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And Jesus wept.


May the Immaculate Queen of Mercy and All Saints, Pray for us now and especially at the hour of death and may the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Ave Maria! In my 18th year of life my family suffered through an incredibly mournful time. My dear aunt first passed away shortly before Christmas. Then a few weeks later a dear uncle passed and after that my mother in February. Lastly, another uncle tragically died outside the faith. Amongst the many mournful memories I have of that time, the one that vividly remains in my mind is of a Requiem Mass that was held in the Mission Church of the Sacred Heart for the souls of my dearly passed loved ones.


I have vivid me worries of the high altar as the Dies irae was chanted. Watching the incense rise up as the priest dressed in a black cope stood before the coffin draped in black. The Kyrie chanted as crucifix stood before the coffin. Though that particular coffin was empty, the ones of my loved ones were not.  The atmosphere was incredibly mournful, a stark contrast to any funeral I had ever been to. The majority of the funerals are weird to be honest. Draped in bright liturgical white and attempting to force an awkward atmosphere of joy. Perhaps, that particular funeral truly  is a moment of joy, where the soul of the departed will be sainted by God and enter His Kingdom. Perhaps, it’s not. Joy, is traditionally not associated with those who are mourning. There are many verses in the scripture where we find death corresponding with joy, but the joy is always a reference to the soul of a soul crowned with sainthood. Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne, said: Behold, I make all things new. (Revelations 21:3-5). This is not the joy of the loved ones left below on earth, this is the joy of the souls in eternal glory. Christians ought to mourn and for this sinful worm, these thoughts were always very difficult to understand. Until I came across these words from the Gospel: And Jesus wept (John 11:35). In this occasion of Christ weeping, one of three, the Lord weeps with His Mother and family over the death of Lazarus. The Jews therefore, who were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose up speedily and went out, followed her, saying: She goeth to the grave to weep there. When Mary therefore was come where Jesus was, seeing him, she fell down at his feet, and saith to him: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Jesus, therefore, when he saw her weeping, and the Jews that were come with her, weeping, groaned in the spirit, and troubled himself, And said: Where have you laid him? They say to him: Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept (John 11:31-35). Our Blessed Lord mourned for Lazarus, even though He knew Lazarus would rise from the dead. Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But now also I know that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith to him: I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live:And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this? She saith to him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God (John 11:21-27). Yet despite knowing He would raise Lazarus, Christ still wept. Christ mourned, giving His Church the example. This is the sentiment of the Traditional Requiem Mass. solemn, hopeful mourning. Not the despairful loss experienced by so many in the world. For we know of the Mercy of God. And we will not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again; even so them who have slept through Jesus, will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who have slept. For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment, and with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ, shall rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:12-15). This is not of course to perpetuate the delusional joy of protestants. Death is something to mourn, as in death there is separation of soul and body. Death is a product of sin. And He commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat: But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death (Genesis 2:16-17). We die because of sin. Our Blessed Lord died because of our sin. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The apostles and Our Lady mourned the death of Christ. Them that had been with him, who were mourning and weeping (Mark 16:10). Christ Himself mourned. Therefore, the Church imitates Him in this hopeful mourning at the Traditional Requiem Mass. This all causes me to wonder? When the corpse of one His faithful, closed up in a coffin, is brought before the altar of God, before the Lord Jesus. Does the Lord weep at the death of His faithful. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Psalm 115:15). Does the Lord God, with the company of His Mother Mary and all His saints, weep ? And [Jesus] said: Where have you laid him? They say to Him: Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said: Behold how He loved him (John 11: 34-36).




Mourning helps us remember death.

In the song “when I’m gone” by Joey and Rory Reek we find the lyrics: As if sorrow were your friend, and this world so alien. This song is about the death of mrs. Joey Feek, who died March 4th, 2016. These lyrics highlight one of the most important reasons Christians mourn, besides praying for the eternal repose of their departed loved one. Mourning helps remind us of our own death, which is always just around the corner. In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin (Ecclesiasticus 7:40). Nothing shouts the reality of death, the coming judgement, and the nothingness of this world like the death of a loved one. When we lose a loved one, we are reminded of coming sentence that belongs to Everyman. God has not promised tomorrow, St. Augustine. It also encourages us in a sense, that in this word there is not a lasting city. Even the ones we hold the closests are fated to leave this wretched place. You who depend on this world, can it be that you are of it? Rather flee and condemn it, lest you perish with it. Oh Jesus you have chosen me from this world, what therefore is there in it for me? You created me for heaven, what then do I want from a world In which I suffer? Away from me world with your vanity. I shall eagerly March with the cross to make it to that heavenly homeland, St. Francis of Assisi. During our short time on earth we are advancing towards two eternities, the Kingdom of God or the separation of the damned. To be eternally all happy or eternally unhappy, the choice is yours, St. Teresa of Avila. Death is always at our doorstep, the eternal judgment is perhaps seconds alway. O Lord, make me know my end. (Psalm 38:5). For this reason, the Church, imitating the Master, has always preached to the faithful to be ready at any moment. So it is wise, that during this month when we pray for the faithful departed, we remember that soon enough we will join them. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour (Matthew 25:13).






Pray for the holy souls in Purgatory.


St. Padre Pio was once questioned on why he prayed for his great-great grandfather who had died over 100 years before his prayer. The holy Capuchin answered: Remember that for God there is no past and no future, and everything is present. So God made use at that time of the prayers I'm saying now. This is why we pray for the dead, not just generally for the souls in purgatory but for specific souls who have passed into eternity. We ought to pray very much for those souls who have died. We should pray unceasingly for them, make sacrifices for them, and have the Holy Mass said for them. The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:30-31). We ought pray for the souls in purgation, the Church suffering. Of the servant who was forgiven his debt but refused to forgive others, the Master, our Lord Jesus, warns: his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt (Matthew 18:33). This parable is not speaking of hell, for in hell there is no debt to be paid. The souls in hell are there forever. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting (Matthew 25:46). This place however, where this servant is taken is not forever but only until he paid all the debt. This place is called purgatory, a place of purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven (CCC 1030). We hear of this place of purgation by fire in another place: For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: Every man's work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). This fire is not hellfire but a purgative fire, designed specificity to purify the soul. The fires of purgatory would have no power over them, even though they came into contact with it, if they had no imperfection for which to suffer. These are the materials upon which the fires of purgatory seizes. when the material is consumed, there is not else that can burn. A saint from heaven can go down into purgatory and it would not affect him, St. John of the cross, Dark Night of the Soul. This necessity of perfection is affirmed in scripture: for they are without spot before the throne of God. (Revelations 14:5). These souls, members of the Church suffering, can be assisted by the Church triumphant. By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18). We have an obligation to aid in the sanctification of the brethren, our neighbors, and love them as Christ does.  The Holy Alphonsus of Ligori, Doctor of the Church taught: Holy souls cannot merit for themselves but they can obtain for us great graces. They are not formally intercessors as the saints are but through Gods mercy they are advocates to obtain for us astounding favors and to deliver us from innumerables evils. They repay us back one thousand times any one thing we give to them or help them with. Let us then, come to the aid of these holy souls, praying for them, offering sacrifices and have Mass said for their release. If not for anything more than the Glory and Honor of God, and the love of our neighbor. Let also remember those comforting words of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen: As we enter Heaven we will see them, so many of them coming towards us and thanking us. We will ask, who they are, and they will say a poor soul you prayed for in Purgatory.




PS. 129, De Profundis,

Taken from Lauds and Vespers of the Office of the Dead.


Out of the depths I have 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 stand it? For with Thee there is mercy: and by reason of Thy law I have waited on 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. For with the Lord there is mercy; and with Him plentiful Redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord! And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.


Lord, hear my prayer.

And let my cry come unto Thee.


Let us pray.

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful; grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that by our devout supplications they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.



Prayers from Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook by Father F. X. Lasance, 1913.


Sunday.

O Lord God almighty I pray Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the garden, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that soul amongst them all which is most destitute of spiritual aid; and vouchsafe to bring it to Thy glory, there to praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.


Monday.

O Lord God almighty I pray Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in purgatory, and that soul especially amongst them all which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory; that so it may forthwith begin to praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.


Tuesday.

O Lord God almighty I pray Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the souls in purgatory, and in particular that one amongst them all with which would be the last to depart out of those pains, that it may not tarry so long a time before it come to praise and bless Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.


Wednesday.

O Lord God almighty I pray Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the streets of Jerusalem when He carried His Cross upon His sacred shoulders, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that soul which is richest in merits before Thee; that so, in in that throne of glory which awaits it, it may magnify Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.


Thursday.

O Lord God almighty I pray Thee, by the Precious body and blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He gave with His own hands upon the eve of His Passion to His beloved apostles to be their meat and drink, and which He left to His whole church to be a perpetual sacrifice and life giving food of His own faithful people, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one which was most devoted to this mystery of infinite love, that it may with Thy Holy Spirit,  ever praise Thee for Thy love therein in eternal glory. Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.


Friday.

O Lord God almighty, I pray Thee, by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed on this day upon the wood of the cross, especially from His most sacred hands and feet, deliver the souls in purgatory, and in particular that soul for which I am most bound to pray; that no neglect of mine may hinder it from praising Thee in Thy glory and blessing Thee for ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.


Saturday.

O Lord God almighty, I beseech Thee, by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the side of Thy divine Son Jesus, in the sight of, and to the extreme pain of His Most Holy Mother, deliver the souls in purgatory, and especially that one amongst them all which was the most devout to her; that it may soon attain unto Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee, world without end. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, De profundis.



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