Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Having celebrated the souls of Heaven yesterday on All Saints Day, today the Church remembers the more forgotten group: the souls in Purgatory being prepared to eventually join the saints in the perfection of Heaven.
But why do this? Why doesn’t the Church just include them in the All Saints Day, knowing that one day they’ll be out of Purgatory and in Heaven with the rest of the saints?
Of the countless reasons, one sticks out particularly in today’s first reading: there’s something greater here.
There’s something greater than death, something greater that brings meaning to our current lives on Earth as we use them to grow in holiness and prepare for a perfect eternity.
There’s something greater than suffering, something that allows us to use things that hurt or even break us to our advantage, growing into better Christians as a result.
There’s something greater than being made fun of, ignored, outcast, pushed away, or forgotten because of your faith.
In every situation, every joy, every heartache, every mundane moment, there’s something greater. God is present among all these things, bringing more meaning to everything we encounter and endure as they shift away from mere scenarios and turn into opportunities to be with God: to laugh with Him, to grow with Him, to sit quietly with Him, or even to cry and yell with Him. God turns every moment into something greater; this alone is a reminder of the abounding hope we have as Christians, hope in our unfailing God and His mercy that refuses to ever abandon us.
This is why we celebrate the souls in Purgatory as they go through the purification to prepare to enter heaven. We celebrate the souls suffering in Purgatory, going through cleansing fire more painful than we can ever imagine, because of the goal of Heaven these saints are so close to attaining. The fire alone has no purpose to it: it is God alone, the knowledge that this fire makes them more perfect for God, that gives it all meaning. The same can be said about suffering as a whole. If suffering were meaningless, then Christ’s ultimate suffering on the cross could never have saved humanity from the consequences of sin. There’s something more here. That something is hope. That something is love. That something is God.
The souls in Purgatory suffer joyfully as they prepare for Heaven, having immortal hope in the love and glory of God. Share in that hope today, the hope we have as a result of our great God.
There’s something greater here, something that will change every single situation is you learn to look for it every day.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What is the 'something greater' that I'm living for today?
Am I preparing for 'something greater'?
Do I give meaning to my suffering by offering it up?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I am living for 'something greater.'"
"I trust in your plan for my life."
"I love you Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take time to pray for the souls in purgatory today. A promise of 1000 souls to be released from purgatory was given to St. Gertrude for those who prayed this prayer. "Eternal Father, I offer Thee 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, those in my own home and within my family. Amen." Pray this often today and all throughout the month of October.
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