Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you well know the Month of November is dedicated to praying for the repose of the souls of our beloved dead and their eventual entrance into Heaven. The wonder of being in the communion of saints is that we are connected beyond the realm of death and are very much able to interact through the grace of prayer and sacrifice. We on earth implore the assistance of those who behold the face of God to watch over, protect and encourage us to make our journey home to the Lord. And we are truly grateful that they intercede for us.
Likewise, the souls in purgatory are dependent and grateful to us as we intercede for them. They rely on our prayers and sacrifices that their time in purgatory may be expedited and their entrance into glory may be hastened.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most important means by which the suffering souls may be consoled and look forward to their eventual enjoyment of the Beatific Vision. There are however other means by which these souls may be purified. I draw your attention to the most recent declaration from the Holy See: “Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Apostolic Penitentiary-in response to requests from bishops around the world-is once again extending opportunities to gain indulgences for the benefit of the faithful departed. By means of the decree the indulgence is extended to the entire month of November. When the faithful visit a cemetery and pray the Apostles Creed, the Our Father, Hail Mary and pray for the intentions of the Pope, a plenary indulgence will benefit the soul for whom that holy act is offered. A cemetery visit may be made each day. The person making the visit should, within 20 days make a good Confession, receive Our Lord in Holy Communion and renounce all attachment to sin. This personal sacrifice will in cooperation with the supreme sacrifice of Christ bring refreshment to the souls in purgatory. Recalling the words of Our Lord: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
May our humble sacrifices bring release to those we love.