Yesterday we celebrated the Church Triumphant on All Saints Day, those who have gone before us who now enjoy the beatific vision in Heaven, whether known by the Church or not. Today, we commemorate the suffering souls in Purgatory, the Church Suffering, those who died in the state of grace but still are in need of purification before entering Heaven. The following reflection from Catholic Restoration, which includes the image, explains the importance of praying for those in Purgatory and why we owe it to them. Never cease to pray for these souls who cannot pray for themselves and are in such need.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
Our Duty to Relieve the Souls in Purgatory
In bestowing charity upon any person, we are usually guided by the degree of his poverty; but who is in such great need as he who possesses absolutely nothing, owes a heavy debt, is unable to labor or gain any merit; or even to beg, and must nevertheless suffer the most excruciating torments until the last farthing has been paid? There is a universal law to assist the needy, which extends even to strangers; but here the obligation is greater, because among these souls in Purgatory are such as were intimately connected with us, who suffer perhaps, for having loved us excessively. Among the sufferers are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends.
How exceedingly painful for them to be forgotten and deserted even by those whose happiness they promoted during their sojourn on earth; to see the possessions left to their children foolishly squandered, they themselves not receiving the benefit of the least farthing thereof. What proofs of extreme coldness and ingratitude! Were any of these persons afflicted with the least pain upon earth we would do all in our power to relieve them, but, as it is, we are devoid of all sympathy, and leave them in their terrible suffering and anguish.
Have mercy, O Lord, upon the suffering souls in Purgatory, and mitigate the severity of Thy judgment, that they, who during their earthly lives, believed in Thee, hoped in Thee, and loved Thee, may receive the crown of justice in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Special Intercession: Pray for the souls of those who are suffering for their negligence in prayer for the souls in Purgatory. Lord grant them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Three times.)
Practice: Suffer patiently the disagreeable occurrences in your intercourse with others.
Invocation: My Jesus, mercy!