You Say You Want a Resolution?

by Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC

The following was written by Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, spiritual director of our Holy Souls Sodality. It appears in the January 2018 issue of the Sodality's newsletter.

Let's talk New Year's resolutions, shall we?

You may recall that this time last year, in anticipation of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, I advocated that we all embrace Mary's "peace plan": praying the Rosary daily for peace. I'll have you know, I only missed a few days (and I made up those Rosaries within a day or two of when I missed them).

Rosary for Peace
I'd like to suggest as a New Year's resolution that we continue this practice through the coming year: a daily Rosary for peace for our troubled world.

Indeed, with the 100th anniversary of Fatima behind us, it would be spiritually beneficial for us to keep at the forefront of our memory the apparition of Our Lady to Sr. Lucia in 1941. You may recall the vision she had of a pilgrim people headed by a bishop in white — the Holy Father. They climb a steep mountain, at the top of which is a big cross. Before reaching the top, the Holy Father passes through a city in ruins, filled with corpses and people in all manner of pain and sorrow, for whom he prays. Once they reach the top, the Holy Father and those with him are killed by soldiers. Two angels then appear, gather the blood of these martyrs, and with it, sprinkle the souls of those who were making their way to God.

This vision speaks to us today. In a world where so many people feel hopeless, we, the Church, are duty-bound to present the hope found in the Cross, which means embracing an attitude of self-giving and sacrifice.

Moreover, in light of that particular apparition, we should see ourselves as the benefactors of the great grace of the martyrs who have witnessed to the faith with their lives over the last 100 years. We should realize we are living in the time of mercy, but the time is growing short. Indeed, we should feel encouraged all the more to pray the Rosary daily for peace and to fulfill the daily requirements for a plenary indulgence so as to obtain at the same time a plenary indulgence for a soul in Purgatory.

Those of you who have already gone through Marian consecration — either through St. Louis de Montfort's program, or St. Maximilian Kolbe's consecration to the Immaculata, or my fellow Marian Fr. Michael Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory — should be mindful of placing your daily indulgence into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was immaculately conceived. She may choose the soul to be released from Purgatory, the soul who will be praying for you in heavenly glory, knowing full well that you were the one responsible for his or her release.

Give a Free One-Year Trial Membership
I'd like to suggest another New Year's resolution. Please consider asking friends, family members, and fellow parishioners if they would be willing to receive in the mail our For Heaven's Sake monthly newsletter from the Holy Souls Sodality. You and they would be under no financial obligation. It's just my hope to expand the reach of this important charism of devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

If you wish to sign someone up, I am offering a free one-year trial membership. Call 1-800-462-7426 or email [email protected] for details.

And if they show an interest, you might want to consider buying for them a copy of my new book, Prayers and Practices for the Souls in Purgatory, which I (ahem) humbly suggest is the best book on the market to introduce someone to the theology of Purgatory.

And speaking of books, just a little update on another New Year's resolution I made a year ago. I vowed to simplify my life by redistributing the things I have so unnecessarily collected over the years — mainly books I have read and will not re-read.

Well, I have started boxing up my books to ship to the Marian seminarians in Steubenville, Ohio. I assume that many of you know we send our seminarians to Franciscan University in Steubenville for formation. Because of our increasing number of seminarians, we've officially outgrown our two houses there and are in the process of renovating a former elementary school into living quarters.

The library is going to be substantially larger than the present library. It won't be long before I do my part to see to it those book shelves start filling up!

One More Intention
One final thing: I was inspired by Pope Francis' World Day of Children to introduce a monthly prayer intention for Sodality members. This month, in addition to our prayers for peace, let us pray for the souls of babies who have been aborted, either surgically or by use of an abortifacient.

From now on, each month, we'll have a new prayer intention. That's a good way to begin a new year, don't you think?

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!