Category Archives: Theology

Pray for the Souls in purgatory

The Catholic Church has a special concern for those who died and have not entered into the Beatific Vision.

Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for all sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

St Gertrude the Great
14th Century Benedictine nun and abbess

All Souls Indulgence

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let the radiance of your light shine forever upon them (cf. 2 Es 2:35).

To you our praise is due in Zion, O God.
To you we pay our vows, you who hear our prayer; to you all flesh will come (Ps 64:2-3).

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence on All Souls Day (November 2 )

– Piously visit a church to pray for the faithful departed

– Say one “Our Father” and the “Creed” in the visit to the church

– Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the intentions of the Pope

– Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day)

– Make a Sacramental Confession within a week of (before or after) All Souls Day

– that one be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

Requirements for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence from November 1 to 8

– Devoutly visit a cemetery and pray for the dead.

– Say one “Our Father” and one “Hail Mary” for the intentions of the Pope

– Worthily receive Holy Communion (ideally on the same day)

– Make a Sacramental Confession within a week of (before or after) All Souls Day

– that one be free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin.

The “technical” things on Indulgences (so that we don’t fall into error)…from the Handbook of Indulgences, Norms:

“1. An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose culpable element has already been taken away. The Christian faithful who are rightly disposed and observe the definite, prescribed conditions gain this remission through the effective assistance of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, authoritatively distributes and applies the treasury of the expiatory works of Christ and the Saints.”

“22. The prescribed work for gaining a plenary indulgence attached to a church or oratory is a devout visit there, which includes the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed (Pater Noster and Credo), unless otherwise stated in a specific grant.”

“23. 1. Besides the exclusion of all attachment to sin, even venial sin, the requirements for gaining a Plenary Indulgence are the performance of the indulgenced work and fulfillment of three conditions: Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.

  1. Several Plenary Indulgences may be gained on the basis of a single Sacramental Confession; only one may be gained, however, on the basis of a single Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the Pope’s intentions.
  2. The three conditions may be carried out several days preceding or following performance of the prescribed work. But it is more fitting that the Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the day the work is performed.
  3. If a person is not fully disposed or if the prescribed work and the three mentioned conditions are not fulfilled, the Indulgence will only be partial …”
  4. The condition requiring prayer for the Pope’s intentions is satisfied by reciting once the Our Father and Hail Mary for his intentions (Pater Noster and Ave Maria); nevertheless all the faithful have the option of reciting any other prayer suited to their own piety and devotion.”

From the Handbook of Indulgences, Grants

  1. Visiting a Church or an Oratory on All Souls Day
    A Plenary Indulgence, which is applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory is granted to the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a church or an oratory on (November 2nd,) All Souls Day.13. Visiting a cemetery
    An indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the dead, This indulgence is applicable only to the souls in purgatory. This indulgence is a plenary one from November 1 through November 8 and can be granted on each one of these days. On the other days of the year this indulgence is a partial one.

Trinity Sunday

In the Western Church, the Sunday following Pentecost is Trinity Sunday. As point of comparison the Byzantine Church today is the Sunday of All Saints.

There are plenty of things to say about the Holy Trinity but I think this hymn attributed to St. Jacob of Sarug found today in the Syriac Maronite at the Third Hour of Sunday, says all of what we believe.

Glory be to the Father Who chose the prophets and they foreshadowed His Only-Begotten Son. Worship be to the Son Whose Gospel the apostles proclaimed in the world. Thanks be to the Spirit Who strengthened the martyrs and they died in His hope, and may mercy be upon us sinners through their prayers.

Today, I am also reminded of the life and writings of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity and Blessed Itala Mela (Maria of the Trinity). The first a Discalced Carmelite and the second a Benedictine Oblate. Both devoted their lives to make this piece of dogma, this beautiful mystery, known and lived.

Blessed Itala said, “The will of Christ, which I feel in the depths of my soul, is to drag me, to immerse myself with Himself in the abysses of the Holy Trinity … It is useless to look for other ways: this is what He has chosen for my sanctification.”

The Revolt at 500

Praising God as the angels, really

Earlier this month we the Church liturgical recalled the Guardian Angels and in late September we did the same for the Archangels. I have been thinking of the presence of the angels of late and came across this line from St. John Chrysostom who tells us of our angelic calling:
 
“On high the armies of the angels are giving praise. Here below in the Church the human choir takes up after them the same doxology. Above us, angels of fire make the thrice Holy hymn resound magnificently. Here below is raised the echo of their hymn. The festival of heaven’s citizens is united with the inhabitants of earth in a single thanksgiving, a single upsurge of happiness, a single chorus of joy.”
 
On Ozias, Homily 4,1(PG 56,120)
 
Olivier Clement, trans. Roots of Christian Mysticism: Texts from the Patristic Era with Commentary, second edition. (New York: New City Press, 2013), 118.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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