Giving Alms And The Release Of Holy, Suffering Souls In Purgatory
By Susan Tassone
The Month of the Dead is fast approaching! A powerful time of the year for our beloved dead.
The means by which we can aid the poor souls in purgatory are numerous.
The Mass is above all the most powerful means to attain the beatific vision of God.
The Rosary is richly indulgenced as are the Stations of the Cross. Indulgences have been covered with the Blood of our Savior. Eucharistic Adoration is intercessory prayer. Adorers assume the office of mediators on behalf of the members of the Church suffering. Souls are given great comfort and relief from our intercessory prayers.
God calls us to give. It helps us to grow in love for him and our neighbor. The giving of alms has been considered a most satisfactory work of penance for the holy souls. Alms, said the Angel to Tobias, "delivers from death." Offered for the dead it possesses a triple effect. It enriches the donor with merit, aids the poor, mitigates or even delivers the soul from purgatory and augments our glory in Heaven.
Almsgiving is one of the surest means of anticipating our own purgatorial debt assuring speedy entrance to Heaven. Like any act of charity, however, our almsgiving must be done with purity of intention in a spirit of charity. God does not so much regard the amount of alms given as He does the heart of the one who gives it. Our charity must be commensurate with our means.
Spiritual alms is at the disposal of all. At the forefront are voluntary penances great and small. Fasting, occasional self denial of the small luxuries of life, physical sufferings, disappointments, bereavement, poverty, and so forth. Everyone of us has something to give to our suffering friends in purgatory. We gain the grateful friendship of those whom we have relieved in their suffering. They will aid us in working out our own salvation.
St. Gregory of Nazianzen said, "Nothing can win the love of God like alms, because goodness and compassion are the most distinctive characteristics of the Divinity."
Whosoever aids God is sure of Paradise.
St. John Chrysostom beautifully added, "Alms is a heavenly work, and most many-sided of all good works. It protects those who practice it. It is the friend of God, and powerful in obtaining grace for those whom it loves. It breaks the chains, dispels the darkness, extinguishes the fire. It approaches, and the gates of the Kingdom open fully to it. When a queen comes, no guard dare to question her right to enter, but all would hasten to open wide the gates. So it is with alms for she is a queen and she knows how to make men like unto God.
"She has wings and she flies easily; golden wings that glance in the light of Heaven, rejoicing the angels. She is always near to the throne of God, and when we appear before the tribunal of the sovereign Judge, she flies to meet us, and covers us with the protection of her wings."
The words of Malachi where God tells us to "try me in this" encourages us to give alms as a part of our spiritual and financial life. The blessings the Lord has in store on behalf of the holy souls for you are endless.
[Susan Tassone's books are available in the spiritdaily bookstore; for Gregorian Masses, Novena of Masses, Chalices, and Mission Memberships visit: spiritualtreasury.org
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