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There are Holy Souls in Purgatory who never receive any relief from their sufferings through prayers that could have been offered by friends or relations. This is the case when their loved ones don't believe in any prayer, or else live as Christians of other groups but don't believe in prayer for the dead. In anguish, these Holy Souls await help from any of us who will recognise their plight, and will turn to the Father, in Christ's name, to pray
The souls in Purgatory suffer amidst the clouds of remorse and sin from which they are being purified. They desperately want our prayers, to aid them in their preparation for Heaven, by God's grace. It is tragic that many Catholics are careless about having a Mass said for the dead, or praying in private, and even more tragic that many Christians don't believe prayer for the Departed is necessary, despite its scriptural warrant. They in fact abandon their departed friends and relations.
It is tragic not only that some Catholics forget the Holy Souls in Purgatory, but that many Christians are told by their leaders that prayer for departed souls is unnecessary or useless. Well-meaning people leave their friends and relations in Purgatory, without offering a single prayer to God for them, and imagining that every kind of person will speed straight into Heaven, even when laden with sinful habits and attitudes.
Some Catholics are so impressed with the fervour of certain Christian groups that they think about leaving the Catholic Church, forgetful of what they already have, from God. It is the Holy Eucharist that makes the Church - not a charismatic founder, or a special healer, or huge numbers of new members. Jesus is Really Present in His one true Church. To go elsewhere is to desert Him.
A priest or Bishop who speaks only of generalities, year after year, when he meets with Protestant Ministers, is failing in his duty. To practice ecumenism does not mean never mentioning the glorious truth that Christ founded one united Church, upon Peter: a Church which exists today, with its door open, for everyone willing to come in and practice the Faith, guided by her sure teachings.
In the Father's sight, it is tragic that many Christians refuse to honour the Virgin Mother of their Saviour. How can they imagine that the perfect son of a perfect mother does not love her, does not honour her, and does not want all His friends to honour her, too? These Christians find out the truth when they die, and lament their previous blindness.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is dear to God the Father. Christ, Son of God and of Mary, loves His Mother and wants her to be loved and honoured. It is tragic, in His sight, that some Christians refuse to honour her. They discover, in Purgatory, the truth about their neglect of her, and they bewail the blindness of their earthly lives.
Catholics are right to rejoice when they meet people who love God, or who simply want to do good. Those people who seek what is good are right in thinking that God is close to all, and especially close to those who love Him, but wrong in thinking that there is no need for a Church, a Priesthood or sacred rites. These have been given to us by Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, Who deserves to be obeyed, in love.
When some priests try to appear unnecessarily modern and relevant, Satan is at work today. It is he who persuades so many of the Clergy to water down the Faith, to make compromises with the world, or with other Christians, that are against Church teaching and confuse the Faithful.
We are right to be concerned, as Catholics, about the teachings and influence of many non-Catholic Christians, especially of those who unfortunately teach that contraception and even abortion is not wrong. There are children playing today who would not have been born, had their parents not been faithful Catholics who treasure God's gift of life.
Many Christians make a dreadful error in refusing to know Our Lady or to seek her prayers. They draw a curtain over centuries of Christian devotions to her, devotions she deserves because of her central place in God's plan of salvation. How shocking, to ignore the mother of God!
Many non-Catholic Christians will be embarrassed, after death, as they realise what a dreadful error they have made in their refusal to honour Our Lady or to seek her help, as they drew a curtain over the most important Christian devotions of the first centuries. They will see just how much Christ loves His Mother.
There are difficult decisions to make in our spiritual lives. A Protestant minister might sit and agonise about whether it's all right to ask for the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or, for example, a Catholic priest agonises over whether to persevere in the Priesthood. Prayer is essential, and trust in God and His Church.
Many Catholics practice what must be called false ecumenism. A Catholic priest or Bishop acts against the truth if he stands with a Protestant leader and gives what is called a joint blessing. This gives the impression that they each have the same power and authority. And when a Protestant minister is invited to offer a sermon during a Mass, this is against the wish of Christ and His Church. It is forbidden.
There is no need for concern about the Pope's decision to assist Anglicans who want to become Catholic whilst retaining some of their 'heritage'. He knows that Anglicans do not have valid orders, and that special measures are necessary rather than leave many Christians without all the Sacraments. The Holy Spirit, pictured in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome as a dove, in a Scriptural image, is guiding the Church today, just as in past ages, through all the Popes of the ages - and despite the personal sins of individual Popes.
When Christians talk together, discussing the meaning of 'Church' and 'Communion', Christ is on the edge of Heaven, gazing upon the earth, interceding for those people, praying for those who are out of Full Communion, so that they will come home, into Full Communion with the successor of St. Peter, the Pope, and with the other Catholic Bishops.
The Papacy is like the hearth at the centre of the home. As a family needs to be present together, if love is real, so a Church family needs to be in Communion with the Pope, if faith is real. All Christians are called to be in full Communion, even if they don't agree with everything in the home.
Truthful Catholics know that there is no possibility of corporate union with a Christian group that claims to ordain people to the Priesthood and at present chooses women to receive such 'ordination' - and even proposes to make some of them to be 'Bishops'. This impossibility is obvious; although it is human nature to want to hope, when things are hopeless.
It is tragic that when the Real Presence has been banished from a Christian group, the joy of members must often depend on whether or not a person sees a particular pastor as a congenial and helpful leader, and not on a joyful dependence on Jesus Christ, sacramentally Present on the altar and in the tabernacle.
A woman in a charity shop can be seen selecting attractive objects, and rejecting those items she deems unattractive. This is how many Christians act, even some who believe that they are Christian Bishops. They select doctrines they find attractive and reject long-standing doctrines which are not attractive to them. This is not what faithful Catholics do.
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