In November, we focus on the Poor Souls and on our own mortality as well. The chill wind blowing the flaming leaves about recalls to us thoughts of purgatory and its cleansing fires, bringing to mind loved ones gone before us and our own mortality.
Although these days, the very concept of Purgatory is an affront to the sensibilities of modern Catholics, it can be a comforting concept to those familiar with the true teachings of the faith. Like the dogma of the sacrificial nature of the Mass, Purgatory is a reminder of the loving justice of God.
If we were to make full use of all the opportunities presented to us every day for offering up our trials and sacrifices for the remission of our sins and for the sins of others, we could conceivably assist many poor souls to heaven as well as shorten our own stay in purgatory’s cleansing fires. The fact that we do not do this, that is, do not make full use of these opportunities for sacrifice, is perhaps due to our not wearing our scapular mindfully, or not maintaining our Consecration to Our Lady as we should. November is a great time to correct this.
NOTE: The following is added 4:00 pm: According to a pamphlet issued many years ago by the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “The faithful who devoutly offer prayers for the Poor Souls with the intention of doing so for nine (9) successive days may obtain an indulgence of three (3) years each day, or five (5) years each day if in November, and a plenary indulgence at the completion of the nine days of prayer for the Poor Souls. An excellent prayer for them is Psalm 129, the De Propfundis:
Out of the depths have I cried to thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice. Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall abide it?
For with Thee is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word:
My soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him is plentiful redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.