Small Success Thursday: Not A Sweet, Pious Story

Let’s celebrate our successes and support one another. Share your small successes and cheer for the others!

  • The success, that I want to share with this group this week affects every aspect of my day-to-day routine.  I am not speaking theoretically or expounding on tradition, nor is this account some sweet,  pious story; my experience with praying for a soul in purgatory has been a tough, nitty-gritty, real struggle every day. 

It is all Souls Day on Saturday.I know personally, the agony of a soul who is desperate for my prayers. I have learned through personal experience, that souls in purgatory, although they cannot pray for themselves,  press in on the most sensitive of their relatives for prayer.Mother-and-Son-Dorothy-Bohm

  • . My Ukrainian grandmother, who had been in Canada for barely 15 years, died accidentally under extreme duress as a young mother of three boys  age 4, 7 and 9 when her husband was at war. Since this occurred in the 1940′s, she was denied a Christian burial in the Catholic church. When my grandfather returned from the war,  the young family left the Catholic Church and my grandfather remarried a Protestant Presbyterian. In turn, I was raised in this church with no knowledge of any Catholic roots until I converted. My father pleaded with me to reconsider; his childhood memories of how the  Church handled immigrants were horrific.
  •  It took years before I understood that the emotional weight I carried like a rock in my chest was not mine but I what I felt was actually my deceased grandmother’s guilt, shame and sense of unforgiven sin in my own emotions.  I heard her negative words interiorly and again the words I heard seemed to condemn ME.  These spiritual, emotional and even physical burdens were simply the only way my grandmother could get my attention. After two years of interceding for her, a priest ( who in fact is the official exorcist of my diocese) was finally led by God to give this poor soul absolution in the name of the Church. Instantly, I mean immediately, I was free and my grandmother was filled with joy as she literally flew into the arms of Christ. I still could burst out into songs of praise every time I think of my grandmother and in thanksgiving for the new joy which replaces the burdens I carried for years.

15 thoughts on “Small Success Thursday: Not A Sweet, Pious Story

  1. beautiful, and thanks be to God your grandma is at rest, but wait– i don’t get it– *why* didn’t the Church give her a funeral Mass, etc..? please forgive my cluelessness.


      1. oh, i’m so sorry. gosh, then that’s even *worse* that the Church didn’t give her a proper funeral! what the heck was the matter with those Priests back then?!? thanks be to God you found the dear Priest in your diocese who helped her!!! may God reward you!


  2. Powerful story! And I want to tell you that the image at the top of your blog header is beautiful! What a lovely representation of Madonna and Child!


  3. But, what if that priest had not come along and given your Grandmother absolution in the name of the Church? What of all the Protestants who do not believe in purgatory? Who will be praying for them? I am not being sarcastic here. I hope you are not offended that I am asking. I love your writings and I share many, if not all, of your beliefs.


    1. I was Protestant. God is a great, big God, bigger than any box we can put Him in. I do know we pray for all souls in Purgatory.Once I asked Agnes Sanford (A Protestant author on inner healing) to pray for me. Immediately a sensed an inner chuckle,”You have my undivided attention my dear. No one else has asked for my prayers because I was a Protestant when i was alive.”


  4. What a beautiful story.

    Hannah, for what it’s worth, I pray all the time for the souls of purgatory, often for those who have no one else to pray for them, and very specifically for those of my friends or family who were Protestants. Many people have a special devotion to the Holy Souls of Purgatory and pray for them; in fact, the Dead Theologian Society’s charism is that they pray for these souls specifically. (DTS is a youth group organization for high school or college students that individual parishes can set up locally.)


  5. Thank you so much for these replies. I DO pray for all souls in purgatory. I have loved and lost dear ones who were Protestant, Jewish and (worst of all) those who believed in nothing at all. I know God’s mercy is beyond our comprehension. I remind myself of that all of the time. I also believe that there are no “denominations” (for lack of a better term) in Heaven.


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