I was once in a parish where I was forbidden by the parish priest to give a homily on Purgatory in case it upset people. Imagine if I had wanted to give a homily about hell! Yet ignoring the reality of something doesn’t make it go away – on the contrary, we are all the less prepared to face that reality as we approach it later in our lives. It is called escapism (living with your head in the sand).
Yesterday’s Divine Mercy Novena prayer was dedicated to the souls in Purgatory. It comes directly from St Faustina who received direct revelations from Jesus and who was even brought to visit Purgatory and Hell. When you read her Diary, the description of hell is nothing less than harrowing – in keeping with the language Jesus himself uses in the gospels.
Here is yesterday’s novena prayer.
“Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.”
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.
Pro-Life: Today the Citizen’s Assembly voted to recommend a referendum to repeal the pro-life 8th Amendment of the Constitution. Here is a press release from the Pro-Life Campaign.
The Pro Life Campaign has said it is “disappointed but not surprised” by today’s vote at the Citizens’ Assembly recommending a referendum to dismantle the Eighth Amendment.
Commenting on today’s result, Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Campaign said: “The writing was on the wall for this outcome after the Citizens’ Assembly invited oral presentations from groups like BPAS Britain’s largest abortion provider, yet refused to entertain a single presentation, for example, from parents who contemplated abortion but changed their minds and openly say they owe the life of their child to the Eighth Amendment.
“This one-sided approach was typical of how the Assembly conducted its business from the get-go. It cannot be left unchallenged. If the next phase of the process is to have any credibility the Oireachtas committee charged with considering the Assembly’s recommendations must give urgent priority to shining a spotlight on how the Assembly actually went about its work.”
Ms Sherlock said: “Pro-life supporters will understandably be disappointed with today’s result but it’s no reason to become disheartened. Human rights don’t get old. They don’t pass their sell-by-date. There is nothing liberal or progressive about any assembly proposing a referendum to strip unborn babies of their first and most basic human right, namely the right to life itself.”
Referring to a possible referendum in the future that would take away protections from the unborn child, she said: “It’s far from certain that it would pass. According to polls, support for dismantling the Eighth Amendment is extremely soft. With each passing day people are becoming more aware of what’s at stake and the barbarity of what happens in the name of ‘choice’ and ‘compassion’ once abortion is legalised.
“Some might think that the fact that pro-life and pro-choice groups have criticised the Assembly’s recommendations today is a sign that a reasonable position was arrived at. This is simply not the case. The fact that the Assembly has recommended ‘amending’ the Eighth Amendment rather than full ‘repeal’ changes nothing.
“Once abortion is introduced, even on ‘restrictive’ grounds, it is only a matter of time before the grounds are expanded. When particular categories of human beings are singled out as unworthy of legal protection in the womb, we undermine respect for all human life, born and unborn. There is no escaping this reality. I am confident this message is starting to hit home with people. That can only be a good thing for the future of the Eighth Amendment.”
 BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) is Britain’s largest abortion provider. They regard unborn babies as having no right to life at all and routinely abort them right up to birth. BPAS received a scathing health and safety reprimand from the British Care Quality Commission in 2016 after 11 serious incidents in a 15-month period involving women being transferred for emergency medical care in hospital after undergoing an abortion in BPAS clinics. The Citizens Assembly invited BPAS to address them as “impartial experts” and never challenged them or flagged to the public any of the issues raised above.