In Troubled Times, Raise a Spiritual Army

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The following was first published in our Holy Souls Sodality newsletter.

It's clear we need to pray for our country, our world, and our Church.

So let's do it strategically.

On our own, we can only do so much. Our personal sanctity is often far less than it ought to be. Mary Immaculate was perfectly responsive to the grace of God and achieved perfect holiness. For the rest of us — well, we need a boost. And that's where the Communion of Saints comes in.

You see, there's no such thing as a Catholic standing alone. Oh, we like to look back on great saints like St. Athanasius of Alexandria standing against the world in support of Catholic orthodoxy, or great martyrs like St. Thomas More, who lost his head for being the "king's good servant — but God's first."

And yet none of these saints and martyrs stood alone. Rather, they were always accompanied by their guardian angel, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and living and dying in communion with the whole host of Heaven, all the angels and saints gathered into the household of the living God.

We baptized Catholics, when we are in the state of grace, are in the same situation. God is in our hearts, and so all of Heaven is with us. We can always ask them for help in our present difficulties.

But among the countless angels and saints of Heaven, there's a special category of brethren in the Lord, people who will offer us enthusiastic prayer support and protection.

That category is the Holy Souls whom we helped free from Purgatory by our prayers, good works, and suffrages.

They will be especially grateful to us for our assistance, and wait eagerly to be called on to help those who have so greatly aided them on their journey home to the Father.

Here, then, is one way to access a "force multiplier," to borrow a military term. One Catholic can become a whole multitude of prayer warriors when we use the Church's treasury of graces by receiving indulgences wherever we can, and then ask for help from those whom we've helped go home to Heaven.

Let us intercede for our fellow countrymen of past generations who now languish in Purgatory, awaiting surcease for their suffering. Let us assist them and then ask that they in their gratitude intercede for our country in return, for its unity, stability, prosperity, and true liberty and justice for all.

Let us ask the Holy Souls to pray for peace in our world today, and for the hastening of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. We know Our Lady has promised us an era of peace. Let us ask the Holy Souls in Purgatory to help us to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart in the world, especially through the faithful performance and promotion of the First Saturdays of reparation, as she requested. Let us pray the daily Rosary for peace and obtain the indulgences attached to it.

Let us gain indulgences and offer them for the souls who've passed into Purgatory because of the pandemic. Let us ask their assistance with saving lives and the salvation of the dying, as well as all the people negatively impacted by this pandemic. Let's ask the Holy Souls to help those who've lost jobs, family members, friends, homes, or more as a result of this disease.

Let us turn to the souls in Purgatory who've endured the terrible persecutions against Christians plaguing the Church today. Let us ask their intercession for our fellow Christians suffering for Christ and His Church, wherever they are in the world.

No matter what tomorrow brings, let us be constant and persevering in prayer (see Lk 18:1-8). Let us be steadfast in our works of mercy for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and earnestly implore their intercession for our country, our world, and the Church.

I've offered a few outstanding problems facing us today that could use intercession, but I've only just barely scratched the surface. Take the time to create a list of problems facing you, your family, your local community, and beyond. Put everything down on your list, letting all the stress and tension of the present moment find a place on your list, and feel free to add to the list later. Then take it before the Lord and His Mystical Body. You may even want to do it literally. Place the list before the Divine Mercy Image, for instance, so that it's covered by the rays streaming from our Lord's side, or put it under a statue of one of the saints such as St. Joseph, like our Holy Father does. (It's the Year of St. Joseph, after all!)

And then set out to gather your army of intercessors. I'm sure Holy Souls Sodality patrons have been interceding for the departed for years. Ask all those whom you've already helped to pitch in to resolve the problems on your list. Then set out to grow your army of intercessors. I've given you a whole array of ways to do this in my book Prayers and Practices for the Souls in Purgatory (AI-PRBK). Make it a goal to gather at least one partial indulgence a day and offer it for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

You are not alone. You do not face the problems of today alone. With our brothers and sisters in Christ, we can make all the difference in the world.

Photo by Marco Ceschi on Unsplash

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Bill Stoffel - Feb 27, 2021

Thank you for your prayers for Mike Lindsey, from his death bead to recovering slowly please keep Mike in your prayers for just a little longer. God bless you each and every one.

Christine Slattery - Feb 9, 2021

I am so glad you’re encouraging prayers of the holy souls in purgatory pray for us eternal father through the immaculate heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus we all for your prayers works Joyce sufferings in union with the masses said throughout the world today for the holy souls in purgatory for sinners every word to end abortion for vocations for sinners in the universal church those within our own home and within our own family amen. Blessed mother help us to say our morning offering every day and pray hope and not worry. I love the fact that you’re encouraging the rosary this is my without a doubt favorite classical wonderful prayers. As father Peyton puts at the family that prays together stays together. Our lady of the most holy Rosary I pray from the bottom of my heart that the United States of America joins family prayer rosary every evening at 8 o’clock far and wide near and close small and young unborn and elderly disabled and all races that we may join this beautiful prayer and ask our Blessed mother to convert this country in the world to end abortion and help heal of this virus and we move. I also pray to our Blessed mother for my children and I to move in a really nice place next to St. Mary’s and I pray that I can get to the sacraments more. Let some other please help my new lawyer Devon Eileen and I I pray that I can get a divorce and annulment in a very very abusive marriage and my children and I move safely and soundly into an apartment. And also they go to Catholic school and I can start my restaurant in here this morning and that this restaurant will give glory to God that all the unborn And the mothers and fathers may come and enjoy a free meal. I also pray for Marie’s reconciliation that goes well.