I have lots of memories of Christmases from my youth. I vividly remember making delicious holiday meals, singing in the children’s choir at mass, and excitedly buying presents for my siblings and parents, among many other things. But I don’t remember too much about Advent growing up, except for lighting the Advent wreath every night […]
Every November 2nd the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of All Souls, a day devoted to remembering and praying in a special way for the Church Suffering— the Holy Souls in Purgatory who are being purified on their way to heaven after death. The Church sees this practice as so important that the entire month […]
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them. St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them. Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory.
The Three Hail Mary novena is a very beautiful prayer recited in honor of three of Mary’s special gifts given to her by God: her power, wisdom, and mercy. In this novena we ask her to use these gifts on our behalf to obtain our petitions from God, and most importantly, to help us lead a holier life.
The Holy Rosary is an enormous source of grace and protection, one of the most powerful sacramentals of the Catholic Church. Sister Lucia dos Santos, one of the children to whom Our Lady appeared at Fatima, once said, “There is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families . . . that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
There is no sacramental or devotion in the Catholic Church that is more widely praised, preached, and practiced than the Holy Rosary. And for good reason . . . it works! Outside of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the most powerful prayer is Our Lady’s Holy Rosary. After all, it was given to the faithful as a spiritual weapon by the Blessed Virgin herself!
Below is a tender and powerful litany that St. Faustina wrote to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, her support through the bitter suffering she experienced in her soul, trials allowed by Jesus himself. But first, the strength and beauty of her litany is better appreciated by better understanding the deep interior darkness that her soul was plunged into which produced such a heart-rending prayer.
If you’ve ever been perplexed about choosing just the right rosary for yourself or as a gift for someone else, you may have noticed that finding the right rosary will increase the likelihood of it actually being used for prayer, however silly that may sound. Getting the right look and feel that is attractive to the user is a great way to ensure that the rosary becomes a call to prayer instead of getting lost in a drawer.
St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as “The Little Flower,” is the third woman to be declared a Doctor of the Church. She is best known for her “little way”–which is to seek sanctity in everyday life by doing small things with great love. She is, arguably, the most beloved modern saint; her writings are […]