Category Archives: Devotions

Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi

Today is October 3rd and that is the vigil of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. For Franciscans worldwide, tonight is the “Transitus,”or the ritual observance of his death.

I won’t go into details as to what transpires during the ritual, as I am not a Franciscan and thus have never participated. However, I will blog briefly on the event as it is significant for this blog in some ways.

I read up on the Transitus and various Franciscan sites and blogs variously describe the ritual observance as important as it connects Franciscans with each other – those living today and those who have gone before. That this great community is united by the observance of the death of their Order’s Founder is a wonderful lesson. It is something that can be incorporated in our lives.

“Memento Mori.” “Be mindful of your death.” In memorializing the anniversaries of when our loved ones died, we remember them as they were if their death was lingering due to age or infirmity; but we can also remember them as they had been when still vital and younger. If they died suddenly, it can be a way to “manipulate time,” they were suddenly taken from us but in or memorial observance we can “be there” in some spiritual fashion. If they died too young, well, perhaps it can be a manner in which they are brought forward in life along with us.

Our beloved dead are not forgotten, they are still with us, although in a ritualistic spiritual way. Their death is no longer some event isolated in thr past that might fade a somewhat in memory over the years. Oh, we still remember when Mom or Uncle Jimmy died, but over the years the date slowly becomes just another day in November or July.

Ritual is important. It helps organize life and mark time. “Ritual” is also the hidden word in spiRITUALity, something lost, I think, in those who eschew religion in favor of only spirituality.

As I write this, the feeling is growing within me to actually think about doing this somehow for some of my beloved dead. One way is on the Anniversary of a death is to say the “Office of the Dead” from the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours. Here is an online source: Office of the Dead.

Perhaps I’ll think of some thing to do in addition. Maybe whoever reads this can offer suggestions in the comments.

(I may reblog this in an edited form on SoberCatholic.com.)

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"

Susan Tassone has an Official Website

For those of you who, like me, appreciate Susan Tassone and her work in almost single-handedly bringing the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory back out of the shadows, you might like that she has an official website now:

Susan Tassone – Official Website

It contains information on her books and speaking engagements as well as useful resources.

She has written a number of books on Purgatory, focusing on devotions to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and the importance of praying for them.

I have written about her before: Susan Tassone: “Apostle of Purgatory” (UPDATED).

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"

Visits to the Cemetery

Portions of this post are reblogged from last year; this is an annual post on a fruitful pious devotion for November:

Catholic Culture has an excellent article regarding a very beneficial pious activity that can aid in your own spiritual progression. It also is a good reminder of where we’ll end up someday. (A grave. Morbid, true, but you wouldn’t be here unless you’re more aware than most people that you will die someday.)

Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November is something I blog about here annually. It is about the act of visiting a cemetery during the first 8 days of November. Half of the “Graves and Cemeteries” category are reblogs of it and this will probably be the last time I’ll post on it (at least on its own). The article is now a standalone link in the “Afterlife Links” section.

To summarize from the “Catholic Culture” site:Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls: A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory.

A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when the Eternal Rest  is prayed. This is a good prayer to recite especially during the month of November:

 ‘Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.'”

The article explains the differences between plenary and partial indulgences.

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"

Susan Tassone: “Apostle of Purgatory” (UPDATED)

Susan Tassone is an author of several books on Purgatory, notably prayerbooks to the Holy Souls suffering the fires of purgation. One of my annual rituals is to use her book Thirty-Day Devotions for the Holy Souls.every November, as that is the month dedicated to the dead. The book itself is very useful in discovering the importance of having a devotion to the Holy Souls, as well as learning more about Purgatory.

Another truly wondeful book is Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls. That book contains prayers from across the centuries of the Church’s existence for the suffering souls in Purgatory. I oftentimes find many to be very consoling. It also has instilled a yearning to join the Elect in Heaven. This life on Earth is truly temporary, we are only on pilgrimage here.

With the exception of “Praying in the Presence of Our Lord for the Holy Souls,” you can find her books here: Susan Tassone at Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company .

NOTE: This post was edited to correct links and availability.

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"

Getting ready for November

November is due to arrive at the end of the week, and that is an important month for myself and this blog. The Solemnity of All Saints on the 1st and the Feast of All Souls on the 2nd are two of my favorite days on the Church’s liturgical calendar.

Not to mention that my Mom died in 2005 on the 7th. I noticed that 8 years ago, today, she was transferred from the ICU to a private room at the hospital from where she died.

And so I will attempt to write more on death, dying and the devotions regarding such things like I usually try to do. Most of the material that is not original to me (such as links from Spirit Daily, New Advent and other people’s blogs) may actually be posted to the social network Pages this blog has. Links to them are here:

The Four Last Things on Facebook and The Four Last Things on Google+.

So please “Like” or “Circle” them if you wish to see everything!

Thank you.

 

 

 

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 and Gaining Indulgences During November

Catholic Culture has an excellent piece on the Catholic practice of indulgences and praying for the dead:

Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November

Included is an explanation for a devotion that I’ve written about previously, that of visiting a cemetery and praying for the holy souls in Purgatory during the first eight days of November:

Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls: A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory. A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

Praying for the dead is a spiritual work of mercy. The dead have no recourse to their own prayers, they are entirely dependent upon our charity. The time of their own merit (life) is over. Our prayers for them, as well as the offering up of our earthly sufferings, trials and tribulations, assists in easing their progression through Purgatory.

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"

Memento Mori Rosary

The Crescat has this post on a Rosary that is mindful of death.

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: Dying on the Cross

The meditation of the Fifth Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, Dying on the Cross (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.)

The soul nears the end of its journey. It faces its final purging, that of finally and completely casting off all vestiges and traces of its attachment to Earthly things.

This is the soul’s final “dying” unto itself. It refused the opportunities to do so on Earth. All the times when Jesus might have increased within the life of the soul went for nothing. It was afraid of surrendering itself on Earth to God, fearful perhaps because of the perception that it will “lose” itself, its autonomy, its independence.

That was the World speaking, falsely misrepresenting its own allures to the soul.

But the soul, now having been purged within the cleansing fires of Purgatory of nearly all things Earthly, can finally achieve it desired end: annihilation of its Earthly attachments and springing into the arms of the Lord, forever united with Him and all its loved ones that have preceded it.

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: Carrying the Cross

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

Perhaps the biggest pains reserved for the suffering souls would be for the times they refused to carry their cross while on Earth. For those born into the discipleship of Christ (those born Christian and those who eventually converted to Christianity) the need to accept and carry the cross of Christ was a mark of that discipleship.

Many were called, but few accepted. Lured by the trappings of the World, with its false promises of joy and happiness, these souls opted for a comfortable Christianity.

“Go to Mass or worship services once a week, and all is good.”

Well, no. Life is not one of comfort. While at time we are rewarded with goodness and peace, overall life on Earth is an exile from our true home. And so it is filled with an emptiness, a kind of suffering that the souls seeks to satisfy with the false promises of the World. Fame, money, power, carnality, acceptance and other such vanities that pass.

And so now they realize what their intended mission was, and they are paying the price for it.

Now they suffer in place of what they could have done on Earth. Here, in the fires of Purgatory they suffer the pains of the cross.

Heaven is delayed, when it could have been attained already.

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: 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"