The Thirty-Seventh Clarion:
IN COMMUNION WITH THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS
"How narrow the gate and close the way that leads to life! And few there are who find it."
Matthew 7: 14
As we conclude this short series it's time to purge ourselves of the idea that Heaven's a cakewalk. Our Lord Himself said in Matthew 7: 14, "How narrow the gate and close the way that leads to life! And few there are who find it." The controversy rages on that there is no Purgatory. Protestant ministers claim that since the word "Purgatory" is not in the bible, it doesn't exist. They forget that the word "Trinity" is included anywhere in Sacred Scriptures either, but it's a fact of life that the Triune Divinity truly exists. Though the specific word "Purgatory" is missing, there are enough scriptural passages to verify such a place exists. Besides Sacred Scripture, the Traditions and Doctrines of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and the Creed unequivocally pronounce the existence of this "waystation" between Heaven and earth where those within the framework of the Communion of Saints have passed from the Church Militant to the Church Suffering while waiting to be purified in order to enter the ranks of the Church Triumphant. Sadly, since Vatican II there's been a de-emphasis on the existence of Purgatory. As a result, many have ceased praying for the holy souls who have left this earth. We have been given the false impression by many modernists that these souls are all in Heaven. Perhaps we're assuming too much on God's love and not enough on His equally necessary Mercy and Justice. We've heard often enough, "there's no such thing as a 'free lunch'!" and we must come to the stark realization that not all leave this world on an express train to Heaven. For centuries most souls have had to wait in line to get into Heaven. Take a number, so to speak...yes, even saints. Why then would it change in the last half of this century when the world has become more wicked than the time of Sodom and Gomorrah? We're kidding ourselves and it'll be no joke when we get there and realize we've got a long, long, long wait. But then we'll have an eternity to wait, right?!?
Holy Mother Church in her wisdom has mitigated some of the harshness that once seemed to make God a severe Judge and nothing more. But it is vital for us in these end times to remember that God is truly a God of Love - of Mercy and desires salvation of all His children. By the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, His Only-begotten Son, we receive Merciful Divine Love in the sacramental life of the Church, and through the Mercy of God Himself poured into us through grace. Let us, then, as little, humble children, acknowledge our own sins and work ardously to expiate for them in this, our exile. And let us also, as true children of God, gathered beneath our Heavenly Mother's Immaculate Mantle, proceed with unfailing charity, true heroic charity, to pray for our departed brothers and sisters, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory. By this commitment we place our trust in Almighty God as we surrender all our good works and any merit they might receive, into His hands, to use as He sees fit, ready to appear before Him at the moment of our death, clothed with nothingness, only to receive the blessing of being clothed in the very Mercy of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The prayers of the Church Militant are so vital to the Church Suffering that Our Lady imparted powerful promises through Hungarian visionary Mrs. Elizabeth Szanto Erzebet, mother of six who died in 1985. Our Lady's words are recorded in the devotion to the "Flame of Love." "My daughter, your compassion for suffering souls moved my Motherly Heart so much that I will grant the grace that, if anyone anywhere will say 3 Hail Mary's in reference to my Flame of Love, on each occasion A SOUL WILL BE FREED FROM PURGATORY." The Blessed Mother continued with an even more powerful promise which all can practice during the month of November: "Furthermore, in the month of the Holy Souls (November) TEN SOULS WILL BE FREED FROM PURGATORY FOR EACH HAIL MARY... Suffering souls will also feel the effect of the grace coming from my Motherly Flame of Love." When one contemplates this staggering assurance it would be unwise not to heed her guarantee.
In addition, Saint Gertrude, whose feast we celebrate in two weeks, received a very special prayer that, for some reason, has not been promulgated as it should. It is a very short, but powerful prayer which Jesus imparted to her that would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it was said devoutly. This SPECIAL PRAYER FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY was also extended by Pope Clement X to include those sinners who are living today by which the person praying this prayer could alleviate the indebtedness accrued during their lives. When one prays the following prayer from the heart countless souls are released from Purgatory at God's will. It is an excellent way as members of the Church Militant to fulfill our role in the Communion of Saints for it allows us to concentrate on what we, as members of the Church Militant, can do to help free the souls from Purgatory:
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today; for the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, in my home and in my family. Amen.
There is the additional Fatima Prayer for Souls said at the end of every decade of the Rosary:
Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy.
Finally, there are the Fifteen Prayers to Saint Bridget as recorded in the Pieta devotional booklets in which Our Lord promises that He will deliver 15 souls of the person's lineage from Purgatory.
The above prayers are keys to help open the cells of Purgatory and free those abandoned souls. We help them now, they reciprocate by helping us later when we need their intercession the most. It's a win-win situation that we can't afford to ignore. Therefore, in this month of November particularly, and for every day of our lives, let us, as true children of God and members of the Church Militant, ceaselessly pray for the souls in Purgatory. Let's not lose a single opportunity to obtain for them the release they seek but cannot obtain for themselves, so that the Beatific Vision is theirs. Just think of the vast number of souls who could be delivered from Purgatory into the Glory of Heaven through our commitment to prayer! Oh yes, there's another guarantee in this: Those souls will not forget when they join the Church Triumphant. Let us sincerely and with heart-felt prayer ask Almighty God for their release, and in like manner, may those who enter into the joy of Heavenly bliss, pray for and with us for the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart that the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Age of the Divine Will, the New Millennium of Peace, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Advent and Second Pentecost may come now to this suffering and sorrowful world.