PRAY FOR THEM
AND THEY WILL PRAY MORE FOR YOU
After having offered prayers and sacrifices for the Poor Souls, we can confidently ask their intercession:
My Jesus, give me a share
in the intercession
offered by the Souls in Purgatory
and make it effective for me.
May they all pray for me,
especially that I may
serve You faithfully,
avoid sin and die a happy death,
(and for... [name a particular intention].)
AN ANALYSIS AND EXPLANATION:
My Jesus, give me a share in the intercession offered by the Souls in Purgatory
Do these souls pray for us even before they have arrived in Heaven? Since the souls in Purgatory are in the state of grace and charity, since they are definitively saved, and since charity is active, it is certain that they exercise that charity by interceding for the Faithful on earth. It is the Doctor of the Church, Saint Robert Bellarmine, who points this out. And magisterial texts affirm it also: in the beatification of the foundress of the Helpers of the Holy Souls, Eugénie Smet, an official document states that it is “mind of the Church” that the Holy Souls pray for us. And in Reconcilatio et paenitentia Pope Sant John Paul II says:
...one cannot deny the social nature of [the Sacrament of Penance], in which the whole church –militant, suffering and glorious in heaven– comes to the aid of the penitent and welcomes him again into her bosom... (31-iv)
But how can the Church Suffering, that is, the Poor Souls, help, other than by interceding? Their sufferings, even if they are very great, are not meritorious.
and make it [their intercession] effective for me [who have prayed for them]
“...Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective” Catechism of the Catholic Church 958. Those who pray for these Poor Souls can rightly expect help from them more than if they never prayed for them.
May they all pray for me,
especially that I may serve You faithfully, avoid sin and die a happy death
A soul from Purgatory told the Venerable Francesca del Santissimo Sacramento that “whenever anyone prays for us [the souls of the Faithful Departed], we all pray for him or her, especially that the person may serve the Lord faithfully, avoid sin and die a happy death."
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” If we practice charity and mercy towards the souls of the Faithful Departed, our Faith makes it plain that we shall in our turn also receive mercy. And one of the channels of this mercy will be the grateful intercession of the souls themselves.
Two powerful Prayers
The following two prayers have received ecclesiastical approbation. I hope that we can see their intrinsic power since they combine the all important “supplication” or general plea for mercy for the souls, and a calling upon and at least implicit honouring of the Holy Wounds through whiuch and from which come all graces and mercies.
through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer Thee, the wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the souls in Purgatory:
to heal their wounds,
to cleanse their stains
and to pay all their debts.
through the merits of Thy Holy Wounds:
eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
If one has some time, and is moved by holy charity, these prayers could be prayed on the rosary beads. The “Eternal Father” on the Paters, and the “My Jesus” on the Aves, without prejudice to praying our Rosary or part of it.