Friday, November 2, 2012


Vatican Radio report -  Pope Benedict XVI prayed for his predecessors on Friday evening in the crypt beneath St. Peter’s Basilica where many deceased popes are buried. The pope’s prayerful recollection was a practice marking the Solemnity of All Souls - one that that fits into the broader tradition of devotion and ritual solicitude for the faithful departed and for all those who have gone to their rest, which the Church celebrates and practices in November. The month of November is one in which the Church contemplates the great mystery of the Communion of Saints, beginning with the Solemnity of All Saints. It is a theme to which the Holy Father addressed some of his remarks at the Angelus prayer with the faithful on All Saints’ Day. “This feast day,” said Pope Benedict, “helps us to reflect on the double horizon of humanity, which we symbolically express with the words ‘earth’ and ‘heaven’.” The Holy Father went on to say, “The earth represents the journey of history, heaven eternity, the fullness of life in God.” The Pope explained that the Solemnity helps us to think about the Church journeying in time and the Church that celebrates the never-ending feast, the Heavenly Jerusalem. “These two dimensions,” he said, “are united by the reality of the ‘communion of saints’: a reality that begins here on earth and that reaches its fulfilment in heaven.”


NOVEMBER 2 is a special feast remembering all Souls that have died especially the ones in Purgatory. As Catholics we are especially encouraged to pray for the dead on this day.

 THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY 1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608
1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.
Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.The faith of the Church concerning purgatory is clearly expressed in the Decree of Union drawn up by the Council of Florence (Mansi, t. XXXI, col. 1031), and in the decree of the Council of Trent which (Sess. XXV) defined:
"Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful" (Denzinger, "Enchiridon", 983).
Further than this the definitions of the Church do not go, but the tradition of the Fathers and the Schoolmen must be consulted to explain the teachings of the councils, and to make clear the belief and the practices of the faithful.
Requiem aeternam: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

A PLENARY INDULGENCE, applicable only to the souls in purgatory, is granted to the faithful who (1) on any and each day from November 1 to 8, devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed; (2) On All Souls' Day...devoutly visit a chruch or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Creed. [(or if local ordinary gives other options) From the Manual of Indulgences #29]
St. Gertrude's Prayer," was dictated by Our Lord to St. Gertrude the Great, a Benedictine cloistered nun and a mystic. In the twelfth century, the Lord told the Saint that this prayer (approved and recommended by M. Cardinal Pahiarca of Lisbon, Portugal on March 4, 1936) releases 1,000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is offered.
A prayer to release many souls from Purgatory each time it is said and which was extended to include living sinners as well.
Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.
Written by St. Alphonsus Liguori this novena has prayers for each day which are followed by the Prayer to Our Suffering Savior for the Holy Souls in Purgatory
This Novena, written by St. Alphonsus Liguori, has different prayers for each of the 9 days, followed by the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory which is at the bottom of the section. First Day:
Jesus, my Saviour I have so often deserved to be cast into hell how great would be my suffering if I were now cast away and obliged to think that I myself had caused my damnation. I thank Thee for the patience with which Thou hast endured me. My God, I love Thee above all things and I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee because Thou art infinite goodness. I will rather die than offend Thee again. Grant me the grace of perseverance. Have pity on me and at the same time on those blessed souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Second Day:
Woe to me, unhappy being, so many years have I already spent on earth and have earned naught but hell! I give Thee thanks, O Lord, for granting me time even now to atone for my sins. My good God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. Send me Thy assistance, that I may apply the time yet remaining to me for Thy love and service; have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. O Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Third Day:
My God! because Thou art infinite goodness, I love Thee above all things, and repent with my whole heart of my offenses against Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. And thou, Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Fourth Day:
My God! because Thou art infinite goodness, I am sorry with my whole heart for having offended Thee. I promise to die rather than ever offend Thee more. Give me holy perseverance; have pity on me, and have pity on those holy souls that burn in the cleansing fire and love Thee with all their hearts. O Mary, Mother of God, assist them by thy powerful prayers.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Fifth Day:
Woe to me, unhappy being, if Thou, O Lord, hadst cast me into hell; for from that dungeon of eternal pain there is no deliverance. I love Thee above all things, O infinite God and I am sincerely sorry for having offended Thee again. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. O Mary, Mother of God, come to their assistance with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Sixth Day:
My Divine Redeemer, Thou didst die for me on the Cross, and hast so often united Thyself with me in Holy Communion, and I have repaid Thee only with ingratitude. Now, however, I love Thee above all things, O supreme God; and I am more grieved at my offences against Thee than at any other evil. I will rather die than offend Thee again. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me, and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Seventh Day:
God, Father of Mercy, satisfy this their ardent desire! Send them Thy holy Angel to announce to them that Thou, their Father, are now reconciled with them through the suffering and death of Jesus, and that the moment of their deliverance has arrived.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Eighth Day:
Oh my God! I also am one of these ungrateful beings, having received so much grace, and yet despised Thy love and deserved to be cast by Thee into hell. But Thy infinite goodness has spared me until now. Therefore, I now love Thee above all things, and I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I will rather die than ever offend Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance. Have compassion on me and, at the same time, on the holy souls suffering in Purgatory. Mary, Mother of God, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Ninth Day:
My God! How was it possible that I, for so many years, have borne tranquilly the separation from Thee and Thy holy grace! O infinite Goodness, how long-suffering hast Thou shown Thyself to me! Henceforth, I shall love Thee above all things. I am deeply sorry for having offended Thee; I promise rather to die than to again offend Thee. Grant me the grace of holy perseverance, and do not permit that I should ever again fall into sin. Have compassion on the holy souls in Purgatory. I pray Thee, moderate their sufferings; shorten the time of their misery; call them soon unto Thee in heaven, that they may behold Thee face to face, and forever love Thee. Mary, Mother of Mercy, come to their aid with thy powerful intercession, and pray for us also who are still in danger of eternal damnation.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory below

Prayer to Our Suffering Saviour for the Holy Souls in Purgatory O most sweet Jesus, through the bloody sweat which Thou didst suffer in the Garden of Gethsemani, have mercy on these Blessed Souls. Have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel scourging, have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most painful crowning with thorns, have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy cross to Calvary, have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel Crucifixion, have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross, have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the immense pain which Thou didst suffer in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul, have mercy on them.
R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

(Recommend yourself to the Souls in Purgatory and mention your intentions here)

Blessed Souls, I have prayed for thee; I entreat thee, who are so dear to God, and who are secure of never losing Him, to pray for me a miserable sinner, who is in danger of being damned, and of losing God forever. Amen.


RIP Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz 1937 -2012 | Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain ,Mgr Marcus Stock, the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales,

Archbishop Sainz Muñoz
Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the former Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain died on Wednesday, 31 October, after a long illness. Mgr Marcus Stock, the General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the Bishops Conference was very saddened to hear the news.

Mgr Stock said: "The Bishops remember Archbishop Faustino with great affection and admiration. His ministry as the personal representative of the Holy Father was exercised with untiring devotion and great attentiveness to the needs of our countries. Before his premature retirement due to ill health, he had won the profound respect of the diplomatic community and the hearts of the episcopal conferences he worked with.

"We send our sincere condolences to the family and personal friends of Archbishop Faustino. We pray that on this Solemnity of All Saints, in the presence of those many blessed souls who now behold the divine countenance, his soul too will enjoy the loving embrace of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus. May he rest in peace. Amen.”
He served as Apostolic Nuncio to Britain between 2004 and 2010.
Born : 5 June 1937 – 31 October 2012 Died
Country: Almaden, Spain

Archbishop Faustino’s funeral will take place on 2 November at 8pm in Madrid.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
2 Nov 2012

CatholicCare initiative not a substitute for hardhitting reform to poker machine gambling
Bernard Boerma, CEO of the Archdiocese of Sydney's welfare agency, CatholicCare has urged politicians nationwide to continue their focus on problem gambling which causes so much harm to individuals and families.
Although he applauds the package of bills tabled in the House of Representatives this week which includes the introduction of voluntary pre-commitment on poker machines by 2016, with a trial of mandatory pre-commitment beginning in the ACT next year, Mr Boerma says the legislation falls "considerably short of the measures needed to stem the tide of problem gambling."
He points out that as the welfare arm of the Archdiocese, CatholicCare sees the incredible damage caused by problem gambling first hand.
A recent study by the Productivity Commission found problem gamblers account for as much as 40% of all poker machine spending, with weekly players on the pokies spending an average of $8000 each year.

Bernard Boerma, CEO of CatholicCare
"This is a sizeable share of household incomes and a primary source of harm," Mr Boerma says and wants to see mandatory pre-commitment and maximum bets of $1 introduced to help existing problem gamblers and to prevent significant numbers of other individuals of becoming problem gamblers.
"We will continue to work through Catholic Social Services Australia and the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce to build on this legislation in a drive for expanded and significant reforms," he says.
Along with voluntary pre-commitment for players of poker machines, the bills before the House of Representatives include a limit of $250 from of any of the ATMs at the club.
The bills are a watered down version of what was originally envisaged by Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie and SA Senator Nick Xenophon but as both they and Mr Boerma insist: "At least this is a start."
GameCare is one of the key programs CatholicCare offers to problem gamblers through its offices in Bankstown and Haymarket.
In another important initiative, the agency joined forces earlier this year with the Catholic Clubs of Liverpool, Lidcombe and Club Central Hurstville and Menai for an innovative and ground breaking initiative known as GAINS - Gambling Awareness, Intervention and Support.

CatholicCare backs poker machines reforms including mandatory precommitment
With the Clubs donating as much as $1 million to underwrite the program over five years, GAINS is aimed not only at helping problem gamblers and their families, but is training staff at the clubs on how to recognise problem gamblers and link them with a wide range of support services.
Within CatholicCare itself GAINS will be supported by the highly-regarded Holyoake Program which assists families impacted by a parent's, or son's or daughter's addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling, and teaching them how to cope and still make the most of their lives.
However Mr Boerma has repeatedly warned this initiative should be seen as a building block and not a substitute for ongoing and hard-hitting reforms to poker machine gambling.
"It is completely unacceptable that problem gamblers account for 40% of total poker machine spending and that players can lose up to $1200 an hour on high intensity machines," he says.
NSW has one of the world's highest concentration of poker machines. However while the new legislation before the House of Representatives may go some way in protecting problem gamblers on poker machines, online gambling and international betting conglomerates such as Betfair, Luxbet, Sportingbet and Sportsbet continue to grow.


by Jibran Khan
Roused by an Islamic leader, the fundamentalists targeted the Farooqi Girls High School, one of the country’s tops schools. The attack sparked by rumoured offense against Mohammed in a class translation. Principal and teacher arrested and under investigation. Pakistani priest: “unacceptable” episode.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Strong animosity towards the school principal and the intention to strike at an Institute of excellence in women's education are behind the attack on Farooqi Girls High School in Lahore, in Punjab, on 31 October last. The school was targeted by an angry mob, roused by a local Islamic leader, for an alleged case of blasphemy involving the principal and a teacher. Well-informed sources speak instead of envy toward the man and his institution, considered one of excellence among the schools in Pakistan. A priest explains to AsiaNews that this is yet another episode of abuse committed under the protection of the "black law", without the State and the Government being able to enforce the law.

October 31 a crowd of hundreds of people torched the Institute in Lahore, of 3 thousand students and at least 200 teachers, considered among the centers of excellence for education in Pakistan. The opening dates back to 1978 and it is divided into three sections, over the years it has received over 30 awards and is appreciated for its commitment to women's education. Behind the attack there would be an alleged case of blasphemy: a wrong translation from English into urdu of a passage from the Koran on Muhammad.

The Islamic religious leader Jamia Kareemia Sadidia, who lives near the school, filed a complaint under article 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code--which also envisages the death penalty for anyone who desecrates the name of the Prophet-the headmaster Asim Farooqi and teacher Ahmed Irfa. The police have arrested the principal and teacher, while the Islamic leaders assembled crowds of people handing out photocopies relating to the (alleged) mistranslation of the Holy Book.

A crowd, made op of totally unrelated people, some of whom were not even aware of the affair, attacked the school and torched the structure, carrying out looting and mayhem. The police was unable (or perhaps unwilling) to contain the wrath of the masses of people, allowing the destruction of the building.

Human rights activists and international organizations condemn the episode, judging it to be umpteenth proof that in Pakistan the lunatic fringe-on the pretext of blasphemy and with the approval of law enforcement-can commit abuses and violence sure to remain unpunished.

Fr. Arif James, a priest in Lahore, stresses that the Court "will decide if" the principal and teacher "are guilty or innocent", because the proceedings for alleged blasphemy case continues. However, he adds that " guilty or innocent, but taking the law into the hands is a condemnable act" as well as evidence of the fact that the Government is unable to enforce the law. The priest points out that in a similar case, when a mob killed a mentally unstable man (cfr. AsiaNews 7/5/ Punjab: Muslim extremists burn alive a mentally disabled man accused of blasphemy), the Government should have taken "serious measures" while nothing has changed and the violence continues. "It is time that the institutions-concluded the priest-promote legislation able to curb these phenomena".




KADUNA, November 02, 2012 (CISA) -The leader of the Catholic Church in Nigeria has described how clergy and people alike are at a point of “near desperation” after Sunday Mass goers in the north became the latest victims of extremist violence.
Official Church reports sent to Aid to the Church in Need confirm that during Mass on Sunday October 28 at St Rita’s Catholic Church, Kaduna, eight people including the suicide bomber died and 134 were injured, 75 of them critically.

Referring to how the attack was the latest in a series of blasts targeting centres including churches, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, stressed people’s “apprehension and comprehension” over apparent government failure to provide security and bring the perpetrators to justice.

In a statement, Archbishop Kaigama said “We as pastors have reached a state of near desperation – seeing children, women and men bombed out of existence. Attacks continue to be visited on our people with very little sign that the concerned political and security officials are able to arrest the situation.”

He added “The mood among lay Catholics is one of apprehension and consternation; that these terrorists can easily get away with horrible acts of criminality against innocent people is very disturbing.”
The archbishop underlined his opposition to reprisal attacks by Christians, stating “Naturally, there is a spontaneous outburst of anger and the temptation to reprisal attacks by young people. Our message to our people has been consistent: no aggression and no retaliation. This is a test of our Christian faith; a time to be Christ-like.”

But he warned the people’s patience was wearing thin, adding “How long this endurance by affected Christians will last is what I cannot easily tell.”
The archbishop’s statement came after Archbishop Matthew Man-Oso-Ndagoso of Kaduna gave a press conference immediately after the blast, calling for calm and appealing to youth not to retaliate.
Reports quote eyewitness stating that, after being denied entrance at the church gate, the bomber reversed his vehicle and rammed it into the church’s perimeter wall.

The explosion, at about 8.35am, took place while Mass was taking place and among the injured was the parish priest, Father Boni. The attack came just two days after young people from across the religious divide organised a celebration marking the Muslim feast Eid el-Kabir.

Archbishop Kaigama said: “This Sunday attack was totally unexpected. The degree of barbarism that comes with each attack is baffling. The suicide bomber came as a respectable person, well dressed and in a big car ready to kill and he did kill and injure many.”
He called for prayer for an end to the violence, stating: “We pray a lot, hoping the evil doers will have a change of heart.”


In honor of the YEAR OF FAITH - JCE news will be showing some of the TOP Catholic movies of all time - view new episodes each day. Tune in for PART VII of St. Francis - tomorrow.


Wisdom 3:
1 - 9

1 But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.
2 In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction,
3 and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace.
4 For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality.
5 Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;
6 like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.
7 In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble.
8 They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them for ever.
9 Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.
Psalms 27: 1, 4, 7 - 9, 13 - 14
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
8 Thou hast said, "Seek ye my face." My heart says to thee, "Thy face, LORD, do I seek."
9 Hide not thy face from me. Turn not thy servant away in anger, thou who hast been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the LORD!
Romans 5: 5 - 11
5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
6 While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man -- though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.
8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
9 Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
11 Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.
John 11: 17 - 27
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz'arus had already been in the tomb four days.
18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."


Commemoration of All Faithful Departed
Feast: November 2
Feast Day:
November 2

By purgatory, no more is meant by Catholics than a middle state of souls, viz. of purgation from sin by temporary chastisements, or a punishment of some sin inflicted after death, which is not eternal. As to the place, manner, or kind of these sufferings, nothing has been defined by the church; and all who with Dr. Deacon except against this doctrine, on account of the circumstance of a material fire, quarrel about a mere scholastic question in which a person is at liberty to choose either side. This doctrine of a state of temporary punishment after death for some sins is interwoven with the fundamental articles of the Christian religion. For, as eternal torments are the portion of all souls which depart this life under the guilt of mortal sin, and everlasting bliss of those who die in the state of grace, so it is an obvious consequence that among the latter many souls may be defiled with lesser stains, and cannot enter immediately into the joy of the Lord. Repentance may be sincere, though something be wanting to its perfection; some part of the debt which the penitent owes to the divine justice may remain uncancelled, as appears from several instances mentioned in the holy scriptures, as of David, of the Israelites in the wilderness, of Moses and Aaron, and of the prophet slain by a lion, which debt is to be satisfied for either in this life or in the next. Certainly, some sins are venial, which deserve not eternal death; yet, if not effaced by condign penance in this world, must be punished in the next. Every wound is not mortal; nor does every small offence totally destroy friendship. The scriptures frequently mention these venial sins, from which ordinarily the just are not exempt, who certainly would not be just if these lesser sins, into which men easily fall by surprise, destroyed grace in them, or if they fell from charity. Yet the smallest sin excludes a soul from heaven so long as it is not blotted out. Nothing which is not perfectly pure and spotless can stand before God, who is infinite purity and sanctity, and cannot bear the sight of the least iniquity. Whence it is said of heaven, "There shall in no wise enter into it anything defiled." It is the great employment of all the saints or pious persons here below by rigorous self-examination to try their actions and thoughts, and narrowly to look into all the doublings and recesses of their hearts; continually to accuse and judge themselves, and by daily tears of compunction, works of penance, and the use of the sacraments, to correct all secret disorders, and wipe away all filth which their affections may contract. Yet who is there who keeps so constant a guard upon his heart and whole conduct as to avoid all insensible self-deceptions? Who is there upon whose heart no inordinate attachments steal; into whose actions no sloth, remissness, or some other irregularity ever insinuates itself? Or whose compunction and penance is so humble and clear-sighted, so fervent and perfect, that no lurking disorder of his whole life escapes him, and is not perfectly washed away by the sacred blood of Christ, applied by these means or conditions to the soul? Who has perfectly subdued and regulated all his passions, and grounded his heart in perfect humility, meekness, charity, piety, and all other virtues, so as to bear the image of God in himself, or to be holy and perfect, even as he is, without spot? Perhaps scarce in any moment of our lives is our intention or motive so fervent, and so pure or exempt from the least imperceptible sinister influence and mixture of sloth, self-complacency, or other inordinate affection or passion; and all other ingredients or circumstances of our action so perfect and holy, as to be entirely without failure in the eyes of God, which nothing can escape. Assiduous conversation with heaven, constant watchfulness, self-denial, and a great purity of heart, with the assistance of an extraordinary grace, give the saints a wonderful light to discover and correct the irregularities of their affections. Yet it is only by the fervent spirit and practice of penance that they can be purified in the sight of God.
The Blessed Virgin was preserved by an extraordinary grace from the least sin in the whole tenor of her life and actions; but, without such a singular privilege, even the saints are obliged to say that they sin daily; but they forthwith rise again by living in constant compunction and watchfulness over themselves. Venial sins of surprise are readily effaced by penance, as we hope of the divine mercy; even such sins which are not discovered by us are virtually repented of by a sincere compunction, if it be such as effectually destroys them. Venial sins of malice, or committed with full deliberation, are of a different nature, far more grievous and fatal, usually of habit, and lead even to mortal sin. Those Christians who shun these more willful offences, yet are not very watchful over themselves, and labour not very strenuously in subduing all their passions, have just reason to fear that some inordinate affections taint almost the whole body of their actions, without being sufficiently repented of. And the very best Christians must always tremble at the thought of the dreadful account they have to give to God for every idle word or thought. No one can be justified before God but by his pure and free mercy. Yet no man will say that a venial sin, which destroys not sanctifying grace, will be punished with eternal torments. Hence there must be a relaxation of some sin in the world to come, as is sufficiently implied, according to the remark of St. Austin, in these words of Christ, where he says that the sin against the Holy Ghost "shall not be forgotten in this world, nor in the world to come." Christ, exhorting us to agree with our adversary or accuser by appeasing our conscience, mentions a place of punishment out of which souls shall be delivered, though not before they shall have paid the last farthing.
The church of Christ is composed of three different pasts: the triumphant in heaven, the militant on earth, and the patient or suffering in purgatory. Our charity embraces all the members of Christ. Our love for him engages and binds us to his whole body, and teaches us to share both the miseries and afflictions, and the comforts and blessings of all that are comprised in it. The communion of saints which we profess in our creed implies a communication of certain good works and offices, and a mutual intercourse among all the members of Christ. This we maintain with the saints in heaven by thanking and praising God for their triumphs and crowns, imploring their intercession, and receiving the succours of their charitable solicitude and prayers for us; likewise with the souls in purgatory, by soliciting the divine mercy in their favour. Nor does it seem to be doubted but they, as they are in a state of grace and charity, pray also for us; though the church never addresses public suffrages to them, not being warranted by primitive practice and tradition so to do. That to pray for the faithful departed is a pious and wholesome charity and devotion is proved clearly from the Old Testament, and from the doctrine and practice of the Jewish synagogue. The baptisms or legal purifications which the Jews sometimes used for the dead demonstrate their belief that the dead receive spiritual succours from the devotion of the living. In the second book of the Machabees it is related that Judas, the Machabee, sent twelve thousand ducats of silver to the temple for sacrifices to be offered for the dead, "thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. It is therefore a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins." This book is ranked among the canonical scriptures by the apostolical canons, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Hilary, St. Ambrose, St. Austin, the third council of Carthage, &c. Some ancients call it apocryphal, meaning that it was not in the Hebrew canon compiled by Esdras, it being writ after his time; and Origen and St. Jerome, who give it that epithet, sometimes quoted it as of divine authority. The Catholic church admits the deutero-canonical books of those which were compiled after the time of Esdras as written equally by divine inspiration. If some among the ancients doubted of them before tradition in this point had been examined and cleared, several parts of the New Testament which are admitted by Protestants have been no less called in question. Protestants, who at least allow this book a historical credit, must acknowledge this to have been the belief and practice of the most virtuous and zealous high-priest, of all the priests and doctors attached to the service of the temple, and of the whole Jewish nation; and a belief and custom which our blessed Redeemer nowhere reprehended in them.
The faith and practice of the Christian church from the beginning is manifest from the writings of the primitive fathers. In all ancient liturgies, or masses, express mention is made of prayer and sacrifice for the dead. In the Apostolical Constitutions is extant a very ancient fragment of a liturgy, from which Grabe, Hicks, and Deacon borrow many things for their new models of primitive liturgies, and which Whiston pretended to rank among the canonical scriptures. In it occurs a prayer for the dead: "Let us pray for those who are departed in peace." There is no liturgy used by any sect of Oriental Christians, though some have been separated from the communion of the church ever since the fifth or sixth centuries, in which prayer for the dead does not occur. The most ancient fathers frequently speak of the offering the holy sacrifice of the altar for the faithful departed. Tertullian, the oldest among the Latin Christian writers, mentioning certain apostolical traditions, says, "We make yearly offerings (or sacrifices) for the dead, and for the feasts of the martyrs." He says 'that a widow prays for the soul of her deceased husband, and begs repose for him, and his company in the first resurrection, and offers (sacrifice) on the anniversary days of his death. For if she does not these things, she has, as much as lies in her, divorced him." St. Cyprian mentions the usual custom of celebrating sacrifice for every deceased Christian. Nor can it be said that he speaks in the same manner of martyrs. The distinction he makes is evident: "It is one thing to be cast into prison not to be released till the last farthing is paid, and another thing through the ardour of faith immediately to attain to the reward; it is very different by long punishment for sin to be cleansed a long time by fire, and to have purged away all sin by suffering." St. Chrysostom reckons it amongst the dreadful obligations of a priest "that he is the intercessor to God for the sins both of the living and the dead." St. Clement of Alexandria, who flourished in the year 200, says that by punishment after death men must expiate every the least sin before they can enter heaven. The vision of St. Perpetua is related by St. Austin, and in her acts. Origen, in many places, and Lactantius teach at large that all souls are purged by the punishment of fire before they enter into bliss, unless they are so pure as not to stand in need of it.