Today is All Souls’ Day…
One day you’re celebrating and partying for the saints in heaven, and the next day you’re offering prayers and acts of sacrifice in the hopes that all of the faithful departed may come to join in the celebrations sooner. The Church has thought this all out 🙂
Eternal rest grant unto 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.
This being the Year of Faith and all, I encourage you today to read The Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul VI on the Doctrine of Indulgences (yes, the Church still believes in the Practice of Indulgences!), and to consider striving to obtain one for a soul in Purgatory.
From Indulgentiarum Doctrina:
It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God’s sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or “purifying” punishments…
…These punishments are imposed by the just and merciful judgment of God for the purification of souls, the defense of the sanctity of the moral order and the restoration of the glory of God to its full majesty…
…In purgatory, in fact, the souls of those “who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but before satisfying with worthy fruits of penance for sins committed and for omissions are cleansed after death with purgatorial punishments…For all men who walk this earth daily commit at least venial sins; thus all need the mercy of God to be set free from the penal consequences of sin.
There reigns among men…a supernatural solidarity whereby the sin of one harms the others just as the holiness of one also benefits the others… A testimony of this solidarity is manifested in Adam himself, whose sin is passed on through propagation to all men. But of this supernatural solidarity the greatest and most perfect principle, foundation and example is Christ himself to communion with Whom God has called us.
Indeed Christ “committed no sin,” “suffered for us,” was wounded for our iniquities, bruised for our sins…by his bruises we are healed.”
Following in the footsteps of Christ, the Christian faithful have always endeavored to help one another on the path leading to the heavenly Father through prayer, the exchange of spiritual goods and penitential expiation. The more they have been immersed in the fervor of charity, the more they have imitated Christ in his sufferings, carrying their crosses in expiation for their own sins and those of others, certain that they could help their brothers to obtain salvation from God the Father of mercies.