What can I do for my departed loved Ones
by St. Alphonsus Liguori
The holy souls suffering in the prison of purgatory are incapable of helping themselves. Out of the depths of torturing flame they call to us "Miseremini!" "Have pity on us!" We have it in our power to help these suffering friends of God. We can do so by prayer, alms-deeds, works of mercy, holy communion, the Holy Mass, and indulgences, and to do so is certainly an act of charity. Understanding this full well, the saints, without exception, have been most earnest and constant in their efforts to help them. Some of them have made this devotion one of the strong characteristics of their sanctity, and we venture to say that no truly devout or sincere Catholic neglects this spiritual work of mercy.
Even the very poor, in Ireland for instance, and also in this country, make many sacrifices in order to secure for their departed relatives and others the special benefits of the Holy Mass. May the same enlightened piety ever remain firmly rooted in the hearts of our people, and may the day never come when they will cease to follow beyond the grave with tender solicitude the souls of those they loved in life.
In praying for the dead and gaining indulgences for them, let us remember that every prayer we say, every sacrifice we make, every alms we give for the repose of the dear departed ones, will all return upon ourselves in hundredfold blessings. They are God's friends, dear to His sacred Heart, living in His grace, and in constant communion with Him; and though they may not alleviate their own sufferings, their prayers in our behalf always avail. They can aid us most efficaciously. God will not turn a deaf ear to their intercession. Being holy souls, they are grateful souls. The friends that aid them, they in turn will also aid. We need not fear praying to them in all faith and confidence. They will obtain for us the graces that we ask for the good of our souls. They will watch over us and protect us in the dangers of life and they will intercede with God for our eternal salvation.
Merciful Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest. Amen
(Indulgence: 300 days)