Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
This month of November, we remember the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering in a particular way. The Church, as the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of three components, namely the Church Militant (the Church on earth), the Church Triumphant (the Church in Heaven), and the Church Suffering (the Church in Purgatory). We remember the latter two components of the Church, beginning with All Saints’ Day on November 1 and then All Souls’ Day on November 2.
In particular, we focus much of our attention on all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially as we see the season change and death becomes a point of meditation for each of us. We make sure that we offer extra prayers for them, Masses, and good works. As I preach about often, every one of our actions has consequences. Our good actions have the result of gaining for us merit, which will determine how glorified we are in Heaven. Our bad actions have the consequence of sin. However, even after we have sought forgiveness and God has forgiven our sins, the consequences and effects of our sins remain. If we spoke ill of someone and hurt their reputation, if we wrecked a vehicle, if we killed someone. All sin has an effect that lingers, and justice demands that we atone for those consequences.
We do this either in this life or in the life to come. If we wait, which I don’t advise, then we do so in Purgatory. Where all those consequences of our choices are spiritually burned from us until we are refined as gold again. This is why it is important to pray for the dead, to have Masses offered for them, and to do good works and gain indulgences for them.
In particular, on November 2, just by visiting a Church and saying the Our Father and Creed, we can gain a plenary indulgence for any specific soul we choose. Furthermore, from November 1 until November 8, by visiting a cemetery and praying for the deceased, we can also gain one indulgence per day for a specific soul of our choice. These indulgences must be applied to the dead and require us to be in a state of grace and detached from sin, that we receive Holy Communion for each indulgence, and that we make a single confession at some point within 20 days before or after the acts. We must also pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father.
May we not pass of these opportunities to help those who have gone before us. May we also be sure to pray for those who have no one else to pray for them! These will be the souls who are there to welcome us into Heaven when it is our time. Also, by our generosity now with the dead, hopefully those left after us will do the same for us.
And may Mary, the Queen of the Saints, be our example to grow daily in grace and virtue, so that we may be worthy of Heaven!