The Thirty-Eighth Clarion:
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
Matthew 16: 24-25
Continuing our short series on "Heroic Acts of Charity" in WE NEED A HERO!, we pick up where we left off in realizing that it is important to understand that in this Heroic Act we surrender the satisfactory value of our works, but not the corresponding merits which have a corresponding degree of glory in Heaven. The satisfactory value we are free to keep or surrender for the Holy Souls, but the merit is strictly personal, thereby our own in God's sight.
To those who might, at this point, be a bit squeamish about such a Heroic Act of Charity, fearing that one will arrive in Eternal Life with nothing to offer God, there are several consoling points to be made. One is taken from the life of Saint Gertrude the Great whose feast we celebrated this past Monday. She had made a complete donation of all her works of satisfaction in favor of the faithful departed, without reserving anything for herself. Being at the point of death, she saw on the one hand the number of her sins, and on the other hand, she remembered that she had fully donated all her works of satisfaction for the expiation of the sins of others. This sorely afflicted her, for the devil tempted her to consider that she would now, upon entering eternity, suffer the more. It was then that Our Lord appeared to her and said: "Be assured, My daughter, your charity towards the departed will be no detriment to you. Know that the generous donation you have made of all your works to the holy souls has been singularly pleasing to Me; and to give you a proof thereof, I declare to you that all the pains you would have had to endure in the other life are now remitted; moreover, in recompense for your generous charity, I will so enhance the value of the merits of your works as to give you a great increase of glory in Heaven." These were Jesus' Own words to be one of His saints. Why, then, should we be afraid?
Another great saint - Saint Theresa the Little Flower did the same thing, granting her satisfactory value to the souls in Purgatory. Please pray about what you should do. Search your heart carefully, and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and counsel you. Then, read the following Act of Heroic Charity, and discern if this is what God is asking of you. Knowing that we are in the end times of the two-thousand years period, that we are facing a darkness in our world both spiritually and, eventually, physically, we need to do all that we can to be prepared. Each sacrifice strengthens us in our faith, and moves us forward in our abandonment to the Will of God. And we must not forget that every Holy Soul whom we assist toward the Beatific Vision will spend their eternity interceding for us, working tirelessly for us that we, too, will be with them forever in Heaven in giving praise and adoration to the Triune Divinity.
This is also a wonderful preparation for Advent - just over a week away, and the coming feast of Christmas, where we can remold a true remodeling of our poor hearts into hearts like those of Jesus and Mary. By such a worthwhile prepartion, we can be assured that on Christmas Day our very hearts and souls will be worthy "stables" or "tabernacles," radiant with peace, joy and the grace of God dwelling in us.
The following prayer was imparted by Our Lady to the Hidden Flower in the early nineties. It is a formula for offering a Heroic Act of Charity.
"O Holy and Adorable Trinity, desiring to cooperate in the deliverance of the souls in Purgatory, and to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, I cede and renounce in behalf of those holy souls all the satisfactory part of my works, and all the suffrages which may be given to me after my death, consigning them entirely into the hands of the most Blessed Virgin, that she may apply them according to her good pleasure to those souls of the faithful departed whom she desires to deliver from their sufferings. Deign, O my God, to accept and bless this offering, which I make to Thee at this moment. Amen."
This Heroic Act of Charity has been approved by Popes Benedict XIII, Pius VI and Pius XI. It includes the following indulgences and privileges:
1. To those priests who have made this act the indult of a privileged altar every day in the year.
2. The simple faithful can gain a plenary indulgence, applicable to the souls in Purgatory only, each time they receive Holy Communion, provided they visit a church or chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is present, and there pray for the intention of the Holy Father.
3. They may apply to the holy souls all those indulgences which are not otherwise applicable by virtue of concession, and which have been granted up to the present time, or which shall be granted in the future. (Pius IX, Papal Decree, 30 September 1852).
In the next installment we shall complete this short series on The Heroic Act of Charity.