Thursday, February 26, 2015

New books provide spiritual reading during Lent or all year. Published 2/13/2015. Books.

New books provide spiritual reading during Lent or all year. Published 2/13/2015. Books.



I recently interviewed Susan Tassone about her new book Day By Day For The Holy Souls in Purgatory-365 Reflections. 

This book has hit the top of not only one, but three major charts!   It is ranked the Number One Best Selling book at Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company, it is EWTN’s Number One Best Selling book for 2014, and it was ranked Number One in “spirituality and meditations” on  Over 13,000 of these books have been sold already since it was recently released.  
     Since this is The Year of Consecrated Life (November 30, 2014-Feburary 2, 2016), let’s help the consecrated religious and clergy who may be suffering in purgatory.  According to this author, they are some of the most abandoned souls. St. Teresa of Avila and St. Alphonsus Liguori have said that most souls are released at Christmas and the next greatest number of souls are released at Easter.  Let’s include the suffering souls in our Lenten 2015 sacrifices and penance so they too can rise with Jesus at Easter!

Donna-Marie: Susan, can you please give us an overview of your beautiful book?

Susan Tassone: Day By Day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory-365 Reflections provides Scripture, Meditations, Reflections and Prayer. Each day I had the opportunity to talk about purgatory from three points of view: 1) Scripture-which included every purgatory passage and reference. 2)Meditations- from where I learned what the greatest thinkers, writers and theologians had to say about purgatory. 
3) I took these eloquent writings and pulled out the gems.  From that I created the selected Scripture, Meditations and Reflections for each one. You can use this book however you like---as a daily devotional, as a year-round- “novena” (to follow the seasons) --- or just pick it up and read it as the Spirit leads you.

Donna-Marie: What makes Day by Day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory-365 Reflections so unique?

Susan: What makes this book so unique is that if somebody learns better by a philosopher, we have philosophical writers.  If you like the Pope’s writings, we have writings from Pope Clement to Pope Francis, and we include their encyclicals.  We have modern apologists, Shakespeare, J.R. Tolkien, Dante.  You choose what is most meaningful to you.

Donna-Marie: What role does the Blessed Mother play with the souls in purgatory?

Susan: Our Lady is the most powerful intercessor for the souls in purgatory!  Throughout the whole book we see her interceding and offering our prayers to God unceasingly.  She embellishes our prayers.

Moms can form kind and merciful hearts in their children and grandchildren. They will have planted the seed of reverence and in due time this will manifest itself and will assure them of their suffrages. Go to the cemetery as a family. Pray the Eternal Rest Prayer before and after meals.

Here is a meditation from May 31st- Best Safeguard-Devotion to Our Lady:

Devote and consecrate yourself entirely to Mary [Our Lady].  Make her a present of Masses, Communions, fasts; imitate her glorious virtues.  If you do these things you need not fear purgatory.  She will obtain for you such a measure of true contrition and conformity to God’s will, so much patience in your last sickness, such holy and ardent desire to serve God, such profound humility as to blot out our of our souls what purgatory was to have done, and purify you in a present capacity to go directly into heaven and if an extraordinary pass should be necessary, who can better procure it in you than the Lady of the House, the Mother of the Judge, the Empress of Paradise, the Queen of the Universe? --Eitenne Binet, S.J., French Author.

In 2017 it will be the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.  We discuss the importance of the powerful First Five Saturdays Devotion in reparation of the Immaculate Heart.  Our Lady promises great graces necessary for salvation and a shorten purgatory for those who practice this incredible devotion.  Circle your calendar and do this devotion.  Father Andrew Apostoli says this devotion will also speed up the era of peace! 

We share the lives of the Saints that are full of revelations and anecdotes of Our Lady’s power in favor of the holy souls. Stay close to the Blessed Mother!

Donna-Marie: Do the Angels play a role in assisting the holy souls in purgatory?

Susan: Absolutely.  We include numerous meditations from the Saints who confirm the Guardian Angels devotion to us in purgatory.  The angels console the holy souls.  They inspire friends and relatives to offer a Mass and practice good deeds for a speedy delivery from purgatory.  The angels inform the holy souls who are assisting them and to pray for those who help them.  The angels escort the soul to heaven with the speed of lightning.  We need to have a great devotion to your Guardian Angel.  Ask their help to purify your soul here on earth.  Their charge is to get you home to heaven.  The Guardian Angels are intent on obtaining all the graces and favors from God for your eternal welfare. St. Faustina’s writings confirm this, too.  We include all her purgatory passages in our book.  

Here is a meditation from March 2-Souls’ Greatest Torment:

“…[The next night] I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him.  In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls.  They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid.  The flames which were burning them did not touch me at all.  My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant.  I asked these souls what their greatest torment was.  They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God.  I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in purgatory. The souls call her ‘The Star of the Sea.’
She brings them refreshment.  I wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave.  We went out of that prison of suffering.  [I heard an interior voice] which said, My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it.  Since that time, I am in closer communion with the suffering souls”--St. Faustina (Diary, 20).

Donna-Marie: Can you tell us about how you wrote about the fire of purgatory?

Susan: We examined the “fire of purgatory” from the point of view of both  the philosophers and the saints approach to it. Both philosophers and saints agree that it is not the physical fire as we know.  It is a “spiritual fever”, a longing for God as the holy souls explained to St. Faustina.  Their hunger, their thirst, their famine, their drought is for God.  It is a “heartsickness” for God.  The saints explain it very well in our book. 

Here is a meditation from June 22-Wounds of Love:

Love can sometimes produce effects in the human breast that recall those of material fire.  We read this in the lives of certain saints.  The Holy Spirit comes to them as a wellspring of intolerable love, as a consuming fire, as a love wound of death and life.  St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was heard to cry:  “O Love, you cause me to consume and melt. You cause me to die and yet to live.”  We often hear the common phrase:  “I have a burning love for such and such.

St. Philip Neri could not support the ardor of the fire that the love of God kindled within him.  While fervently praying in the catacombs around 1545, he experienced an ecstasy when his heart was enlarged; two ribs were broken to make room for his enlarged heart, which was filled with spirit, love, joy and cheer.  To ease the burning he would uncover his breast in the cold.

St. Faustina said:  “I feel some kind of fire in my heart…An extraordinary suffering pervades my soul together with a joy I cannot compare to anything: (Diary, 432).
Blessed Mary of Providence shared:  “Today I feel as though my hands were on fire.  I am burning! … My God, I burn with love for You!  I feel within me an inconceivable hunger and thirst for God.”

Donna-Marie: How do you address suicide in your book?

Susan: When someone commits suicide their loved ones have all kinds of feelings.  It often tears families apart.  If someone you love commits suicide you will have a wide range of feelings.  It is normal to be angry, sad, down, scared.  Don’t be afraid or ashamed for what you feel.  Feelings often are fleeting and change rapidly.  One of the most common feelings is that of being ashamed.  We blame ourselves for the suicide.  If only I did this or noticed that.  People commit suicide for many reasons.  The worst thing we can do is blame ourselves and be ashamed.  We need to accept whatever feelings we have.  All feelings are legitimate.

Day By Day for the Holy Souls in Purgatory-365 Reflections will help you accept these feelings.  It has the right kind of reflections and prayers for a wide variety of feelings.  That is why we have this book.  It helps to console and helps the soul move on through our Masses, especially Gregorian Masses you can offer for this suffering soul.

Donna-Marie: Can you please explain Gregorian Masses?

Susan: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest act of worship, the highest form of prayer.  The Mass is the most efficacious means to help the souls in purgatory.  Gregorian Masses are a series of 30 Holy Masses celebrated on thirty consecutive days for the repose of the soul of one departed person.  Gregorian Masses derive their name from St. Gregory the Great, who was the first to popularize this practice.  It is related in the Dialogues of St. Gregory that the soul of a departed Monk appeared and declared that he had been delivered from purgatory upon the completion of thirty Masses.  The Sacred Congregation of Indulgences has declared the tradition to be a “pious and reasonable belief of the faith.”  Put these Masses in your wills!  The Masses are offered in Mission lands.  Our Catholic Missionaries are in desperate situations.  They greatly supported by our Mass stipends.  

The Pious Union of St. Joseph can arrange these Masses.  Send requests and donations to The Pious Union of St. Joseph, 953 East Michigan Avenue, Grass Lake, Michigan, 49240 or Visit: Offer Masses for yourselves as well.  Enroll your family in the Pious Union of St. Joseph Perpetual Enrollment.  The Holy Cloak Novena is
also a powerful novena.  Extraordinary graces are granted under the protection of St. Joseph!  

Donna-Marie: What do these great thinkers and writers of the meditations you mentioned have in common?

Susan: I learned that there are three key points everyone agrees to:

  1. The fire that is described by the saints is a positive fire.  A burning love for God.  I call it GOD FIRE.
  2. Another concept everyone agrees to is that the holy souls need our prayers.  Especially in this priority:  The Mass, Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and Eucharistic Adoration.  There are indulgences that are attached with these means that we can apply to the holy souls. Learn about the Saints and their devotion to the suffering souls. I call them the Pillars of Devotion.  Our other books meet these needs for the holy souls in purgatory.
  3. Why do we pray for them? What do they do for us?  
What do we do when someone has died?  We feel grief and sorrow.  We want to do something.  What gift can we give them?  We have the perfect means: 365 ways to show our love with our book.
The Holy Souls are most concerned about our salvation.  We discuss this extensively in the book. They also repay us a hundredfold.  

Here is a meditation from February 23-One Thousand Favors
“Though the Holy Souls cannot merit for themselves, they can obtain for us great graces.  Through the sweet providence of God, they can obtain for us outstanding favors, and deliver us from evils, sickness and dangers of every kind” 
---St. Alphonsus Liguori

           Donna-Marie: Can you share what you learned when writing this book?

Susan: The more I learn about purgatory the more I come to realize this God-given gift [of Purgatory] isn’t about punishment.  It’s about love.  God is not trying to “get even” with people nor is it a way of lowering the boom.  Our of his mercy and love he is preparing His unprepared children to be with Him face to face for all eternity.
Purgatory is a beautiful sign of God’s infinite love.

Donna-Marie: How does your book affect the events of the world today?

Susan: As you use this book to release the holy souls in purgatory,
keep in mind that the holy souls are part of the Mystical Body of Christ.  Team Purgatory is building up the heavenly kingdom.

As our prayers release the holy souls, we gain “fresh intercessors”
building up the Church Triumphant.  When that teams unites there will be an explosion of intercessory prayer that will change the world.  A world that yearns for peace.  May our world be as it is described in Isaiah, a place where the lion will lie down with the lamb.

Donna-Marie: Thank you very much, Susan. This has been quite enlightening and fascinating. Where can we order your book?

Susan: You can order my book at:, or support your local Catholic Bookstore.

God bless!

Friday, February 20, 2015

This morning talking about families and Lent on the airwaves

Coming up this morning: 9:39-9:56 AM EST I'll be chatting with Teresa Tomeo on Catholic Connection with Ave Maria Radio
Listen Live here…/Teresa-Tomeo/

God bless!