For over a year, I have been a part of a small group that has really transformed my heart and prayer. The three of us women have become not only close friends but a reliable source of accountability to one another. We meet regularly to discuss bible study materials. We study scripture and boldly declare attainable goals that we apply to our lives. The intimacy of our group has created a safe environment for us to ask the hard questions and to lean on one another as we discern the movements of the Holy Spirit.
This past week my heart was pierced with convictions upon hearing what one of the women did to step out in faith. Everyday she prayed this prayer:
“Heavenly Father, what are the things you want me to do to prepare for eternal life?”
Immediately my heart started to stir, knowing this was a prayer I fearfully yet desperately wanted to pray. What better way to gain eternal life than to ask for assistance from the one guy who gave us access into eternity? And so the next morning, I opened my heart as I asked God to reveal to me the things that He wanted me to do to prepare for eternal life. After a few minutes of silence I opened up a devotional that I occasionally read. That morning the the guided bible passage for the daily reflection was Hebrews 9:27,
"And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment."
The entire devotional reading was stating the importance of praying for the poor souls in purgatory. It is said that purgatory is a temporary state for our souls prior to reaching heaven. You see, to fully enter heaven, every single trace of sin must be purified from our souls. The souls stuck in purgatory are filled with a deep longing and desire to be close to our Lord. It is at that point that our souls are only an arms reach away from eternal intimacy with Christ in heaven.
These souls desperately need our prayer and intercession. The month of November is dedicated to praying for the poor souls dwelling in the purification of purgatory. I love this quote from Elizabeth Westhoff, one of the many authors of the WINE devotional, “It is our duty, privilege, and honor as Catholics to pray for those who are being purged of their last attachment to sin.”
It is our job as the Church Militant to pray for the faithfully departed, especially if we want others to pray for our souls after we pass away. Shortly after meditating on and journaling my own reflection from what I read, I opened up instagram to see that my sister posted on our blogs instagram* a beautiful post reciting the Requiem prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
It was quite clear to me that morning that in order to gain eternal life for my own soul I must assist those who are on their way to heaven. There are souls in purgatory that do not have anyone to pray for them and I declared that morning to be their beacon of prayer in hope they achieve eternal rest in heaven.
A few things that I have done over the last week and will continue to do this month is pray the Requiem prayer each time I pass through or by a cemetery. I have been offering up small inconveniences and pain for the intention of the poor souls and just this morning I prayed for the souls in purgatory as my mass intention. These souls need our prayers! I hope and pray that your heart is stirred with compassion as you join me on this prayerful battle!
Until Next Time~Your Sister in Christ,
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