The Mass Heals!
We hear stories of people who have been healed in body and we are in awe!
We seldom consider how much Jesus does to heal souls suffering on earth and more so the souls suffering in Purgatory, a place which none of us have seen and to which many of us could go.
We do not stop to think about the physical and spiritual healing through the Eucharist. Today, many are discovering how the Eucharist for the deceased also heals the living as they come into deeper relationship with Jesus. Dr. Kenneth McCall has over 1000 cases of emotional or physical healing occurring with clients by offering a Mass for their deceased loved ones. The Mass heals the living and the dead!
The power of prayer is grabbing the headlines. An Arizona journal reports that “intercessory prayer” produced measurable improvement in the medical outcome of critically ill patients. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest act of worship and the highest form of prayer. St. John Chrysostom says,
“Christ is the victim that gives solace to the dead.”
So what are you doing for our dear deceased loved ones? Who do you miss the most? Who do you wish you could have done more for in their life? Who hurt you? Who helped you the most spiritually or temporally? Have a Mass offered for them! The Council of Trent tells us, “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Perpetual Sacrifice, is the greatest of all suffrages for the Holy Souls.”
A great avenue to have Masses offered is through the Missions. By offering your Masses through the Missions you are providing bread and wine for the Eucharist for a priest in mission countries. These offerings also help with liturgical expenses, books for seminarians, and ministries of the Church. These priests depend on your Masses as their lifeline. Can we help them? Can we help Christ continue His mission on and beyond this earth? And when we do help we are also being merciful to ourselves!
We have an opportunity to help our deceased loved ones and our missionaries spread the Gospel and bring the Eucharist to God’s beloved poor. And what a marvelous time to do this spiritual work of mercy! The Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life. Let us be missionaries of the Eucharist for the holy souls languishing in Purgatory.
The name is derived from Pope St. Gregory the Great who was the first to popularize this pious practice. St. Gregory relates in his Dialogues how when upon finishing the series of thirty Masses for the departed monk, Justus, he appeared to St. Gregory and told him he had gained entry into heaven on completion of the thirtieth Mass. The hallowed tradition has been declared “a pious and reasonable belief of the faithful” on the authority of the Roman Curia. Gregorian Mass is offered for ONE DECEASED SOUL…not a couple or family. Put specific instructions in your Will that Gregorian Masses be offered for your soul.
Does offering thirty Gregorian Masses always rescue a soul from purgatory? Although the practice is approved by the Church there is no official guarantee. Still it is a custom that points to the power and efficacy of the Holy Mass and there are souls in purgatory who are in desperate need of our Masses.
The Church of St. Gregory in Rome houses a beautiful altar with inscriptions that record key events that took place there. Upon three relief panels the Latin text proclaims: Left: St. Gregory has freed the soul of this monk by thirty masses. Middle: The suffering Jesus Christ is seen here by Pope Gregory celebrating (Mass.) Right: In this room Pope Gregory celebrated Masses to release souls from Purgatory.
As you can appreciate, few priests by reason of their work are free and able to offer the 30 consecutive Masses of the Gregorian series without interruption. Therefore, it requires extra time to arrange to have Gregorian Masses scheduled, as this cannot usually be done in a place where there are only a few priests. This is why they are usually offered through the “Missions.” The customary offering for the uninterrupted series of 30 Masses celebrated on consecutive days is at least $300.
And remember to have Masses offered for yourselves, special occasions or intentions, and for the Holidays. It is a refreshing surprise to give someone the gift of prayer! St. Anselm tells us that those we hear or have offered during life are more profitable than those offered for us after death. In this way we shall not be at the mercy of those who remain behind. There is much truth in the proverb which says:
“A candle placed before us gives more light than ten candles placed behind us.”
Only by the means of the Mass can we nourish the hope of being received into Heaven immediately after death, without having to pass through the cleansing rigors of purgatory.