Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, reflected upon the souls of the faithful departed in his writings when he stated, "...we should not think that anything reaches the dead whom we care for, except what we solemnly ask for them by the sacrifice of the altar or by prayer or almsgiving. In fact, these do not benefit all those for whom they are made, only those whose lives were such that they prepared to be benefitted by them. But because we cannot tell who these may be, we should do these things for all the baptized, so that none be left out whom these benefits could and should reach. For it is better that they be superfluous for those whom they can neither hinder nor help than that they should be lacking to those whom they would help. But each person does these things very diligently for his relatives and friends, in expectation of a similar remembrance from the relatives and friends who will survive him. What is done as to burying the body is not an aid to salvation, but rather a duty of humanity, prompted by the love according to which 'no one hates his own flesh.' And so it is fitting that each man care for the body of his neighbor as best he can, when the neighbor has gone where he can not care for himself. If those who do not believe in the resurrection of the body do these things, how much more should those carry them out who do believe. Carrying out this office for a dead body which is to rise and live forever is a kind of witness to faith in the resurrection."
Following upon the thoughts of St. Augustine, Holy Mother Church recommends to us, the Church Militant, that we make an HEROIC ACT OF CHARITY on behalf of the holy souls. By this Act a person surrenders, in behalf of the souls in Purgatory, all the satisfaction made to God by his good works, including whatever satisfaction may be offered for him by others during his life and after.
Those who make the Heroic Act of Charity may gain a plenary indulgence applicable only to the dead. (1) Each day that they receive Holy Communion, if they have made their confession and visited a church or public oratory and prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father; (2) on Mondays if they attend Mass in supplication for the faithful departed, and fulfill the usual conditions. The usual conditions are as follows: Confession, Communion, a visit to a church or public oratory, and prayer for the intentions of the Pope.
Sacred Scripture leads us to a deeper devotion and understanding of the importance of praying for and making an Heroic Act of Charity for the faithful departed. Consider St. Paul's words to the Corinthians in Chapter 15: 35-44: "But someone will say, 'How do the dead rise? Or with what kind of body do they come?' Senseless man, what you yourself sow is not brought to life, unless it dies. And when you sow, you do not sow the body that shall be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or something else. But God gives it a body even as He has willed, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another of beasts, another of birds, another of fishes. There are also Heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but of one kind is the glory of the Heavenly, of another kind the glory of the earthly. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So also with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown in corruption rises in incorruption; what is sown in dishonor rises in glory; what is sown in weakness rises in power, what is sown a natural body rises a spiritual body."
It is important to note that the existence of Purgatory can be referenced to 2 Machabees 12: 43-46, especially the last verse - "it is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." The doctrine of Purgatory was given solemn definition by the Council of Trent as follows: "This dogmatic definition contains three points of faith that all Catholics are compelled to believe: (a) that there is a Purgatory; (b) that after death souls suffer there for their sins; (c) that the living can extend assistance to to such souls."
In the book of Apocalypse/Revelation, chapter 21: 27 it states: "There shall not enter into it (Heaven) anything defiled." And Jesus, in Matthew 5: 26, expounds on the Mercy of God: "Amen, I say to thee, thou wilt not come out from it until thou has paid the last penny." In the early Church, the canonical penances were severe. Grave sins, such as apostasy, were punished with a penance of seven years. During all this time the penitent was excluded from the company of the faithful. He knelt at the entrance of the church, asking for the prayers of those that entered. He heard only the first part of the Mass, and was not permitted to receive Holy Communion. On fixed days during the period of his penance he was obliged to fast on bread and water. But if those faithful interceded, the penitent was granted an indulgence; his penance was shortened.
Next week we will complete this short series on the Communion of Saints when we concentrate on what we, as members of the Church Militant, can do to help free the souls from Purgatory.
Dear ones, my hidden one will not be able to make the trip to the Denver Conference. Therefore, I am asking you to inform your Spiritual Director and through his help to explain the circumstances to those who await you in Kansas. There will come a time later when I shall give my words to them in a different way. They, too, must have faith and love and hold you in deep prayer.
Beloved earthly archangel, I speak to you and say: I am the Mother of God, your Mother, and these are my words, my desires given to my hidden one, your beloved spouse.
You must be at peace, and know that God's ways are Infinite, and He asks much of those who love Him. My hidden flower has prayed earnestly and has understood and accepted that by her obedience and her suffering much grace shall be given to you and all your family.
Beloved archangel, I ask you to pray and if you are seized by disappointment to immediately surrender this to God, Who shall richly bless you.
My presence on my Feast Day shall be made manifest to you in your own home and parish, and that all the graces given at my Shrine in Golden on this day shall be given in double measure to you for your faith.
To both of you I ask you to lift up your hearts and love one another in great measure. This is a time of great suffering for both of you. My hidden one shall barely have the strength to fulfill this journey. It is for both of you a great trial and for my hidden one a true martyrdom in exile. Go forward with one another in peace, and allow me to bring to this area my Son's Peace. Know that here there are many hardened hearts, and deaf ears hear my words. You have come in faith. Therefore, receive my Son's Peace and be attentive to my words which are given with Infinite Love.
I love and bless you, my cherished, chosen ones. I remain with you to comfort and console. Peace!
My little ones, already many have beheld my Son's Cross illuminated in the sky, but the hearts remain closed, shutting out the Son, the Divine Savior, Christ the King.
O! How I mourn for all who have not yet converted their hearts. Woe! For they are but leaves scattered hither and yon by the schemes of the evil one.
Woe! Your world has denied God. Your world has made Him illegal.
Therefore, I solemnly tell you that the Great Chastisement will now deepen and my faithful ones shall be gravely persecuted. Many of my priest-sons will suffer hideously at the hands of superiors who shall threaten them and exile them, forcing my Divine Son's Church underground.
I solemnly tell you that all of my little ones who bear my messages to the world will be persecuted. Those in authority shall seek to silence their holy work, and they shall suffer the triple martyrdom of body, mind and heart.
You have not understood my motherly words and the Great Apostasy has already split the Church, and he who is the Antichrist awaits his moment to arise from the ashes of chastisement.
Little ones, I beg of you! Convert your hearts, for the moment must be now. I have shown to all the True Path - my Divine Son. I have invited you to discern Sacred Scripture. I have implored your attendance at Holy Mass, and to embrace the Sacraments reverently. I have offered you the armor of the Rosary, and a life as victim souls. I have urged absolute obedience to my beloved son, Pope John Paul II. But my words have met deaf ears, hearts of stone.
I solemnly tell you the demon now sends his forces to the forefront, and the whole world shall experience disasters of every kind. Not one of my children will be spared. Only those gathered beneath my Immaculate Mantle shall persevere, enjoying Divine Enlightenment and Protection.
The moment will be soon when all the world shall tremble, and nature shall wage war on every continent. There shall be many who die seized by terror. But my faithful little ones shall weep tears of reparation.
Yes, my little ones, soon I shall no longer be with you in this extraordinary way. To some I shall continue to speak that you might know unity; that you might know you are not abandoned.
The heresy is rampant! The shepherds are now mere sheep, lost sheep. Many have turned to billy-goats.
I solemnly say to all. The time must be now when the ponderous thoughts of many learned, many leaders are blasphemy. God shall strike at the hypocrites, but the Church shall be rent asunder.
All of this happens because you do not pray. You are men of no faith, only possessing faith in power, leadership and your own roles in my Son's Church.
Therefore, I solemnly tell you that the third secret of Fatima unfolds.
Pray! O! I urge constant prayer. Look to the heavens and behold God! Look to the world and see the face of the antichrist, who lives and moves among you.
I love and bless you. Thank you for responding to my Call!