by Lady Lucy Herbert
An Angel Saves a Soul in Purgatory by Lodovico Carracci, circa 1610
Motives to move us to hear Mass for the poor souls in Purgatory
We ought to be persuaded that we cannot exercise charity in a manner more pleasing and agreeable to Almighty God, or more profitable to ourselves, than in offering this sacrifice for the souls in Purgatory. If therefore we give to them those satisfactions we could appropriate to ourselves, we shall be well repaid for it. First, by the merit we shall have for that act of charity; and secondly, by the gratitude of those souls in praying for us when they are in heaven.
When we resolve to give them this great advantage, we may do it in this following manner:
O my Lord and Saviour, since you are pleased to charge yourself with the sins of all, and to pay with your precious Blood the pains justly due to them, be pleased to offer to your eternal Father the torments of your Passion in exchange for those which the souls in Purgatory suffer.
I beg you will mercifully shorten, and, if it may be, put an end to the pains which they suffer. 'Tis with my whole heart that I give them the satisfactions which your goodness would apply to me by virtue and means of this Sacrifice. Since, dear Lord, I can give you nothing, for what do you stand in need of? I esteem myself happy in contributing something to the solace of your Friends and Servants; those Holy souls who feel those devouring flames burn with an ardent desire to see you. What happiness for me, thus to contribute to it!
And you, O Holy Souls, when you shall be in possession of that heavenly kingdom prepared for you, treat with Almighty God in my behalf, and obtain for me the same possession. Amen.