Those who can not pray for themselves
To be on the receiving end of prayer that one is not able to accomplish for themselves it might be a wonderful way to spend some time during Lent to offer up a little time for them. Of course, I am referring to poor souls in Purgatory. During the several years as an author on this web-site I have submitted no less than seven articles directly regarding their need for prayer. A couple were the result of dreams which were detailed with an eye-opening account that stays with me. One that related a lengthly step by step of viewing souls that appeared to be waiting for someone to assist in their expiation could make an impression as you walked in front of a large contingent of souls seated, sad looking, and as if to say please don’t forget me.
When I pray for the presence of two female saints, who were very astute in praying for them as well, to come with me and pray for those souls who have no one to pray for them, we join spiritually in prayer. As mourners we are aware that the funeral Mass is the one movement that all attending are assisting in the expiation for the deceased. Some of the mourners will have Masses said for them during the year and those souls are very appreciative of their remembrance. However if you make frequent visits to their resting place it is easy to see many graves are left untouched by family members. This is one indication that many departed have no one who prays for them and unless their souls have reached expiation they may lie without the care of their souls. I know there can be many reasons the deceased are forgotten, but if someone could see the looks on the faces of those I saw in my dream, and it was a dream, the reality of souls who are real and part of the Communion of Saints is enough to stir up some compassion for the Church Penitent.
This issue has been a long-standing theological premise between myself and some relatives, including at least one local priest who doesn’t believe in Purgatory. He even made a statement that the Church doesn’t teach it as well. I reminded one person it is in black and white in the CCC # 1030 - 1032.
During Lent, and actually all year, praying for those in Purgatory is our part of the Communion of Saints as the Church Militant. With the Church Triumphant we all are one Church!
Ralph B. Hathaway, Purgatory and all souls.