria if the souls regretted having committed suicide. She answered yes. Often, suicide is due to illness. These souls do regret their act because, as they see things in the light of God, they understand instantly all the graces that were in store for them during the time remaining for them to live — and they do see this time which remained for them, sometimes months or years —– and they also see all the souls they could have helped by offering the rest of their lives to God. In the end, what hurts them most is to see the good that they could have done but didn't, because they shortened their lives. But when the cause is illness, the Lord takes this into account, of course.
Question: Are there priests in Purgatory?
Answer: Yes, there are many. They didn't promote respect for the Eucharist. So Faith overall suffers. They are often in Purgatory for having neglected prayer — which has diminished their Faith. But there are also many who have gone straight to Heaven.
Question: What would you say, then, to a priest who really wants to live according to the Heart of God?
Answer: I would advise him to pray much to the Holy Spirit — and to say his Rosary every day.
Question: Have you been visited by souls who, on earth, practiced perversions? I am thinking, for example, about the sexual domain.
Answer: Yes, they are not lost, but they have much to suffer to be purified. For example: homosexuality. This truly comes from the Evil One.
Question: What advice would you give, then, to all those people afflicted by homosexuality, with this tendency in them?
Answer: Pray a lot for the strength to turn away from it. They should above all pray to the Archangel Michael; he is the great fighter par excellence against the Evil One.
Question: What are the attitudes of heart which can lead us to losing our soul for good, I mean going to Hell?
Answer: It is when the soul does not want to go towards God, when it actually says: "I do not want."
Question: Jesus said that it was difficult for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Have you seen such cases?
Answer: Yes! But if they do good works, works of charity, if they practice love, they can get there, just like the poor.
Question: What do you think of the practices of spiritism? For example: calling up the spirits of the departed, Ouija-boards, etc.?
Answer: It is not good. It is always evil. It is the devil who makes the table move.
Question: What is the difference between what you are living with the souls of the departed, and the practices of spiritism?
Answer: We are not supposed to summon up the souls — I don't try to get them to come. In spiritism, people try to call them forth.
This distinction is quite clear, and we must take it very seriously. If people were only to believe one thing I have said, I would like it to be this: those who engage in spiritism (moving tables and other practices of that kind) think that they are summoning up the souls of the dead. In reality, if there is some response to their call, it is always and without exception Satan and his angels who are answering. People who practice spiritism (diviners, witches, etc.) are doing something very dangerous for themselves and for those who come to them for advice. They are up to their necks in lies. It is forbidden, strictly forbidden, to call up the dead. As for me, I have never done so, l do not do so, and I never will do so. When something appears to me, God alone permits it.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Priests & Martyrs
"Poles may have only one master – a German. Two masters cannot exist side by side, and this is why all members of the Polish intelligentsia must be killed." –Adolf Hitler (1940)
Born January 13, 1891, at Guadalupe Zacatecas, Mexico. From his childhood, high spirits and happiness were the most outstanding characteristics of his personality. The loving and devoted son of a mining engineer and a pious and charitable mother, Miguel had a special affinity for the working classes which he retained all his life. At 20, he became a Jesuit novice and shortly thereafter was exiled because of the Mexican revolution. He traveled to the United States, Spain, Nicaragua and Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925. Father Pro suffered greatly from a severe stomach problem and when, after several operations his health did not improve, in 1926 his superiors allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the religious persecution in the country.
The churches were closed and priests were in hiding. Father Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor of Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many disguises to carry out his secret ministry. In all that he did, he remained filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King, and obedient to his superiors.
Falsely accused in a bombing attempt on the President-elect, Pro became a wanted man. He was betrayed to the police and sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.
On the day of his death, Father Pro forgave his executioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold, and died proclaiming "Long Live Christ the King!" (source)
St. Clement is the third successor of St. Peter who ruled the Church from c. 92 to 102 and is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. Pope St. Clement wrote a letter to the Corinthians, which is one of the most ancient and precious documents surviving from early Christian times; it shows his profoundly religious spirit, wholly imbued with the mystery of the things of God and love of Christian unity.
The most famous of Irish monks, St. Columban was born around 525-530. Well educated and desiring to be a "pilgrim of God," Columban traveled to France and founded several well-disciplined monasteries as centers of religion and culture. Because of difficulties he decided to return to Ireland. A shipwreck directed him towards Rome and to the founding of his final monastery, at Bobbio in Italy. The aged Abbot died on this date in 615. His feast was moved from November 21. It is celebrated on November 23 by Benedictines and Ireland.
O Holy Martyrs - Ora Pro Nobis!
Interview on Purgatory VII
Answer: Yes, but man also has the grace to resist him, to push him away. So, if man does not want anything to do with him, the devil can do nothing.
Question: Maria, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a saint here on earth?
Answer: Be very humble. We must not be occupied with ourselves. Pride is evil's greatest trap.
Question: Maria, please tell us: can one ask the Lord to do one's Purgatory on earth, in order not to have to do it after death?
Answer: Yes. I knew a priest and a young woman who were both ill with tuberculosis in the hospital. The young woman said to the priest: "Let's ask the Lord to be able to suffer on earth as much as necessary in order to go straight to Heaven." The priest replied that he himself didn't dare to ask for this. Nearby was a religious sister who had overheard the whole conversation. The young woman died first, the priest died later, and he appeared to the sister, saying: "If only I had had the same trust as the young woman, I too would have gone straight to Heaven."
Question: Maria, are there different degrees in Purgatory?
Answer: Yes, there is a great difference of degree of moral suffering. Each soul has a unique suffering, particular to it; there are many degrees.
Question: Maria, are the sufferings in Purgatory more painful than the most painful sufferings on earth?
Answer: Yes, but in a symbolic way. It hurts more in the soul.
Question: Maria, you know, many people today believe in reincarnation. What do the souls tell you concerning this subject?
Answer: The souls say that God gives only one life.
Question: But some would say that just one life is not enough to know God and to have the time to be really converted, that it isn't fair. What would you reply to them?
Answer: All people have an interior Faith (conscience); even if they do not practice, they recognize God implicitly. Someone who does not believe — that doesn't exist! Each soul has a conscience to recognize good and evil, a conscience given by God, an inner knowledge — in different degrees, of course, but each one knows how to discern good from evil. With this conscience, each soul can become blessed.
Excellent Blog Post
Another Gem of a Holy Card
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Interview on Purgatory VI
Answer: Because at the moment of death, the time to earn merits is over. For as long as we are living on earth, we can repair the evil we have done. The souls in Purgatory envy us of this opportunity. Even the angels are jealous of us, for we have the possibility of growing for as long as we are on earth.
Question: But often, the suffering in our lives leads us to rebellion, and we have great difficulty in accepting and living it. How can we live suffering so that it bears fruit?
Answer: Sufferings are the greatest proof of the love of God, and if we offer them well, they can win many souls.
Question: But how can we welcome suffering as a gift, and not as a punishment (as we often do), as a chastisement?
Answer: We must give everything to Our Lady. She is the one who knows best who needs such and such an offering in order to be saved.
We should not always consider sufferings as a punishment. It can be accepted as expiation not only for ourselves, but above all for others. Christ was innocence itself, and He suffered the most for the expiation of our sins. Only in Heaven will we know all that we have obtained by suffering with patience in union with the sufferings of Christ.
Question: Maria, do the souls in Purgatory rebel when faced with their suffering?
Answer: No! They want to purify themselves; they understand that it is necessary.
Question: What is the role of contrition or repentance at the moment of death?
Answer: Contrition is very important. The sins are forgiven, in any case, but there remains the consequences of sins. If one wishes to receive a full indulgence at the moment of death — that means going straight to Heaven — the soul has to be free from all attachment.
Question: Maria, I would like to ask you: at the moment of death, is there a time in which the soul still has the chance to turn towards God, even after a sinful life, before entering into eternity — a time, if you like, between apparent death and real death?
Answer: Yes, yes! The Lord gives several minutes to each one in order to regret his sins and to decide: I accept, or I do not accept to go and see God. Then we see a film of our lives.
I knew a man who believed in the Church's teachings, but not in eternal life. One day, he fell gravely ill and slid into a coma. He saw himself in a room with a board on which all his deeds were written, the good and the bad. Then the board disappeared as well as the walls of the room, and it was infinitely beautiful. Then he woke up from his coma, and decided to change his life.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Interview on Purgatory V
Answer: The most efficient means is the Mass.
Question: Why the Mass?
Answer: Because it is Christ who offers Himself out of love for us. It is the offering of Christ Himself to God, the most beautiful offering. The priest is God's representative, but it is God Himself who offers Himself and sacrifices Himself for us. The efficacy of the Mass for the deceased is even greater for those who attached great value to the Mass during their lives. If they attended Mass and prayed with all their hearts, if they went to Mass on weekdays — according to their time available — they drew great profit from Masses celebrated for them. Here, too, one harvests what one has sown.
A soul in Purgatory sees very clearly on the day of his funeral if we really pray for him, or if we have simply made an act of presence to show we were there. The poor souls say that tears are no good for them: only prayer! Often they complain that people go to a funeral without addressing a single prayer to God, while shedding many tears; this is useless!
Topic: Earthly sufferings
There is another means, very powerful, to help the poor souls: the offering of our sufferings, our penances, such as fasting, renunciations, etc., — and of course, involuntary suffering, like illness or mourning.
Question: Maria, you have been invited many times to suffer for the poor souls, in order to deliver them. Can you tell us what you have experienced and undergone during these times?
Answer: The first time, a soul asked me if I wouldn't mind suffering for three hours in my body for her, and that afterwards I could resume working. I said to myself: "If it will all be over after three hours, I could accept it." During those three hours, I had the impression that it lasted three days, it was so painful. But at the end, I looked at my watch, and I saw that it had only lasted three hours. The soul told me that by accepting that suffering with love for three hours, I had saved her twenty years of Purgatory!
Question: Yes, but why did you suffer for only three hours to avoid twenty years of Purgatory? What did your sufferings have that was worth more?
Answer: It is because suffering on earth does not have the same value. On earth, when we suffer, we can grow in love, we can gain merits, which is not the case with the sufferings in Purgatory. In Purgatory, the sufferings serve only to purify us from sin. On earth, we have all the graces. We have the freedom to choose.
All of this is so encouraging because it gives an extraordinary meaning to our sufferings. The suffering which is offered, voluntary or involuntary, even the smallest sacrifices we can make, suffering or sickness, mourning, disappointments... if we live them with patience, if we welcome them in humility, these sufferings can have an unheard-of power to help souls.
The best thing to do, Maria tells us, is to unite our sufferings to those of Jesus, by placing them in the hands of Mary. She is the one who knows best how to use them, since often we ourselves do not know the most urgent needs around us. All this, of course, Mary will give back to us at the hour of our death. You see, these sufferings offered will be our most precious treasures in the other world. We must remind each other of this and encourage each other when we suffer.
Let me add something important: the souls in Purgatory can no longer do anything for themselves; they are totally helpless. If the living do not pray for them; they are totally abandoned. Therefore, it is very important to realize the immense power, the incredible power that each one of us has in our hands to relieve these souls who suffer.
We wouldn't think twice about helping a child who has fallen in front of us from a tree, and who had broken his bones. Of course, we would do everything for him! So, in the same way, we should take great care of these souls who expect everything from us, attentive to the slightest offering, hopeful for the least of our prayers, to relieve them from their pain. And it might be the finest way to practice charity.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Interview on Purgatory IV
Question: Maria, why does one go to Purgatory? What are the sins which most lead to Purgatory?
Answer: Sins against charity, against the love of one's neighbor, hardness of heart, hostility, slandering, calumny — all these things.
Here, Maria gives us an example which really struck her which I would like to share with you. She had been asked to find out if a woman and a man were in Purgatory. To the great astonishment of those who had asked, the woman was already in Heaven and the man was in Purgatory. In fact, this woman had died while undergoing an abortion, whereas the man often went to church and apparently led a worthy, devout life.
So Maria searched for more information, thinking she'd been mistaken — but no, it was true. They had died at practically the same moment, but the woman had experienced deep repentance, and was very humble, whereas the man criticized everyone; he was always complaining and saying bad things about others. This is why his Purgatory lasted so long. And Maria concluded: "We mustn't judge on appearances."
Other sins against charity are all our rejections of certain people we do not like, our refusals to make peace, our refusals to forgive, and all the bitterness we store inside.
Maria also illustrated this point with another example which gave us food for thought. It's the story of a woman she knew very well. This lady died and was in Purgatory, in the most terrible Purgatory, with the most atrocious sufferings. And when she came to see Maria, she explained why.
She had had a female friend. Between them rose a great enmity, caused by herself. She had maintained this enmity for years and years, even though her friend had many times asked for peace, for reconciliation. But each time, she refused. When she fell gravely ill, she continued to close her heart, to refuse the reconciliation offered by her friend, right up to her deathbed.
Quesion: Maria, please tell us: who are those who have the greatest chance of going straight to Heaven?
Answer: Those who have a good heart towards everyone. Love covers a multitude of sins.
Question: What are the means which we can take on earth to avoid Purgatory and go straight to Heaven?
Answer: We must do a great deal for the souls in Purgatory, for they help us in their turn. We must have much humility. This is the greatest weapon against evil, against the Evil One. Humility drives evil away.
More in subsequent posts!
What's in a name?
Mocha Chip Oatmeal Raisin
Our Lady of the Phillipines
Interview on Purgatory III
Answer: Yes. No soul would want to come back from Purgatory to the earth. They have knowledge which is infinitely beyond ours. They just could not decide to return to the darkness of the earth.
Here we see the difference from the suffering that we know on earth. In Purgatory, even if the pain of the soul is just terrible, there is the certitude of living forever with God. It's an unshakeable certitude. The joy is greater than the pain. There is nothing on earth which could make them want to live here again, where one is never sure of anything.
Question: Maria, can you tell us now if it is God who sends a soul into Purgatory, or if the soul itself decides to go there?
Answer: It is the soul itself which wants to go to Purgatory, in order to be pure before going to Heaven.
Question: Maria, at the moment of death, does one see God in full light or in an obscure manner?
Answer: In a manner still obscure, but, all the same, in such brightness that this is enough to cause great longing.
Question: Maria, can you tell us what the role of Our Lady is with the souls in Purgatory?
Answer: She comes often to console them and to tell them they have done many good things. She encourages them.
Question: Are there any days in particular on which She delivers them?
Answer: Above all, Christmas Day, All Saints Day, Good Friday, the Feast of the Assumption, and the Ascension of Jesus.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Purgatory Interview II
Answer: Yes, it was in 1940. One night, around 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, I heard someone coming into my bedroom... I saw a complete stranger. He walked back and forth slowly. I said to him severely: "How did you get in here? Go away!" But he continued to walk impatiently around the bedroom as if he hadn't heard. So I asked him again: "What are you doing?" But as he still didn't answer, I jumped out of bed and tried to grab him, but I grasped only air. There was nothing there. So I went back to bed, but again I heard him pacing back and forth.
I wondered how I could see this man, but I couldn't grab him. I rose again to hold onto him and to stop him from walking around; again, I grasped only emptiness. Puzzled, I went back to bed. He didn't come back, but I couldn't get back to sleep. The next day, after Mass, I went to see my spiritual director and told him everything. He told me that if this should happen again, I shouldn't ask, "Who are you?" but "What do you want from me?"
The following night, the man returned. I asked him: "What do you want from me?" He replied: "Have three Masses celebrated for me, and I will be delivered."
So I understood that it was a soul in Purgatory. My spiritual director confirmed this. He also advised me never to turn away the poor souls, but to accept with generosity whatever they asked of me.
Question: And afterwards, the visits continued?
Answer: Yes. For several years, there were only three or four souls, above all in November. Afterwards, there were more.
Question: What do these souls ask of you?
Answer: In most cases, they ask to have Masses celebrated and that one be present at these Masses. They ask to have the Rosary said and also that one make the Stations of the Cross.
(source: The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory, published by Queenship Publishing Co)
More to come in subsequent posts!