If you have had a loved one pass away, your Catholic family and friends may have had a Mass offered for the soul of the deceased. And during the month of November, the Church prays for the souls in Purgatory, with Masses offered for the dead to reduce their time spent in Purgatory. But did you know that you can also have Mass offered for the living?
Recently on The Drew Mariani Show™, Susan Tassone, an expert on the subject of Purgatory, stopped by to share why having Mass offered for the living (not just the dead) can have a powerful spiritual impact.
Drew introduced the topic by noting, “I believe in the power of the Mass to have a profound impact on those who have died. And I want to thank everyone who sent me Masses when my mother passed away. And since I was a young man I’ve had Masses offered for the souls in Purgatory. But have you ever thought of having one said for yourself?”
Drew pointed out that St. Faustina, in her diary, talked about the value of Mass, and how it can lead us to a more fervent celebration every time we attend it. She said, “Such awesome mysteries take place during the Mass. It’s a great mystery that’s accomplished in that celebration. What a great devotion, should we listen to and take part in the death of Jesus. One day we will know what God is doing for each of us in the Mass. And what sort of gift he is preparing for you in it. Only his divine love could permit such a gift.”
Susan explained to listeners, “The Mass is the highest form of worship, the highest form of prayer.” We know from the messages of Mary in various apparitions, and from the lives of the saints that our prayers can have a tremendous spiritual impact. And Susan shared with listeners why having a Mass offered for someone who is still living can be particularly powerful.
She said, “In the case of the deceased in Purgatory, the soul is receiving it passively. Meaning they can’t merit, but the Mass is capable of decreasing their time in Purgatory. They can’t increase their sanctity, the Mass only helps to purify their imperfections.”
“But with a living person who is still capable of growing in sanctifying grace, that Mass can have an effect of increased grace. So the person could become more Christ-like.”
But what if you want to offer a Mass for someone who is away from the Church? Can a Mass offered for someone in a state of mortal sin really do anything?
Susan answered this very question, saying, “Yes, it will. Because that Mass is going to be able to give that soul the grace it needs to respond. However, that person really has to respond. They have free will and they have to accept that grace. So it’s very important to have Masses offered for people who haven’t been to Church or people you think might need that.”
If you are concerned about the state of our culture, the state of our nation, or the state of a family member’s soul, but feel like you can’t make a difference, Drew suggested turning to the spiritual tools we have as Catholics. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more, and praying the Rosary and offering Mass for our loved ones’ conversion can be a well-spring of grace for those most in need of the Lord’s mercy.
“If you’ve got a wayward son or daughter, who is away from the faith, if you know someone who is in need of conversion, if you’re concerned about the country and its leadership, have Masses offered,” Drew said. “Offer one for Joe Biden, offer one for Donald Trump, offer one for a drug-addicted kid, offer one for those souls who are most in need of God’s mercy. There is nothing more powerful.”
Listen to the full conversation below: