Monday, December 18, 2006
Holy Souls Novena: Day Three

Our Lady, Mother Mary, has said that more souls are released from Purgatory on Christmas than any other day in the year.

This novena was written by Daniel Lord, S.J.

Day 3

This life on earth is, as we have heard a thousand times, a time of merit. When through the Church's indulgences we avail ourselves of the merits of Christ and of the saints, we can wipe away the guilt of forgiven sins and eliminate the punishment due to venial sins, as we can also do through penance and deeds of charity.

But once the soul enters purgatory, the time for that soul to gain merit is ended. When we suffer on earth, we can offer our suffering to God, increasing thereby our future happiness in heaven and canceling out the pains of purgatory. When a soul suffers in purgatory, he slowly and tediously cancels the debts of sins; he gains no further merit for heaven. Nor are there indulgences in purgatory, nor fresh use of the merits of Christ, of His Mother, and of the saints.

Thanks however to our union in the Mystical Body of Christ, thanks to the communion of the saints, we can gain merit for the suffering souls. We can win indulgences and apply them to the period of waiting of these souls. We can cut their sufferings and speed their entry into heaven by whatever of good that we offer for them on earth.

In all generosity we say for these souls who depend on us:

The Prayer for the Holy Souls

O God, the Creater and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

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