Christina Mayeux reflects on how we can offer up our sufferings to assist the Holy Souls in Purgatory during the month of November.
These past few months have not been easy for most of us. Along with the coronavirus and lockdowns, divisiveness and discord within our nation, and other hardships, some of us have dealt with difficult individual struggles as well. Personally, through all of this, I have learned that I have not yet attained the heroic virtue of the saints when it comes to accepting suffering.
The last straw recently was when, while dealing with some of my family members being sick, I had car trouble early one morning on my way to Adoration. In a moment of impatience and frustration with my lot in life, I got angry with God for the trials we were going through. Instantly, though, I regretted my lapse in virtue, remembering what Jesus endured for me on the Cross.
St. Ignatius of Loyola was quoted as saying about suffering, “If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain.” Keeping that in mind has helped me to more graciously accept the difficulties of this time and to try to be more patient and loving through them. When going through a difficult time, we often wonder if, and when, things will get better. I certainly have been wondering the same thing. “You will be consoled according to the greatness of your sorrow and affliction; the greater the suffering, the greater will be the reward,” said St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, who, herself, suffered great trials and temptations.
The words of these saints and others who experienced suffering on earth can give us hope and help us to learn to embrace our crosses, even when it is difficult.
Offering up our sufferings, especially for the Holy Souls during this month which is dedicated to them, is a wonderful way to ensure that they are not wasted. Remembering that the Holy Souls cannot help themselves, but depend upon our prayers and offerings to help them reach their goal of Heaven more quickly, I determined to offer up all that I have been suffering for the souls of my relatives and friends who have gone before me and for all the souls most in need of our prayers.
After reflecting that morning in Adoration on the words of Jesus and the saints regarding suffering, I was even able to thank Him for my problems and difficulties. I realized that our sufferings are a gift He gives us that we, in turn, can offer back to Him in order to atone for our sins and to assist others in need.
Today, let’s thank Jesus for the trials and hardships we are allowed to experience. In them, we are purified and can give so much relief to the Suffering Souls, helping them to come closer to their eternal reward.
Copyright 2020 Christina Mayeux
Image: Pixabay (2019)