We thank Allison Gingras at Reconciled To You and Elizabeth Riordan at Theology Is A Verb for once again hosting Catholic bloggers at Revisiting Wednesday.
It is a privilege for us to share our work with them and their followers.
This is my contribution:
Want To "Save a Soul Today"?
(Originally published on January 10, 2013)
When was the last time the first thought that came into your mind as you got up to enjoy the gift of another day was “Let me save a soul today?” For most of us, my educated guess would be, either not recently or never.
Have you heard a homily within the past year urging you to pray for the salvation of your soul and/or the souls of your loved ones and friends? - not so much.
Do you ever think of where the souls of the 6,815 people (as estimated by the CIA World Factbook) who die on average everyday in this country have gone? Probably not!
Odd (and troubling) isn’t it, that even though the primary mission of the Catholic Church is to save souls, we rarely hear or think about that subject?
To paraphrase the great wisdom of Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel: how then can we desire to be saved, if we do not know we are lost?
For lots of reasons, too many Catholics have become quite complacent or even unconcerned about their eternal residence or that of those they love. After all, we are all “good and decent folk” and our loving and merciful God is not going to send any of us to some eternal inferno forever. We are partially right but terribly incorrect as well: God does not send anyone to hell. Those who populate that Godless hole have chosen to be there by the way they chose to live their lives here – their way, rather than God’s.
So maybe it’s time for all of us to pay closer attention to the salvation of souls and actually do something that will help us and others avail ourselves of His mercy and occupy the heavenly mansions God wishes to give us.
Father Joseph Homick of the Contemplatives of St. Joseph in
California thinks so. He wants to make a simple but powerful flyer, Save a Soul Today! available to anyone who wishes copies. E-mail him with your request at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine how many souls could be saved, if everyone who reads this article tells their friends about it and then orders copies of this pamphlet from Father for their respective parishes! I am obtaining copies for my parish. Will you?
With the good Father’s permission, the content of his flyer (less the instructions on how to say the Chaplet) follows. Please read and share this widely:
Save a Soul Today!
Do you know that you can do something that can be a direct and immediate contribution to the salvation of souls? Jesus told St. Faustina something of great value in this regard. (Since she is a canonized saint and her writings have received Church approval, it is worthy of belief, even though this is not on the same level as Scripture and Tradition.) At a certain moment Jesus said this: "Pray as much as you can for the dying... Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends upon Your prayer..." (Diary, #1777).
As members of the Body of Christ we are required to pray for each other, for this is an important means of bringing God's grace to souls. The hour of death is the most critical time in anyone's life, especially if they are in any way estranged from God. They need help now—and the only thing that will save them is the grace of God, which draws them to repentance, faith, and trust in Him. He expects us to pray for that grace for the dying. For, as God said to the prophet Ezekiel: "1 have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (33:11).
But how do we do it? The Lord gave St. Faustina a special prayer to be used for this purpose. It is called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Here's one thing the Lord said about it: "Whoever will recite [the chaplet] will receive great mercy at the hour of death... Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy..." (#687).
That's good news, but what if someone is unable to say it himself, for whatever reason? Not to worry: "At the hour of their death, 1 defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the pardon is the same..." (#811). This is where you and I come in, where we pray for ailing members of the Body to be granted grace and mercy unto salvation.
Now is the time to start rescuing souls! Here's what you can do: around 3:00 every afternoon (this is the "hour of mercy" since it is the hour of Jesus' death on the Cross), pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Not for just anyone, however, but for whoever is in most danger of eternal separation from God—someone who is about to die in mortal sin, or perhaps a dying loved one—so that this soul may be granted, by the mercy of the Lord, the grace of final repentance unto salvation, if this prayer can help open the hearts of the dying just enough to say "yes" to Jesus as they are leaving this world, then it's all worth it.
The chaplet is based on the power of prayer with faith, and on Jesus' everlasting love and infinite mercy. "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (James 5:16). To pray this chaplet is to help enable a sinner to repent at the last minute, like the Good Thief. Let us be instrumental in winning the grace of final repentance for sinners. "Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:20).
Thousands of people die every day, and many of them may very well be in a state of sin. We can help at least some of them get to Heaven. What a great and glorious work this is! Imagine, at the end of your life, being greeted in Heaven by numerous souls, all thanking you because the Lord had mercy on them and saved them, since you prayed for them at the hour of their death! What a marvelously rewarding blessing to enjoy for all eternity!
It doesn't matter that much if you can't pray the prayer right at 3:00. Do it whenever you can; just do it! Let's start harvesting souls for the
. He has given us a simple means for co-operating with his grace in this all- important work. Nothing is more important in the eyes of God than the salvation of the souls He created, the souls with whom He desires to share his Heaven. It's high time we were about our Father's business. Pray the chaplet every day, and may God reward you! of Kingdom God