They’re stuck where they are until their debt is paid. Many are forgotten because they have no one to pray for them or their family is sure that they have moved into heaven, but they have not. They cannot help themselves. Their time for merit is over. They know that they are not in the realm of the damned, and this gives them great joy! They feel God’s Great Mercy, but the souls in Purgatory simply cannot move on until their sins have been expiated by their time spent in this place of cleansing.
The souls suffer greatly in Purgatory. Being separated from God is one of their greatest sufferings. Yet, they trust in God’s Mercy and know that their punishment is just. They cannot pray for themselves, but they do pray for us. The souls in Purgatory, in spite of their sufferings, can be some of our best friends. They are so grateful when their intense sufferings are lessened or they are freed from the bonds of sin through your prayers for them.
St. JoseMaria Escriva said, “The Holy Souls in Purgatory. Out of charity, out of justice, and out of excusable selfishness — they have such power with God! — remember them often in your sacrifices and in your prayers. May you be able to say when you speak of them, “My good friends the souls in purgatory.”
How can we help these beautiful, suffering souls?
1) Pray, always prayer first.
2) Have Masses said for the souls in Purgatory and offer your Masses for them.
3) Pray the Rosary for the Holy Souls.
4) Offer your sufferings for the souls.
Stub your toe? Offer that up for the souls.
Cut your finger while preparing a meal? Offer that up for the souls.
Worried about something? Offer that up for the souls.
5) Offer your good deeds for the souls.
Yes, you can offer that which brings you merit when you do things with joy. For example, when you wash the dishes, offer that up for the souls.
When you feed your pets, offer that up for the souls.
When you take the time to play with your pets, offer that up for the souls.
When you realize how blessed you are, offer that up for the souls.
6) Make sacrifices for the souls.
Clean the bathroom without complaining for the souls.
When you walk your pet, clean up their waste without complaining.
Stay off of Facebook, Twitter, or other social media for a day.
Instead of buying those new shoes, donate what you would have spent on shoes to the poor.
Don’t like to sing during Mass? Sing and offer that up for the souls.
7) Fast. (Yes, I did say fast.)
Our church requires us to fast very little. Deny yourself, if you are phsyically able, and skip a meal.
Eat all three meals in one day, but eat only half of your food.
Eat only vegetables one day.
Eat only fruits one day.
Skip the consumption of meat once a week.
Turn off the TV or computer for one night.
Offer all your fasting up for souls.
8) Visit a cemetery and pray for the souls who are buried there.
Many of the souls in Purgatory are not Catholic, so if their families and friends don’t pray for them, because that is not a part of their beliefs, they will stay in Purgatory longer because they have no one to pray for them.
9) Pray for the abandoned souls in Purgatory. Some have been their for centuries. (Does this give you an idea of how great the evil of sin is?) Pray for those who have been forgotten.
10) Pray the St. Gertrude prayer daily for the souls in Purgatory.
This prayer is said to release 1,000 souls each time it is prayed.
Eternal Father, I offer you the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus, in union with all of the Masses said throughout the world today, in reparation for sins, for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, for those within my home and within my family. Amen.
“I know when you pray for me, and it is the same with all of the other souls here in Purgatory. Very few of us here get any prayers; the majority of us are totally abandoned, with no thought or prayers offered for us from those on earth” (Message from a soul in Purgatory)
To learn more about Purgatory and the souls there, go to this article called Amazing stories from Purgatory and the afterlife. I have a feeling that, after you read this article, you will pray more for the souls in Purgatory.