Do you realize the difference you can make praying for the souls of your ancestors who contributed to the difficulties you’ve had in feeling closer to the Father’s heart?
In my prayer time this morning, I continued lifting up my dad as he struggles in letting go of his earthly life. Then I felt led to pray the Rosary for my dad’s parents and all of his family tree who are still in Purgatory. They were all Protestants and have no one else praying for them.
Whenever we offer up Mass or pray the Rosary for souls in Purgatory, this opens a connection between us and them. We can then ask them to pray for us.
If your father damaged your image of God’s fatherhood and he’s still alive, pray for his parents and all of your ancestors in his family tree who are still in Purgatory. Then ask those souls to pray for your dad’s conversion or spiritual growth or whatever you know he needs. And of course also ask them to pray for your own healing and the growth of your relationship with God the Father.
If your father is deceased, pray for his soul but also for all the relatives who are in Purgatory. Then ask them to pray for you.
Do the same for your mother or others in your family who have hurt you in any way.
Offering up Catholic Masses for the souls in Purgatory is extremely valuable. My spiritual director, Father Williams, once told me a story of just how valuable. The owner of a wedding dress shop had called him because something very strange kept happening. One of the dresses, for no apparent reason, had blood stains on it. The dress was washed and bleached to remove the stains, but soon the blood stains reappeared. It was very creepy.
Father Williams asked about the history of the dress and learned that it had been sold to a bride who was murdered before the wedding. Father Williams then offered up a Mass for her. Afterward, no more blood appeared.
While you’re praying for your ancestors who are in Purgatory, also think about which Saint in Heaven could become your ally in praying for them. Who would be a good patron saint for your family tree? Or for a particular sin in your family legacy? In praying for an individual soul in Purgatory, who was their Confirmation Saint? Or which Saint has the same name as his or her baptismal name? This three-way partnership of prayer is a powerhouse that God designed for his children. We are all part of the communion of saints. Make good use of it!
If you need help identifying which Saints to enlist, use Good News Ministries’ Resources to Find Your Saints.
You can obtain a Mass Intention from Good News Ministries. Father Joseph Kimu in Malawi, Central Africa, wants to help with the financial needs of Good News Ministries by offering Holy Masses for your intentions.
For information about Purgatory, go to our WordByte called Defining Purgatory & the Communion of Saints.
I greatly appreciate the many prayers being offered for my dad and for our family — in the comments and in the silence of your prayer times.