Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Every day the news grows more ominous. What can we do to help our fellow Christians who are being forced to flee their homes, threatened with death if they don't convert to Islam?
The following are ways we can show our solidarity and to help.
From the Anchoress on Patheos: 5 Things You Can Do Right Now as Isis Threatens Iraqi Christians and Shiites
From someone on Twitter: Petition to the White House to Help Christians and Iraq who are part of a modern day Holocaust.
From New Liturgical Movement: Urgent Appeal -- August 1st Day of Prayer, Adoration, and Solidarity for Persecuted Christians Source: Father Daren.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The Catholic doctrine on Purgatory has always held a source of fascination for me. On the one hand, it is very scary to think about when our earthly life is over, we need to purify ourselves in a very painful way (both body and soul) and on the other hand, we are guaranteed salvation and once our time is up, we will go to Heaven to be with God forever and ever!
In the past few months I have been reading and listening to all I can on how to not only help the poor souls in Purgatory, who of course, cannot help themselves, but also what we can do to avoid going to this place of purgation or alternatively, if we cannot avoid it, at least to minimize our time there.
The saints who have had visions of Purgatory emphasize that the time there is different than the time we experience on earth. One minute in Purgatory may just feel like ten years on earth.
Of course, we will want to go through the purifying fires of Purgatory. We will feel the need to cleanse ourselves before appearing before the pureness of God. It will be a very painful experience it seems yet we will also be very happy. As with all things of God, it is a mystery and a paradox.
I have made list of ways we can avoid going to Purgatory in our daily lives. The most important thing is to make this resolution. We need to realize that our time on earth is very limited. We may be young, but that does not necessarily guarantee that we will not die soon. We must be prepared.
It is our crosses and sufferings that God has permitted to burden us that will ultimately help in our salvation if we embrace them in a redemptive way. If we complain, even a little bit, about our crosses, we have lost the redemptive value that we could have earned.
The following is the list:
1. "...by accepting everything from God's hands. By Offering everything up to Him with love and Thanksgiving so as to enable us to pass from our deathbed to Paradise."*
2. Padre Pio emphasized repeatedly the importance of the sacrifice of the Mass for the release of the soul from Purgatory. It is important to remember, that Masses offered while we are alive are more efficacious than those of the Masses offered after we are dead. Request Masses for yourself, your family members, your friends, etc. on occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. This type of gift is much more valuable than spending money on frivolous presents that will not last or may not be even appreciated by the recipient.
3. It is important that we resign ourselves to God's will on the death of a loved one because this is extremely efficacious for the release of their soul.* The tears we shed at the death of a loved one, especially at their funeral will not help their souls in the least. It will be our prayers, masses offered our sacrifices for them that will release them from Purgatory.
4. It is our duty to pray for those who are in Purgatory owing to error on our own part. I don't know about you but this one troubles me very much. How many souls are in Purgatory are there due to what I have erroneously said or taught them? May God have Mercy!
5. We must have an assiduous and constant flight from sin, especially venial sins.*
6. We have to answer to God for everything, even for useless words..."For every idle word they shall given an account." (Mt. 12:36)*
7. Do penance on earth and resign our daily tribulations and sufferings to God's will.
8. Have a devotion to our blessed Mother. "she constantly assists at the extreme moment of death those who have been especially devoted to her.*
9. Have a special devotion to the Holy Eucharist.*
10. Be charitable towards the Holy Souls. Remember to pray for them daily, request Masses for their intentions, make sacrifices for them. There are countless ways we can help the Holy Souls.
11. Help our neighbor. Love them as Christ loves them. See Christ in them.
12. "In every prayer you say, every Mass you hear, every Communion you receive, every good work you perform have the express intention of imploring God to grant you a holy and happy death and no Purgatory..."**
13. Always wish to do God's will. It is in every sense the best for you. When you do or seek anything that is not God's will you are sure to suffer. Say fervently every time you pray the Our Father "Your will be done."**
14. "Accept all the sufferings, sorrows, pains and disappointments of life, be they great or small, ill health, loss of goods, the death of your dear ones, heart or cold, rain or sunshine as coming from God. Bear them calmly and patiently for love of Him and in penance for your sins. Of course one may use all his efforts to ward off trouble and pain, but when one cannot avoid it let him bear it manfully."**
Remember: "Impatience and revolt make sufferings vastly greater and more difficult to bear."**
15. "...Let us do our work, accept is disappointments and hardships and bear our pains in union with the Passion of Christ. We gain more merit by a little pain than by years of pleasure."**
16. "Forgive all injuries and offenses for in proportion as we forgive others God forgives us."**
17. " Avoid mortal sins, deliberate venial sins and break off bad habits. Then it will be relatively easy to satisfy God's justice for sins of frailty. Above all avoid sins against charity and chastity in thought, word and deed for these sins are the reason why many souls are detained in Purgatory for long years."**
18. "If afraid of doing much do many little things, acts of kindness and charity, give the alms you can, cultivate regularity, method, punctuality i the performance of duty; don't grumble or complain when things are not as you please; don't censure and complain of others; never refuse to do a favor to others when it is possible"**
19. "Do all in your power for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Pray for them constantly, get others to do so.."**
20. "There is no more powerful way of obtaining from God a most holy and happy death than by weekly Confession, daily mass and daily communion."**
21. "A daily visit to the Blessed sacrament--it need only be three of four minutes--is an easy way of obtaining the same grace. Kneeling in the presence of Jesus with eyes fixed on the Tabernacle, sure that He is looking at us, let us for a few minutes repeat some little prayer like these:
My Jesus mercy.
My Jesus have pity on me a sinner.
My Jesus I love you.
My Jesus give me a happy death."**
22. Be invested and wear the Brown Scapular. Our Lady will personally go down to Purgatory on the First Saturday after our death and she will accompany us to Heaven.
There are many more ways to we can avoid Purgatory. The foregoing is just a partial list. You can read more about these ways with the books listed below and also How to Avoid Purgatory by Father Paul O'Sullivan, O.P."
I also recommend the interview Sister Emmanuel did of Maria Simma. You can read the transcript HERE
Although, if you can obtain the tape or CD of the interview it will be much nicer. Sister has such an enchanting voice!
*The Holy Souls "Viva Padre Pio" - by Father Alessio Parente O.F.M. Cap.
**Read Me or Rue it...How to Avoid Purgatory by Father Paul O'Sullivan O.P. Online book.
Monday, July 21, 2014
According to the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Bishop Larry Silva announced this weekend that the Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Peace, has been designated as a minor basilica.
July 18, 2014
To the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful of the Diocese of Honolulu Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with great joy that I announce to you that the mother church and seat of the Diocese of Honolulu, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, has been designated a Minor Basilica!
You can read the rest of Bishop Silva's letter HERE.