SummaryAll Souls Day is a time to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. Dr. Mary Kay Clark shows us how to turn our homeschooling activities into prayers as well.
On November 2, the day after All Saints Day, the Church celebrates All Souls Day as a time to pray for the Poor Souls in Purgatory.
From the teachings of the Church, and from visions of the saints, we know that God has provided Purgatory as the place of cleansing for those in need of final purification before they may enter Heaven. Those Poor Souls are aware of their just punishment and desire to stay there to make restitution for their sins, and then be ready to receive the blessings of Heaven.
I imagine that our Guardian Angel will be by our side when we are in Purgatory. He will be reminding us,
“He was hungry, but you gave him no food. He was thirsty, but you gave him no drink. He was a stranger in need, but you did not take him in. He was naked, but you did not clothe him. He was sick, but you did not visit him. He was in prison, but you did not stop to see Him.”
Feeding the hungry can and should involve monetary donations and giving our time to help with soup kitchens. As parents, however, we know that our responsibilities start at home. We know that the hungry are our own children, whom we must take the time to “feed” with the knowledge of Jesus and His Commandments. Every day that we bring our children to Mass, they are fed with the Body of Christ.
When Jesus from the Cross said, “I thirst,” He was thirsting for our love. We parents know our children too are “thirsty” for knowing about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Who loves us like no other ever could.
We must teach our children to pray daily so they stay close to Jesus and never become “strangers” to Him or His Blessed Mother.
Parents clothe their children every day. Maintaining modesty in clothing can be difficult with today’s fashions, but it is essential to inculcate purity and self-respect. In addition to physical clothes, we want to clothe our children with the spiritual clothing of the virtues: faith, hope, love, patience, obedience, humility, etc.
The Poor Souls in Purgatory know they are not yet properly attired with these virtues, and thus are not worthy to enter the Wedding Feast of Heaven.
There are many different kinds of sickness. We can help alleviate suffering by visiting hospitals and nursing homes, and by caring patiently for a sick spouse or child. The worst sickness, however, is sin. The Poor Souls in Purgatory realize they are sick with the mark of sins, even sins of omission.
According to some revelations, the Blessed Mother visits those suffering souls who omitted or neglected to help the poor and the ignorant. The sick are not always those in a sickbed but also those who reject the healing mercy of Christ. We can minister to these sick by practicing and encouraging frequent reception of the Sacrament of Confession.
Jesus asked us to visit may not be in a physical prison, but in the mental prison of denying Jesus and His teachings. The “prison” that so many suffer today is the mental iron door closed to listening to the truth! Hopefully, our children are not in this prison.
To guard against our children losing their faith in their college or young adult years, we can keep harmful influences, such as excessive television and media, out of our homes. With our children, we can frequently practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to keep their faith alive.
Above all, children learn how to relate to God their Father and the Church their Mother through the relationship they have with their parents. So a loving, peaceful home is a beautiful safeguard against the prison of denying Jesus and the Faith.
The Poor Souls in Purgatory are happy in the realization they are on the path to eternal salvation in Heaven. The truly poor souls are those innocent children who seldom if ever hear the teachings of Jesus. May we always provide our children with the “food and drink” of salvation.
Blessed Souls [in Purgatory], I have prayed for thee; I entreat thee, who are so dear to God, and who are secure of never losing Him, to pray for me. Amen. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)