Alms-Giving Affords Great Relief to the Departed

Alms-Giving Affords Great Relief to the Departed

Besides prayer and other acts of devotion there are practical good works we can perform for the relief of the suffering souls. Alms-giving is one of the most prominent, for this, being a work of mercy, is especially efficacious in obtaining mercy for the holy souls. Not the rich alone are able to give alms; the poor can do so as well; since it is not the value of the gift, but the good intention with which it is bestowed, that is acceptable in the sight of God.

We also shall one day be numbered among the suffering souls, and who is in greater need and poverty than they? The most miserable beggar in this world can at least complain of his wants and ask others to assist him. But the souls in Purgatory cannot do even this, for the instances in which they are permitted to implore aid of the living are exceptional cases and very few are on record. What consolation it will afford us when, in our own great time of need, the poor whom we have befriended and comforted upon earth, in company with the holy souls whom we delivered by offering this work of mercy for them, shall come to our assistance by their prayers and supplications! Therefore, says Holy Scripture: “Do good to the friend before thou die; and according to thy ability, stretching out thy hand to give to the poor.” (Eccl. xiv. 13.)

Prayer:

Lord, graciously look upon the alms we offer for the redemption of the captive souls in Purgatory. Bestow upon them the full merit thereof that they may be able to discharge their debt; accept, we beseech Thee, this boom of charity, that delivered from debt and penalty Thou mayest lead them into Thy heavenly kingdom. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who upon earth gave alms for the relief of the suffering souls. Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times)

Practice: Bestow a gift upon a poor person,
and offer the merit for the souls in Purgatory.
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy 

The State of Grace Necessary to Assist the Souls in Purgatory

The State of Grace Necessary to Assist the Souls in Purgatory

Holy Church teaches us that the state of grace is necessary to perform good works acceptable to God and of merit to the souls in Purgatory. There are some good works, the value of which does not depend upon the spiritual condition of the one who offers them. A person who may be, unfortunately, in the state of mortal sin, can have Masses said for the faithful departed. He himself will acquire no merit thereby, but the suffering souls will derive the full benefit of the Holy Sacrifice. In all other good works offered for them, the state of sanctifying grace is requisite. “He that abideth in Me,” says Christ, “and I in him, the same beareth much fruit, for, without Me you can do nothing.” If, then, we are incapable of gaining merit for ourselves, how can we bestow any upon others? St. Francis Xavier says: “Before being intent upon delivering souls from Purgatory, take heed to redeem your own souls from Hell!” and here we may add the word of the Lord spoken by His prophet: “Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your device from my eyes: cease to do perversely.” (Isaiah i. 16.)

Prayer:

Grant us the grace, O Lord, to avoid sin at all times, and confirm us in Thy charity, that, by Thy bounty, our supplications for the suffering souls may be acceptable to Thee and beneficial to them. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who were careful never to lose the grace of God. Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times)

Practice: Make an act of perfect contrition.
Invocation : My Jesus, mercy!