Thursday

All are called to be saints'


An Angel Frees the Souls of Purgatory (circa 1610), oil on canvas by artist Ludovico Carracci (15551619).

THE soul is all that matters. Every person is created in the image of God. He is body and soulcorporeal and spiritual. In Genesis 2:7 this reality is expressed: "The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground, and blew into his nostrils, the breath of life, and so man became a living being." At baptism, the Holy Spirit fills the spiritual vacuum in the soul caused by original sin.

This divine life, called sanctifying grace, is snapped by deliberate rejection and willful disobedience of God through mortal sin, and can be regained through the sacrament of penance. Death is the end of man's life on earth. Man will "not return to other earthly lives." The soul is separated from the body and will receive a particular judgement.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 1022, states: "Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his deatheither entrance into the blessedness of heaven immediately or through a purification or immediate and everlasting damnation." The word saint is derived from sanctus, a Latin word for holy. Thus, every Christian, united with Christ in baptism, in the original meaning of the word is considered a saint.

All are called to be saint During the early Christian communities, Saint Paul called all followers of Christ saints. He speaks of "saints at work" in Ephesus 1:1 and saints in Achaia in 2 Corinthians 1:1. In the "Apostles Creed," the phrase "communion of saints" infers a fellowship and interconnectedness among all souls where the Holy Spirit dwells. These include souls in heaven, the triumphant church; souls in purgatory, the suffering church; and the souls of the living on earth, the pilgrim church. The Church honors the holy people in heaven on All Saints' Day. These saints are specifically honored, too, on their feast days. The Church honors as well "the little people: those obscure, uncanonized, unbeatified, uncelebrated and anonymous saints" who will  never be named in the liturgical calendar.

But these residents of heaven, according to Fr. Nil Guillemette in The Cedars of Lebanon "knew how to love, accepted to die day by day to their natural selfishness and who, through the ordinary tasks of an ordinary life, lived with extraordinary beauty The loves of the saints can be the models of Christian. Mother Angelica, the Franciscan nun who founded Eternal Word Television (EWTN), the largest Catholic television network, would often say, "We are all called to be saints. Do not miss this opportunity. Souls in purgatory

Because of the spiritual nature of the soul, it craves with indescribable longing for God, but the desire is unsatisfied, aware that it has to be purified in a place called purgatory.


Mother Church considers the souls in purgatory poor and holy. They are poor because they cannot see God and cannot help themselves. They are holy because they can no longer commit sin and are fully aware heaven awaits them. The living can pray for the souls in purgatory, make the Way of the Cross, give alms and do works of charity. To pray and offer expiatory sufferings for them is the "highest act of supernatural charity." Souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves but they can pray for the living. The Doctrine of Purgatory was formulated by the Catholic Church in the Councils of Florence and Trent in reference to scriptural texts which "speaks of cleansing fire to attain the beatific vision of God," according to the CCC, 10311032.

Beatific vision in the words of Leo J. Trese in Faith Explained is "God possessing the soul and the soul possessing God in a unity so ravishingly complete as to be infinitely beyond the ecstacy of the most perfect human marriage. . . so shattering as to annihilate the soul, if God Himself did not give the soul the strength it needs to endure the happiness that is God." Saints and spiritual writers stress that the souls themselves decide their "voluntary punitive reparation to restore friendship with God." The fires in purgatory is "equal to the fires of hell," Saint Thomas of Aquinas declares. And contact with the fires is "more dreadful than all sufferings of this earth." Saint Augustine elucidates, the fire is "more penetrating, more dreadful than anything we can see, or feel, or conceive in this life." The Holy church remembers the suffering souls in purgatory: "Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters, and all who have left in this world on your friendship," is a prayer said in every Mass.

Prayer for souls in purgatory This prayers, as revealed to Saint Gertrude releases 10,000 souls in purgatory everytime it is recited: "Eternal Father, I offer thee the most Precious Blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the souls in purgatory for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my home and within my family. Santiago is a former regional director of the Department of Education National Capital Region. She is currently a faculty member of Mater Redemptoris College, Laguna.https://archive.org/details/WolfBlood1925
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