08 October 2007

With stops at Purgatory and all points beyond

Although it's hard to believe, November, the month for remembering the Poor Souls, is quickly approaching. Numerous saints have been visited by the Poor Souls, often asking them for prayers or Masses so that they will be released from Purgatory, or like St. Perpetua, who saw her younger brother as he was released from Purgatory because of her prayers.

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.

Scorch marks from a Poor Soul on The Imitation of Christ, Rome

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


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.


Terry Nelson said...

I believe your father's experiences were genuine. I also have heard a thank you or two - seriously. I think God permits that to encourage our prayers for the poor souls - to demonstrate that our prayers are indeed efficasious.

swissmiss said...

His experiences were after many years of prayer. I believe they were meant to spur him on, in a sense, to continue and persevere.

Anonymous said...

Powerful post! I am printing out the Prayer of St. Gertrude and posting it where I can see it and pray it every day.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

This is a powerful post. Due to my recent in-home experiences, I have ramped up my prayers for the souls in Purgatory. I always included them in my Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart but I've added special prayers just for them.

:o) said...

Thank you for this post and prayer. My husband and I often offer a decade of the rosary for the poor souls in purgatory, but this prayer can be done daily! I'm going to add it to my blog and my daily prayers.

swissmiss said...

The prayer is incredible powerful, but to think that you could say this prayer several times a day, 365 days a year and still not empty Purgatory is a sobering thought.

Anonymous said...

God works through us--Eternal Father, I offer Thee..... I'm saying this prayer often!

Entropy said...

Your father's experiences are fascinating. The prayer is beautiful.
Thank you for sharing them.