Category Archives: Church Suffering

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Crowning with Thorns

The meditation of the Third Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Crowning with Thorns (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Their journey continues. The souls move ever closer to their ultimate goal, complete union with God for all eternity. But still their progress forward is slowed.

Their thoughts while on Earth did not give due attention to God’s will. Their thoughts were oftentimes consumed with worries, anxieties and fears of Earthly trials. Rather than rest in comfort in the Lord’s arms, certain that Divine Providence will come to eventual fruition, they avoided this reliance. They turned their thoughts to Earthly solutions, to attempts of their own to solve the problems. Or, not even this, their thoughts dwelt upon silly and frivolous things. Too often they were concerned with the ordinary day-to-day events, and rarely turned their thoughts to things from above.

“Plenty of time to think about death and what happens after,” their souls thought upon Earth, “do not bother me with frightening things like Hell. Leave me alone.”

And so now this Earthly focus hinders their union. And like they underwent a spiritual scourging at a pillar, they now bear a spiritual crown of thorns. In this manner they atone for their sins of thought, for all of those times on Earth they did not give proper attention to God and His will.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Scourging at the Pillar

The meditation of the Second Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Scourging at the Pillar (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

The soul’s progress continues onward, closer to the Lord. It can see God afar off, but the vision is obscured by the smoke and flames of purgation that rage here: about them, among them, within them. Countless souls exist in this place, all possessing a burning desire to unite with the Lord. But shame that they did not pursue Him while on Earth piles agony onto their suffering.

In their pain they cry out for union. They are held back. Knowledge of their physical attachments to worldly pleasures sear their thoughts. Sexual improprieties and follies while on Earth demand purging. The sacred gift from God meant for human unity and cooperation in creation had been perverted. From lust to fornication and other abuses of this gift, these souls now seek a scourging of their worldly desires.

And so they attach themselves to a spiritual pillar. Nothing physical exists here in this place of torment, but in a manner of kind they undergo a scourging at a pillar. The sins of their Earthly flesh are flayed from their souls, they scream in agony.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Agony in the Garden

The meditation of the First Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Agony in the Garden (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

A person has died. The soul stands before God and has been judged. It is found wanting, unfit for entry into Heaven, but has not committed offenses against the Lord which condemn it for all eternity.

It joins other souls who have have entered into a “Garden of Gethsemane” within the afterlife. They begin their suffering in Purgatory, but their wills are still too connected to earthly desires. They are fearful of the journey ahead, and it is long and painful as they are separated from God because of their attachment to the World.

They desire God and His will, but their fear hinders their progress towards Him. They resist the journey and wish that it needn’t be made. Agony permeates their being. It is like a fire that burn through to the core of their selves. They try and pray to relieve their suffering, but cannot. Any wish or desire directed to themselves is impossible, their selfish desires were left back on Earth and any self will here in this burning Garden is for nought.

But their love for God spurs them on. Painful as it is, their desire for the Lord begins to burn away the stains of their earthly sins on their souls. The spiritual rags they wear, clothes not fit for the wedding feast of the Lamb, begin to loosen.

They discover that while they cannot pray or desire anything for themselves, they can do so for others. Herein lies their knowledge that their existence now reaches out to God, and to people left behind in the World.

They begin to pray for others, those still on Earth. In this charity, they grow closer to the Lord. Their journey forward continues.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory

Today I am posting a series of meditations for the Solemnity of the Commemoration of All Souls. It is based on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, and the Death on the Cross.)

It does not depict what I actually think happens in Purgatory, although Catholics familiar with the Church’s teachings on Purgatory should recognize where I got this or that concept.

It should not be interpreted as a chronological timeline of what happens after a soul enters Purgatory, just how each of the Suffering Mysteries may reflect why souls end up there.

I hope you enjoy reading them. Perhaps “enjoy” isn’t the right word, but I did feel rather creative while writing them. I may take these meditations and adapt them somewhat for a work of fiction. I’ve long wanted to write a novel based on Purgatory and these meditations may provide a sort of structure or basis for one. We shall see.

Anyway, these meditations should appear quickly after this post.

For how to say the Rosary:

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

On the Origin of All Souls Day

Taylor Marshall, over at Canterbury Tales, has an interesting article on theOrigin of All Souls Day .

NOTE: It’s another article from last year that for whatever reason I didn’t get around to blogging about.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

CATHERINE OF GENOA AND THE EXPERIENCE OF PURGATORY

In Pope Benedict XVI’s General Audience today, the Holy Father reflected of St. Catherine of Genoa and her experience of Purgatory. The following is an excerpt from his address, I italicized a particularly relevant point:

VIS news – Holy See Press Office: CATHERINE OF GENOA AND THE EXPERIENCE OF PURGATORY: “…Benedict XVI then went on to refer to the works of the saint, recalling how, ‘in her mystical experiences, Catherine never received specific revelations on Purgatory or on the souls being purified there’. She did not see Purgatory ‘as a place of transit in the depths of the earth: it is not an exterior fire, but an interior fire’. She did not use the hereafter as a basis ‘to recount the torments of purgatory and then show the way to purification and conversion; rather, she began from the interior experience of man on his journey towards eternity’. Thus, for Catherine, ‘the soul is aware of God’s immense love and perfect justice; as a consequence, it suffers for not having responded to that love perfectly, and it is precisely the love of God Himself which purifies the soul from the ravages of sin’…

(Via VIS news – Holy See Press Office.)

Sin separates us from God, the pain of that separation is acutely evident to the soul after death. The soul’s desire for God and for perfect union with Him, combined with God’s love, is a purification, in which the stain of sins are purged from the soul.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The pain of waiting for Heaven

Our true home is Heaven. Our life on Earth is an exile, the time we spend here prepares us for our arrival home. If we misuse this time to an extreme (consistently rejecting the will of God and working against Him) we will banish ourselves and be eternally damned. Damnation is the natural consequence of our poor moral choices on Earth.

However, even if we exercise right judgement, we may still be denied entry into the fullness of Heaven and perfect union with God for a time. This time is referred to as Purgatory. Those who die in a state of grace but yet still retain the stain of sin on their souls need to be purified. The unclean cannot enter into the vision of God in this state. See: Catechism of the Catholic Church – Purgatory

(Via Vatican.)

We can begin our purgatory here on Earth. A longing for our true home and the pain of separation from it is a purifying experience. This longing is a prayer.

The blog The New Theological Movement has a great post entitled “Prayer, purgatory on earth”. It explores the idea that through a prayerful longing for Heaven, we can offer up this suffering for the expiation of our sins and for the Church Suffering.

This prayerful longing for Heaven is a detachment from our exile, and therefore a little death. Gradually we are better prepared for our own death and no longer fear it.

Personally, I feel this longing. Daily I pray for this “going home,” and not in any worrying suicidal way, but just like anyone who wishes to be home, I would rather be there than here.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

MINISTERING AT GRAVESIDE

Here is a brief article from Spirit Daily concerning a wonderful devotion about praying for the dead:

MINISTERING AT GRAVESIDE

I have posted on this before, and will post a few more reminders tomorrow (or you can look through the Archives).

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Praying for the dead

Ar article in Spirit Daily reminds us that November is the month for praying for the deceased:

MONTH ARRIVES FOR US TO HELP THE SOULS WHO MAY BE IN PURGATORY OR ROAMING ‘IN BETWEEN’

The article also references to concept of “ghosts” or “spectres”, and states that the Church has no formal teaching on belief in such things, which is something that I need to look into to know for certain. If in fact the Church does not condemn belief in the existence of ghosts, then my opinion is that such entities are souls of the dead whose Purgatorial experience is such that they still remain in some fashion on Earth. But more on that in another post I’m drafting.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Fifteen years ago today, my father died

NOTE: This is reposted from an earlier date:

On this date in 1995 my father died.

He and I weren’t very close, (“fathers and sons …”) generational and attitudinal differences separated us.

As a result, I didn’t really grieve over his death. I mean, I was saddened and did feel the loss, but I wasn’t ripped apart by his death like I was over my Mom’s 10 years later.

This relative lack of impact was aided by the fact that I was 2,500 miles away and hadn’t seen him in 4 years.

I went home for his funeral, and reconnected with the family, but when I returned home to California I continued life as usual. I had started drinking heavily to cope with life’s problems a year before (failed romance) and my drinking picked up a little more upon my return, so that may have softened the need to grieve in a sober manner.

The point of this is that although I wasn’t too close to Dad during his life, I am much closer to him now. That would seem strange to non-Catholics, but for believers with a knowledge of the Communion of Saints, that shouldn’t seem strange at all.

Death doesn’t end a life. Death is just a passage from this life to another. This life is temporary, everything “is”, and then passes away to dust and a dim memory. The life after is eternal. Whether that life is spent in Heaven or Hell depends on what you do in your Earthly life.

There is a connection between those of us still here on Earth and those deceased. It is called, as I referenced in a previous paragraph, the Communion of Saints . (Via New Advent.) This is comprised of the “Church Militant” (those still on Earth), the “Church Suffering” (those in Purgatory) and the “Church Triumphant” (those in Heaven). Only the souls that have damned themselves to Hell are excluded.

“Communion” implies a community, wherein the members still can relate to one another. This relation is conducted by the means of prayer. We pray to the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering for their intercessory power with God. We can somehow sense their presence (although admittedly that “sensing” may be wishful thinking).

They are there to help, comfort and console us. We are separated from them by the chasm of death, but that chasm can be crossed eventually by our own deathly passage.

I said earlier in this post that I am much closer to Dad now than while he was alive. I have grown to be much like him, at least with regard to the practice of my Catholic Faith. (I still haven’t taken up woodworking as a hobby, nor returned to fishing as a pastime, but may in time. I do enjoy yardwork, like he did, and love baseball, too.) I understand him better as the years progress and as I grow older.

To anyone who has lost a parent (or anyone beloved) to death, fear not. They are not gone from you permanently. Consider them as just having moved far away, and the distance you need to travel to meet with them again will take the rest of your life.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"