I have no doubt that the Poor Souls can come to us to plead for prayers or to thank us for our fidelity and assistance.
One of my favorite blogs, Our Lady's Tears, has had several great posts about Purgatory. She encouraged me to write this post about my father's experiences.
My father was a Third Order Carmelite for many, many years. He had a wonderful devotion to Our Lady and the Poor Souls. He said the Daily Office and a daily rosary. Most afternoons, my father could be found laying on the couch in the living room, deep in prayer. Often times, because of how long he had been lying on the couch and how still he was, I thought he was asleep. However, he was just busy with his daily prayers; many of the prayers were for those who had petitioned him with their intentions.
Before his death, my father told me of an experience he had while in prayer. He was, like he normally was, laying on the couch in the living room saying his rosary. He became aware of a presence, that he described as female, across the room from him, although he could not see it with his eyes. He said the presence moved towards him and even though he was laying on the couch and it wasn't physically possible, he said it felt like the presence hugged him with so much love and gratitude that it was suffocating. So overwhelmingly beautiful and incredible that it was suffocating. The instant my father acted like he was suffocating, the presence was gone. I could tell my father was disappointed he reacted as he had and that had brought about the quick departure of the Poor Soul.
I know my father had various experiences in his life and was not quick to talk about them. I would bet I am the only one he ever told this experience to, primarily because I believe he thought the soul that visited him might be my mother. Although he didn't say it, in his typically understated way, I could tell that the mention of the presence being a woman held great weight in what he was trying to convey to me.
If it was my mother, what an incredible gift that would be to both of them.
My father had one other experience with the Poor Souls that he told me about, but he didn't tell me much about it other than he was aware of a soul thanking him and being grateful. That's all my father would say as he was very humble about talking about things like this.
The Poor Souls are in need of Masses and our prayers. A great blog dedicated to them is Friends of the Poor Souls. Start preparing now for your November novenas.
Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great
DICTATED BY OUR LORD TO RELEASE 1,000 SOULS FROM PURGATORY EACH TIME IT IS SAID
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.