by Fr. Janusz Kumala, MIC
Blessed Virgin Mary surrounds the maternal care of the people who make pilgrimages on this earth, going to heavenly glory, and of all those who mature to heaven in Purgatory.
How can Mary inspire us in helping souls in Purgatory who are suffering? What qualities of a spiritual attitude can we learn from Mary so that our help can be more and more generous?
To desire salvation
This one brings help to the souls in Purgatory who is animated by the desire for salvation for oneself and for others. For if someone neglects his salvation, does not care about his friendship with God, he will not be interested in the destiny of others – neither the people living on earth nor those in Purgatory.
In order to help the souls of the deceased, it is necessary to be deeply concerned with the desire of God, which is the salvation of every man. He “wants all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4), therefore He sent his Son to be “the source of eternal salvation” for all (Hbr 5,9).
Mary cooperated in a special way with the work of the Savior through faith, hope and fervent love for the renewal of the supernatural life of human souls. For this reason, she became our mother in the order of grace, and taken to heaven, she continuously wheedles out the gifts of eternal salvation. In her example, we are to become “mothers”, that is, we should care for the supernatural life of other people, so that each of them may achieve the fullness of salvation in Heaven. With our prayer, we can help the dead in Purgatory to be “born to Heaven”.
To long for Heaven
If someone does not miss heaven, why should he seek heaven for souls suffering in Purgatory? After all, sooner or later, they will be there…
To miss something, you need to know its value. The more convinced a person is of the value of a thing, the harder he strives and misses it. The more we love someone, the more we wish the best for him.
Souls in Purgatory suffer, longing for heaven, that is, for seeing God. This is their greatest suffering.
In the Tradition of the Church, the explanation of Mary’s death is known as the event of the Mother’s love for her Son. The Mother longs for her Son and wants to leave the world to be with him forever.
There is nothing wrong with us if we are longing for being with God and those we love in Heaven. It is important that this longing is lived out in perfect submission to God’s will. Let us also ask God to fulfill the longing of the souls in Purgatory.
To be selfless
Selflessness is a special feature of love for the souls in Purgatory. In helping the souls in Purgatory, the suffering must be guided by Christ’s principle: “You have received free, give free”. (Mt 10,8). Mary is a model of this attitude She, in the Immaculate Conception, experienced the selfless gift of the merciful God. In this mystery of her life, we discover the truth about the total gratuitousness of God’s grace, which we cannot deserve but must accept. The generosity of love for the souls in Purgatory can only be unselfish and is a feature of silent people who do not seek publicity and fame. It can be nurtured by those who understand the value of life in secret and appreciate every detail, even the smallest one. By doing everything out of love for God, they can help others the most, and they quickly follow the path of holiness.
(with permission of Marian Helpers Center, Warsaw, Poland)