15th November - All Carmelite Souls

Posted on 15th November, 2016

Just as the love of Christ and the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary have brought us together in a single family, fraternal charity unites those of us still striving to lead a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ in this world, and those already awaiting the vision of God in Purgatory. Today the whole Order commends our departed brothers and sisters to God’s mercy through the intercession of Our Lady, sure sign of hope and consolation, and begs for their admission to the courts of heaven.

 

'God, who raised Jesus from the dead, will give new life to our mortal bodies through his Spirit living in us.'

~ Rom 8:11

 

A Reading from the Treatise on Purgatory of St. Catherine of Genoa

 

I see that as far as God is concerned, Paradise has no gates, but he who will, may enter. For God is all mercy, and His open arms are ever extended to receive us into His glory. But I see that the divine essence is so pure – purer than the imagination can conceive – that the soul, finding in itself the slightest imperfection, would rather cast itself into a thousand hells than appear, so stained, in the presence of the divine Majesty. Knowing then, that purgatory was intended for her cleansing, she throws herself therein, and finds there that great mercy, the removal of her stains.

 

I behold such great conformity between God and the soul, that when He finds her pure, as when His divine Majesty first created her, He gives her an attractive force of ardent love which would annihilate her if she were not immortal. He so transforms her into Himself that, forgetting all, she no longer sees aught but Him; and He continues to draw her toward Him, inflames her with love, and never leaves her until He has brought her to that state from whence she first came forth, that I, to the perfect purity in which she was created.

 

When the soul beholds within herself the amorous flame by which she is drawn towards her sweet Master and her God, the burning heat of love overpowers her and she melts. Then in that divine light she sees how God, by His great care and constant providence, never ceases to attract her to her last perfection, and that He does so through pure love alone. She sees, too, that she herself, clogged by sin, cannot follow that attraction toward God, that is, that reconciling glance which He casts upon her that He may draw her to Himself. Moreover, a comprehension of that great misery, which it is to be hindered from gazing upon the light of God, is added to the instinctive desire of the soul to be wholly free to yield herself to that unifying flame. I repeat, it is the view of all these things which causes the pain of the suffering souls in purgatory, not that they esteem their pains as great (cruel though they be), but they count as far worse that opposition which they find in themselves to the will of that God whom they behold burning for them with so pure and ardent a love.

 

This Love, with its unifying regard, is ever drawing these souls as if It had no other thing to do; and when the soul beholds this, if she could find a more painful purgatory in which she could be more quickly cleansed, she would plunge at once therein, impelled by the burning mutual love between herself and God.

 

'We are waiting for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; he will transfigure our lowly bodies into copies of his own glorious body.'

~ Phil 3:20-21

Prayer:

 

Lord,

you are the glory of those who serve you.

Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters,

united in following Christ and his Mother

by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel.

In your mercy

grant them everlasting sight of you,

their Creator and Redeemer.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

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