Sunday, August 6, 2017

PRAYER FOR THE FORGOTTEN DEAD

PRAYER FOR THE FORGOTTEN DEAD


O merciful God,

take pity on those souls
who have no particular friends and intercessors
to recommend them to Thee, who,
either through the negligence of those who are alive,
or through length of time are forgotten
by their friends and by all

Spare them, O Lord,
and remember Thine own mercy,
when others forget to appeal to it.
Let not the souls which Thou hast created
be parted from thee, their Creator.

May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Praying for those who have died and have no one to pray for them is a beautiful and grace filled practice. 

There was and elderly priest, not unknown, who has an associate a younger priest. The elder was found of mentioning to the younger, "now when I die, be sure to say a Mass for my soul." The younger priest always answered, "of course I will."

Time went by and the elder priest died. He died in the morning. True to his word the younger priest said offered the very next Holy Mass that evening 6pm.

As the younger priest slept that night, he heard the voice of the elder, "I thought you agreed to have a Mass said for my soul at the first opportunity."  The younger priest answered, "yes I did this very evening." To which the elder priest responded, "why did you wait so long."

The story illustrates not only the reality of purgatory, and the ability of the living to offer prayers for those who have died. It also illustrates the terrible pain and suffering of purgation, the only easement of this pain being the knowledge that they will one day see the face of God. 

There is also the tradition that the Blessed Mother of our Lord regularly visits souls in purgatory to comfort and remind them that they will ultimately see the face of her Son.

The story by implication then indicates the necessity and grace of prying for those who are forgotten, those who had no families, those, who's families no longer practice the faith, those who have disappeared and are still being sought, when in fact they have died. 

One cannot pray for the dead known or unknown without bringing up the doctrine as to why. This is Catholic doctrine and is described infallibly below, with references from out history of tradition as well as references that we wrote down in the Holy Bible. To belief otherwise is heretical -- counter to reality.

Purgatory


The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines purgatory as a "purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven," which is experienced by those "who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified" (CCC 1030). It notes that "this final purification of the elect . . . is entirely different from the punishment of the damned" (CCC 1031).

The purification is necessary because, as Scripture teaches, nothing unclean will enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27) and, while we may die with our mortal sins forgiven, there can still be many impurities in us, specifically venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven. 

 
Two Judgments


When we die, we undergo what is called the particular, or individual, judgment. Scripture says that "it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment" (Heb. 9:27). We are judged instantly and receive our reward, for good or ill. We know at once what our final destiny will be. At the end of time, when Jesus returns, there will come the general judgment to which the Bible refers, for example, in Matthew 25:31-32: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." In this general judgment all our sins will be publicly revealed (Luke 12:2–5). 

Augustine said, in The City of God, that "temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment" (21:13). It is between the particular and general judgments, then, that the soul is purified of the remaining consequences of sin: "I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper" (Luke 12:59). 

 
Money, Money, Money


One argument anti-Catholics often use to attack purgatory is the idea that the Catholic Church makes money from promulgating the doctrine. Without purgatory, the claim asserts, the Church would go broke. Any number of anti-Catholic books claim the Church owes the majority of its wealth to this doctrine. But the numbers just don’t add up. 

When a Catholic requests a memorial Mass for the dead—that is, a Mass said for the benefit of someone in purgatory—it is customary to give the parish priest a stipend, on the principles that the laborer is worth his hire (Luke 10:7) and that those who preside at the altar share the altar’s offerings (1 Cor. 9:13–14). In the United States, a stipend is commonly around five dollars; but the indigent do not have to pay anything. A few people, of course, freely offer more. This money goes to the parish priest, and priests are only allowed to receive one such stipend per day. No one gets rich on five dollars a day, and certainly not the Church, which does not receive the money anyway. 

But look at what happens on a Sunday. There are often hundreds of people at Mass. In a crowded parish, there may be thousands. Many families and individuals deposit five dollars or more into the collection basket; others deposit less. A few give much more. A parish might have four or five or six Masses on a Sunday. The total from the Sunday collections far surpasses the paltry amount received from the memorial Masses. 

 
A Catholic "Invention"?


Fundamentalists may be fond of saying the Catholic Church "invented" the doctrine of purgatory to make money, but they have difficulty saying just when. Most professional anti-Catholics—the ones who make their living attacking "Romanism"—seem to place the blame on Pope Gregory the Great, who reigned from A.D. 590–604. 

But that hardly accounts for the request of Monica, mother of Augustine, who asked her son, in the fourth century, to remember her soul in his Masses. This would make no sense if she thought her soul would not benefit from prayers, as would be the case if she were in hell or in the full glory of heaven. 

Nor does ascribing the doctrine to Gregory explain the graffiti in the catacombs, where Christians during the persecutions of the first three centuries recorded prayers for the dead. Indeed, some of the earliest Christian writings outside the New Testament, like the Acts of Paul and Thecla and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity (both written during the second century), refer to the Christian practice of praying for the dead. Such prayers would have been offered only if Christians believed in purgatory, even if they did not use that name for it. (See Catholic Answers’ Fathers Know Best tract The Existence of Purgatory for quotations from these and other early Christian sources.) 

 
Why No Protests?


Whenever a date is set for the "invention" of purgatory, you can point to historical evidence to show the doctrine was in existence before that date. Besides, if at some point the doctrine was pulled out of a clerical hat, why does ecclesiastical history record no protest against it? 

A study of the history of doctrines indicates that Christians in the first centuries were up in arms (sometimes quite literally) if anyone suggested the least change in beliefs. They were extremely conservative people who tested a doctrine’s truth by asking, Was this believed by our ancestors? Was it handed on from the apostles? Surely belief in purgatory would be considered a great change, if it had not been believed from the first—so where are the records of protests? 

They don’t exist. There is no hint at all, in the oldest writings available to us (or in later ones, for that matter), that "true believers" in the immediate post-apostolic years spoke of purgatory as a novel doctrine. They must have understood that the oral teaching of the apostles, what Catholics call tradition, and the Bible not only failed to contradict the doctrine, but, in fact, confirmed it. 

It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief. They prefer to claim that the Bible speaks only of heaven and hell. Wrong. It speaks plainly of a third condition, commonly called the limbo of the Fathers, where the just who had died before the redemption were waiting for heaven to be opened to them. After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19). These people thus were not in heaven, but neither were they experiencing the torments of hell. 

Some have speculated that the limbo of the Fathers is the same as purgatory. This may or may not be the case. However, even if the limbo of the Fathers is not purgatory, its existence shows that a temporary, intermediate state is not contrary to Scripture. Look at it this way. If the limbo of the Fathers was purgatory, then this one verse directly teaches the existence of purgatory. If the limbo of the Fathers was a different temporary state, then the Bible at least says such a state can exist. It proves there can be more than just heaven and hell. 

 
"Purgatory Not in Scripture"


Some Fundamentalists also charge, as though it actually proved something, "The word purgatory is nowhere found in Scripture." This is true, and yet it does not disprove the existence of purgatory or the fact that belief in it has always been part of Church teaching. The words Trinity and Incarnation aren’t in Scripture either, yet those doctrines are clearly taught in it. Likewise, Scripture teaches that purgatory exists, even if it doesn’t use that word and even if 1 Peter 3:19 refers to a place other than purgatory. 

Christ refers to the sinner who "will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come" (Matt. 12:32), suggesting that one can be freed after death of the consequences of one’s sins. Similarly, Paul tells us that, when we are judged, each man’s work will be tried. And what happens if a righteous man’s work fails the test? "He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3:15). Now this loss, this penalty, can’t refer to consignment to hell, since no one is saved there; and heaven can’t be meant, since there is no suffering ("fire") there. The Catholic doctrine of purgatory alone explains this passage. 

Then, of course, there is the Bible’s approval of prayers for the dead: "In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the dead to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin" (2 Macc. 12:43–45). Prayers are not needed by those in heaven, and no one can help those in hell. That means some people must be in a third condition, at least temporarily. This verse so clearly illustrates the existence of purgatory that, at the time of the Reformation, Protestants had to cut the books of the Maccabees out of their Bibles in order to avoid accepting the doctrine. 

Prayers for the dead and the consequent doctrine of purgatory have been part of the true religion since before the time of Christ. Not only can we show it was practiced by the Jews of the time of the Maccabees, but it has even been retained by Orthodox Jews today, who recite a prayer known as the Mourner’s Kaddish for eleven months after the death of a loved one so that the loved one may be purified. It was not the Catholic Church that added the doctrine of purgatory. Rather, any change in the original teaching has taken place in the Protestant churches, which rejected a doctrine that had always been believed by Jews and Christians. 

 
Why Go To Purgatory?


Why would anyone go to purgatory? To be cleansed, for "nothing unclean shall enter [heaven]" (Rev. 21:27). Anyone who has not been completely freed of sin and its effects is, to some extent, "unclean." Through repentance he may have gained the grace needed to be worthy of heaven, which is to say, he has been forgiven and his soul is spiritually alive. But that’s not sufficient for gaining entrance into heaven. He needs to be cleansed completely. 

Fundamentalists claim, as an article in Jimmy Swaggart’s magazine, The Evangelist, put it, that "Scripture clearly reveals that all the demands of divine justice on the sinner have been completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It also reveals that Christ has totally redeemed, or purchased back, that which was lost. The advocates of a purgatory (and the necessity of prayer for the dead) say, in effect, that the redemption of Christ was incomplete. . . . It has all been done for us by Jesus Christ, there is nothing to be added or done by man." 

It is entirely correct to say that Christ accomplished all of our salvation for us on the cross. But that does not settle the question of how this redemption is applied to us. Scripture reveals that it is applied to us over the course of time through, among other things, the process of sanctification through which the Christian is made holy. Sanctification involves suffering (Rom. 5:3–5), and purgatory is the final stage of sanctification that some of us need to undergo before we enter heaven. Purgatory is the final phase of Christ’s applying to us the purifying redemption that he accomplished for us by his death on the cross. 

 
No Contradiction


The Fundamentalist resistance to the biblical doctrine of purgatory presumes there is a contradiction between Christ’s redeeming us on the cross and the process by which we are sanctified. There isn’t. And a Fundamentalist cannot say that suffering in the final stage of sanctification conflicts with the sufficiency of Christ’s atonement without saying that suffering in the early stages of sanctification also presents a similar conflict. The Fundamentalist has it backward: Our suffering in sanctification does not take away from the cross. Rather, the cross produces our sanctification, which results in our suffering, because "[f]or the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (Heb. 12:11). 

 
Nothing Unclean


Purgatory makes sense because there is a requirement that a soul not just be declared to be clean, but actually be clean, before a man may enter into eternal life. After all, if a guilty soul is merely "covered," if its sinful state still exists but is officially ignored, then it is still a guilty soul. It is still unclean. 

Catholic theology takes seriously the notion that "nothing unclean shall enter heaven." From this it is inferred that a less than cleansed soul, even if "covered," remains a dirty soul and isn’t fit for heaven. It needs to be cleansed or "purged" of its remaining imperfections. The cleansing occurs in purgatory. Indeed, the necessity of the purging is taught in other passages of Scripture, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:13, which declares that God chose us "to be saved through sanctification by the Spirit." Sanctification is thus not an option, something that may or may not happen before one gets into heaven. It is an absolute requirement, as Hebrews 12:14 states that we must strive "for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." 
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004

Saturday, July 15, 2017

PRAYER FOR INNER PEACE

Lord, please put Your peace in my heart. I’m worried and anxious. My mind races and obsesses.




I can’t help thinking about my problems. And the more I think about them, the more depressed I become.
I feel like I’m sinking down in quicksand and can’t get out.
Calm me, Lord. Slow me down, put Your peace in my heart.
No matter what problem I have, Lord, You are bigger, You are more powerful than it is.
So I bring my problem to You. I know what I want. I know my will. I do not know Yours.
I do not know how You will use this problem for my salvation. I do not know what good You will workout at this evil.
But I trust You. I trust Your Goodness and Your Wisdom.
So I place myself in Your hands. Please fill my heart with
Amen.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A PARENT’S PRAYER TO THE GUARDIAN ANGELS OF THEIR CHILDREN

I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly Friends of my children! I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them.



At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, repay your care for them, and before the whole heavenly court acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection.
Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul.
Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company.
Amen

A Prayer To Jesus For Healing

Dear Lord, You are the Just judge, Holy and True. You are the Most High God. You give us life. You hold all power in your hands.
You are the Mighty one from God who carries the world, and is ruler over all the earth. You Oh Most Blessed One are the giver of life.
In you are only good things. In you is mercy and love. In you is healing of the nations. In you is freedom of worry and freedom of pain.



 Lord Almighty, You loved us so much. You were sent from your Father, sent to save us from destruction.

We truly can never make it to Heaven without the help of Jesus the Son, who was sent to earth to help us.

You, Lord are full of mercy and grace, please forgive us for our faults. Lord Jesus, in you all healing is performed.

You Lord are the miracle worker. In your Spirit, your gift of healing is alive. In you Lord we can put our trust that you can heal us, and protect us and those we pray for from the enemy, and death of our soul.

Send Your Holy Spirit, to touch the wounds of this child, to heal them completely, and to bring him comfort. Send your Holy Spirit also to his family and friends that they too may be comforted and filled with faith and confidence in you


You, Lord are miracle worker for the sick, and for the lost souls. You, Lord forgive us and save us from condemnation.

You cleanse us and make us born again new. You give us a clean heart full of peace. You Lord are the Light.
In You is all truth. Your way Lord is the way to Heavenly Hope. Your hands Lord created the universe. You Lord are the True giver of Life. Every child is a miracle of Life. Life rests in Your Hands.

Wrap us as a close knit family, draw us near to you Lord, and bind us with your Loving Hands.
Let us be drawn closer to You. You are the Vine, dear Lord and we are the branches. You carry all knowledge and all power.

You Lord are our medicine. Your Words Lord are Truth and Life.
Help us put our trust in You. You Lord are the greatest physician.
You heal, You protect, You care, You love, You are kind, You are patient, You are thoughtful, You are strength. You Lord are our Creator.
You know our thoughts, our sighings and our cryings and every hair on our head. You are Wonderful and make all good things for us. Heal us and those we pray for. Lord, if it be Your will.
Amen

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Novena to Our Lady of Americas


Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas

Day One

Our Lady of America,
you asked that the United States of America
“be the country dedicated to my purity"
and that your children in America
“be the children of my Pure Heart."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Two

Our Lady of America, you said,
“I desire, through my children of America,
to further the cause of faith
and purity among peoples and nations.
Let them come to me with confidence and simplicity,
and I, their Mother,
will teach them to become pure like to my Heart
that their own hearts may be more pleasing to the Heart of my Son."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Three

Our Lady of America, you said,
“What I ask, have asked, and will continue to ask
is reformation of life.
There must be sanctification from within.
I will work my miracles of grace
only in those who ask for them
and empty their souls of the love and attachment to sin
and all that is displeasing to my Son."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Four

Our Lady of America, you said,
“My dear children,
either you will do as I desire and reform your lives,
or God Himself will need to cleanse you
in the fires of untold punishment.
You must be prepared to receive His great gift of peace."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Five

Our Lady of America, you said,
“It is the wish of my Son
that fathers and mothers strive to imitate me
and my chaste spouse in our holy life at Nazareth.
We practiced the simple virtues of family life,
Jesus our Son being the center of all our love and activity.
The Holy Trinity dwelt with us
in a manner far surpassing anything that can ever be imagined.
For ours was the earthly paradise
where once again God walked among men."…
“The Divine Trinity will dwell in your midst
only if you are faithful in practicing the virtues
of our life at Nazareth.
Then, you also, my children,
you also will become another paradise.
God will then walk among you and you will have peace."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Six

Our Lady of America,
you asked your beloved sons, the priests,
“to practice self-denial and penance in a special manner,
because it is you who must lead my children in the way of peace…
Thus, by sanctification from within you,
you will become a bright and burning light to the faithful,
who look to you for help and guidance."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Seven

Our Lady of America,
you asked that the youth of our nation
be the leaders of a movement of renewal
on the face of the earth.
You asked that they be prepared by instilling into them,
not only the knowledge of the Divine Indwelling,
but a serious study of it,
living it in such a way that the Divine Presence becomes,
as it were an intimate and necessary part of their life and daily living.
From this will flow a great love,
a conflagration that will envelop the world
in the flames of Divine Charity."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Eight

Our Lady of America,
you said that those who wear your medal
“with great faith and fervent devotion to you
will receive the grace of intense purity of heart
and the particular love of the Holy Virgin and her Divine Son."
You also said,
‘Sinners will receive the grace of repentance
and the spiritual strength to live as true children of Mary.
As in life, so in death,
this blessed medal will be as a shield to protect them
against the evil spirits,
and St. Michael himself will be at their side
to allay their fears at the final hour."
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Day Nine

Our Lady of America,
you asked that a statue be made in your image and placed,
after being solemnly carried in procession,
in the Basilica of the National Shrine
of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
You said that you wished to be honored there
in a special way as Our Lady of America,
the Immaculate Virgin.
You promised that the placement of your statue in the Shrine
would be a special safeguard for our country.
Please intercede for us
that we may be granted this grace
and morally good leaders who will act
according to the revealed will of God
and the foundational principles
of the Declaration of Independence
and the Constitution of the United States of America.
(The following prayer is said each day after the above prayer is completed.)
Prayer of Sister Mildred to Our Lady of America
O Immaculate Mother, Queen of our Country,
open our hearts, our homes,
and our Land to the coming of Jesus, your Divine Son.
With Him, reign over us, O heavenly Lady,
so pure and so bright
with the radiance of God’s light shining in and about you.
Be our Leader against the powers of evil
set upon wresting the world of souls,
redeemed at such a great cost
by the sufferings of your Son and of yourself,
in union with Him, from that same Savior,
Who loves us with infinite charity.
We gather about you, O chaste and holy Mother,
Virgin Immaculate, Patroness of our beloved Land,
determined to fight under your banner of holy purity
against the wickedness that would make all the world an abyss of evil,
without God and without your loving maternal care.
We consecrate our hearts, our homes,
our Land to your Most Pure Heart, O great Queen,
that the kingdom of your Son,
our Redeemer and our God,
may be firmly established in us.
We ask no special sign of you, sweet Mother,
for we believe in your great love for us,
and we place in you our entire confidence.
We promise to honor you by faith, love,
and the purity of our lives according to your desire.
Reign over us, then, O Virgin Immaculate,
with your Son Jesus Christ.
May His Divine Heart and your most chaste Heart
be ever enthroned and glorified among us.
Use us, your children of America,
as your instruments in bringing peace among men and nations.
Work your miracles of grace in us,
so that we may be a glory to the Blessed Trinity,
Who created, redeemed, and sanctifies us.
May your valiant Spouse, St. Joseph,
with the holy Angels and Saints,
assist you and us in “renewing the face of the earth."
Then when our work is over,
come, Holy Immaculate Mother,
and as our Victorious Queen,
lead us to the eternal kingdom,
where your Son reigns forever as King.
Amen.
Our Father…
Hail Mary… and
Glory Be…
By thy holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary,
deliver us from evil!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

St. Michael God's Knight Digital Holy Card: A PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GOOD SUCCESS

Digital Holy Card: A PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GOOD SUCCESS






Our Lady and Mother, see how evil is invading everything: hearts, families, society, our Country.

Children no longer walk on the path of innocence. The youth, caught up in worldly pastimes, no longer come before thy altar to ask thy maternal blessings; nor do they seek the light of thy gaze to dissipate the shadows of doubt the world instills unceasingly.

Mothers are forgetting that the home is the first school where good is taught, and they are the first teachers. Family life today has deteriorated, and the sound of the call to prayer is rarely heard.

In the schools there is no prayer, nor are thy grandeurs sung. In the home, few still believe in Holy Providence which has counted all the hairs on our heads and the sufferings of our hearts, and few have recourse to the merciful assistance of thy maternal heart.

In these hours, our Country is the poor traveler of the Gospel who fell into the hands of thieves, riddled with wounds that are almost mortal, without the relief of any human hope.

My sweet Mother, take care of these abandoned children who are lost because they have nothing in life. Protect the youth so that these tender plants are not swallowed up in the poisonous muck of vice.

Teach mothers the divine gift of being mothers and their duty to model the hearts of their children at the cost of any sacrifice, of saving them with the mysterious supplication of their tears.


If you do not come to the assistance of this agonizing Country, the remnants of Christendom will disappear. Your heart is an abyss of ineffable tenderness. Let a drop of balm fall upon its wound and it will live... Amen.



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