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James Lincoln wrote:

Hi, guys —

My 85-year-old mother has a been a traditional Catholic all of her life. During the past year, she has been an avid reader and strong believer of Philosophies and Teachings published in the Signs and Wonders for Our Times magazine marketed by Signs of the Times Apostolate, Inc. in Herndon, Virginia.

She is strongly telling her practicing Catholic friends and family members that this magazine articulates the true Catholic philosophies and teachings.

  • What is the Catholic Church's point of view of the Signs and Wonders for Our Times magazine?

Regards,

James L.

  { What is the Catholic Church's point of view of the 'Signs and Wonders for Our Times' magazine? }

Eric replied:

James,

I am not familiar with this organization; maybe one of my colleagues is. If not, you can contact the Bishop of Arlington, Virginia to get information on whether this organization is legitimate or not.

Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge D.D., Ed.D.
Bishop of the Arlington Diocese
200 N. Glebe Road., Suite 914
Arlington, Virginia 22203
Tel: 703-841-2511

To find out more, visit Catholic Hierarchy. It specializes on information on all Catholic dioceses worldwide:

Eric

Bob replied:

James,

I don't know that there is an official position on this apostolate, so I perused its website. It seems to me to be just a collection of many different interesting resources . . . some actually very good ones. I don't know that they have any unique teaching at all.

  • Is there something particular that concerns you?

I haven't read any of their newsletters; that may be more useful in understanding and assessing them.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

James replied:

Good Morning,

Thank you for the prompt reply. Based on articles my mother read in the magazine, she believes we have to pray for the souls in Purgatory and offer Masses, Rosaries, and sacrifices for them.

That is how the souls move out of Purgatory as they can't pray for themselves. They can pray for us, but they can't pray for themselves. It is us who need to pray for them.

Since (my brother's/her son's) recent passing, she has been obsessed with praying, saying the Rosary, attending daily Mass, and donating a significant amount of money to various organizations to say Masses for my brother with the goal of saving his soul.

My brother has been dealing with (mental illness/depression) and committed suicide in mid-November 2019.

Peace,

James

Bob replied:

James,

Your mother is doing the right and noble thing. It is true that souls in Purgatory are benefited by our sacrifices. But to be clear, souls in Purgatory are already saved, it is not a place for a second chance. It is a purifying and expiating experience in order to make one ready for the beatific vision, for nothing unclean may enter Heaven. (Revelation 21:27)

While suicide is a mortal sin and mortal sins are soul killing, it is possible for a soul to repent even in the moment after having done the deed, and the grace for that conversion could come about through the sacrifices of loved ones—because God transcends time and sees the future as now.

So God could see the sacrifices of your mom and extend enormous grace to your brother to assist in his conversion (in that very critical moment, as it happens in God's eternity). However, it would still be up to him to embrace that gift, God does not coerce. He is a just and merciful Judge, but always respects freedom.

So let your mother be. It is a comfort to her grief to know that love covers a multitude of sins, and nothing beats a mother's love.

Lastly, having Masses said is the best prayer. There have been visitations of souls in Purgatory to people requesting Masses. I know of one story from a noted speaker, Jesse Romero, where a family (he assisted with) had a son involved in gangs and satanism. He died, after being in a coma. Something happened in the hospital as far as prayers, exorcism, etc. and they, hoped for repentance but there was no clear or definitive sign.

About a month after his death he appeared to his parents in their bedroom and begged for 30 Masses to be said for him (so he could be freed from his torment); he was in anguish. This request confirmed something from an older, lost tradition, where it was common for people to do this for the lost loved ones so, have Masses said for your brother . . . and 30 is not too many.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

James replied:


Thank you Mr. Kirby for your insight and prompt reply.

Peace,

James

Mike replied:

Dear James,

I too am unfamiliar with the Signs and Wonders for Our Times. What I do know is, based on your reply, what they say on Purgatory (Revelation 21:27) is on the nose. As Bob and Eric said, if there is a source you question as being Catholic, call the local diocese and get their view. Although you are always going to have a few bad apples, their goal is to keep the faith community, unmistakably Catholic.

What your mother is doing for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is a stellar example of what all Catholic priests and laity should be doing!! Tell your mom, the team at AskACatholic.com say:

Kudos to Mom!

You said referring to the Holy Souls:
They can pray for us, but they can't pray for themselves. It is us who need to pray for them.

Correct!

While on the topic of Purgatory, if either you or your mother are interested, I have a secondary internet apostolate program I've been running with a colleague, Brian Bagley, since April 2007, called Helpers of the Holy Souls.

For those who are interested, and who will really use it, we can send you out a FREE Purgatory Prayer Program.

Although we have had to restrict this program to the United States, to date, we have still sent out over 175  programs to 41 of the 50 States.

Check these web pages for more related information:

I hope you and your mother find this interesting,

Mike

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