Several years ago, I found an worn, old piece of paper folded up in the bottom of a box. Dirty and yellowed with age, it was a photo copy of some unknown book and read at the top, “Chapter 13: TO AVOID PURGATORY, DO AS FOLLOWS.” The information following is too insightful and compelling not to share and if you know the source, be sure to send it my way! (All emphasis is within the actual text.)
FYI – more info about Purgatory about half way down this page, starting at paragraph 1030.
TO AVOID PURGATORY, DO AS FOLLOWS
- In every prayer you say, every Mass you hear, every Communion you receive, every good work you perform, have the express intention of imploring God to grant you a holy and happy death and no Purgatory. Surely God will hear a prayer said with such confidence and perseverance.
- Always wish to do God’s will. It is in every sense the best for you. When you do or seek anything that is not God’s will you are sure to suffer. Say fervently, therefore, each time you recite the Our Father: “Thy will be done.”
- Accept all the sufferings, sorrows, pains and disappointments of life, be they great or small: ill health, loss of goods, the death of your dear ones, heat or cold, rain or sunshine, as coming from God. Bear them calmly and patiently for love of Him and in penance for your sins. Of course one may use all his efforts to ward off trouble and pain, but when one cannot avoid them let him bear them manfully. Impatience and revolt make sufferings vastly greater and more difficult to bear.
- Christ’s life and actions are so many lessons for us to imitate. The greatest act in His life was His Passion. As He had a Passion, so each one of us has a passion. Our passion consists in the sufferings and labors of every day. The penance God imposed on man for sin was to gain his bread in the sweat of his brow. Therefore, let us do our work, accept its disappointments and hardships, and bear our pains in union with the Passion of Christ. We gain more merit by a little pain than by years of pleasure.
- Forgive all injuries and offences, for in proportion as we forgive others, God forgives us.
- Avoid mortal sins and deliberate venial sins and break off all bad habits. Then it will be relatively easy to satisfy God’s justice for sins of frailty. Above all, avoid sins against charity and against chastity, whether in thoughts, word or deed, for these sins|and the expiation for them| are the reason why many souls are detained in Purgatory for long years.
- If afraid of doing much, do many little things, act of kindness and charity,* give the alms you can, cultivate regularity of life, method in work, and punctuality in the performance of duty; don’t grumble or complain when things are not as you please; don’t censure and complain of others; never refuse to do a favor to others when it is possible. These and suchlike little acts are a splendid penance.
- Do all in your power for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Pray for them constantly, get others to do so, join the Association of the Holy Souls and ask all those you know to do likewise. The Holy Souls will repay you most generously.
- There is no way more powerful of obtaining from God a most holy and happy death than by weekly Confession, daily Mass and daily Communion.
- A daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament – it need only be three or four minutes – is an easy way of obtaining the same grace. Kneeling in the presence of Jesus with eyes fixed on the Tabernacle, sure that He is looking at us, let us for a few minutes repeat some little prayer like these: “My Jesus, mercy!” “My Jesus, have pity on me, a sinner.” “My Jesus, I love You.” “My Jesus, give me a happy death.”
*St. Peter tells us, “But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity converteth a multitude of sins” (1 Ptr 4:8). — Editor, 1992
Find more on the Holy Souls in Purgatory from St. Josemaria Escriva and how to help them from the National Catholic Register.