May and June, 2007
Dear Prayer Warriors,
Many of you are familiar with the book “Get Us Out of Here” about Maria Simma (now deceased) who was given the extraordinary gift of communicating with the Souls in Purgatory. Maria was born in 1915 and died in 2004.
Today, very little is taught about Purgatory, about the suffering that the Poor Souls experience in order to be completely purified to be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet Purgatory does exist, and the sufferings that the Poor Souls experience there are very real.
Since 1940 Maria Simma, has had regular visits from the souls in Purgatory to explain their sufferings and to ask for prayers and Masses to be released from Purgatory. Her local Bishop and parish priest told her she could make known these visitations as long as there were no theological errors.
The first time Maria was visited by a Soul in Purgatory was in 1940. “One night, around 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, I heard someone coming into my bedroom... I saw a complete stranger. He walked back and forth slowly. I said to him severely: How did you get in here? Go away! But he continued to walk impatiently around the bedroom as if he hadn't heard. So I asked him again: What are you doing? But as he still didn't answer, I jumped out of bed and tried to grab him, but I grasped only air. There was nothing there. So I went back to bed, but again I heard him pacing back and forth. I wondered how I could see this man, but I couldn't grab him. I rose again to hold onto him and to stop him from walking around; again, I grasped only emptiness. Puzzled, I went back to bed. He didn't come back, but I couldn't get back to sleep. The next day, after Mass, I went to see my spiritual director and told him everything. He told me that if this should happen again, I shouldn't ask, Who are you? but What do you want from me? The following night, the man returned. I asked him: What do you want from me? He replied: Have three Masses celebrated for me, and I will be delivered. So I understood that it was a soul in Purgatory. My spiritual director confirmed this. He also advised me never to turn away the poor souls, but to accept with generosity whatever they asked of me.
For several years, there were only three or four souls, all in November. Afterwards, there were more. In most cases, they ask to have Masses celebrated. They ask to have the Rosary said and also that one make the Stations of the Cross.
In the midst of their suffering they have joy and hope. No soul would want to come back from Purgatory to the earth. They have knowledge which is infinitely beyond ours. They just could not decide to return to the darkness of the earth. Here we see the difference from the suffering that we know on earth. In Purgatory, even if the pain of the soul is just terrible, there is the certitude of living forever with God. It's an unshakeable certitude. The joy is greater than the pain. There is nothing on earth which could make them want to live here again, where one is never sure of anything.
It is not God who sends a soul into Purgatory. It is the soul itself which wants to go to Purgatory, in order to be pure before going to Heaven.
The Blessed Mother comes often to Purgatory to console them and to tell them they have done many good things. She encourages them. She delivers them from Purgatory above all, Christmas Day, All Saints Day, Good Friday, the Feast of the Assumption, and the Ascension of Jesus. Most go to Purgatory mainly for the following reasons: Sins against charity, against the love of one's neighbour, hardness of heart, hostility, slandering, and calumny. Other sins against charity are all our rejections of certain people we do not like, our refusals to make peace, our refusals to forgive, and all the bitterness we store inside.
Those who have the greatest chance of going to Heaven are those who have a good heart towards everyone. Love covers a multitude of sins.
While still on earth we can avoid Purgatory almost completely by doing a great deal for the souls in Purgatory, for they help us in their turn. We must have much humility. This is the greatest weapon against evil, against the Evil One. Humility drives evil away.
Maria also says the most effective means to help deliver the souls in Purgatory is the Mass because it is Christ who offers Himself out of love for us. It is the offering of Christ Himself to God, the most beautiful offering. The priest is God's representative, but it is God Himself who offers Himself and sacrifices Himself for us. The efficacy of the Mass for the deceased is even greater for those who attached great value to the Mass during their lives. If they attended Mass and prayed with all their hearts, if they went to Mass on weekdays — according to their time available — they drew great profit from Masses celebrated for them. Here, too, one harvests what one has sown.
A soul in Purgatory sees very clearly on the day of his funeral if we really pray for him, or if we have simply made an act of presence to show we were there. The poor souls say that tears are no good for them: only prayer! Often they complain that people go to a funeral without addressing a single prayer to God, while shedding many tears; this is useless!
There is another means, very powerful, to help the poor souls: the offering of our sufferings, our penances, such as fasting, renunciations, etc., — and of course, involuntary suffering, like illness or mourning.
The best thing to do, Maria tells us, is to unite our sufferings to those of Jesus, by placing them in the hands of Mary. She is the one who knows best how to use them, since often we ourselves do not know the most urgent needs around us. All this, of course, Mary will give back to us at the hour of our death. You see, these sufferings offered will be our most precious treasures in the other world. We must remind each other of this and encourage each other when we suffer.
Let me add something important: the souls in Purgatory can no longer do anything for themselves; they are totally helpless. If the living do not pray for them; they are totally abandoned. Therefore, it is very important to realize the immense power, the incredible power that each one of us has in our hands to relieve these souls who suffer.
We wouldn't think twice about helping a child who has fallen in front of us from a tree, and who had broken his bones. Of course, we would do everything for him! So, in the same way, we should take great care of these souls who expect everything from us, attentive to the slightest offering, hopeful for the least of our prayers, to relieve them from their pain. And it might be the finest way to practice charity.
In Purgatory one can no longer gain merits. At the moment of death, the time to earn merits is over. For as long as we are living on earth, we can repair the evil we have done. The souls in Purgatory envy us of this opportunity.
Sufferings are the greatest proof of the love of God, and if we offer them well, they can win many souls.
We must give everything to Our Lady. She is the one who knows best who needs such and such an offering in order to be saved.
We should not always consider sufferings as a punishment. It can be accepted as expiation not only for ourselves, but above all for others. Christ was innocence itself, and He suffered the most for the expiation of our sins. Only in Heaven will we know all that we have obtained by suffering with patience in union with the sufferings of Christ.
Contrition is very important. The sins are forgiven, in any case, but there remains the consequences of sins. If one wishes to receive a full indulgence at the moment of death — that means going straight to Heaven — the soul has to be free from all attachment.
At the moment of death there is a time in which the soul still has the chance to turn towards God, even after a sinful life, before entering into eternity — a time, if you like, between apparent death and real death. The Lord gives several minutes to each one in order to regret his sins and to decide: I accept, or I do not accept to go and see God. Then we see a film of our lives.
At the moment of death the devil has permission to attack us, but man also has the grace to resist him, to push him away. So, if man does not want anything to do with him, the devil can do nothing.
Maria also says that if anyone wants to become a saint here on earth he or she must be very humble. We must not be occupied with ourselves. Pride is evil's greatest trap.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Maria, O Lord
Friends of the Poor Souls
Established September 15, 2004
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Robert & Mary Ann Luetkemeyer, Coordinators
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