Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book Review: Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

I just finished reading Susan Tassone's Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. I spent more time pondering whether I wanted to read this book for The Catholic Company's Book Reviewer program than I actually spent reading it. It's funny how sometimes making a decision takes longer than the actual task at hand. The premise of the book intrigued me, but I wasn't sure if it intrigued me enough to want to read a book on it. Reading the blog Ask Sister Mary Martha, and a well timed homily at Mass a few weeks ago on the practice of "Offering it up" sealed the deal and I decided that I should choose this book as my latest selection. (You're all glad you know the reasoning behind me reading this book now, aren't you? I thought so.)

I found the book to be well written and very informative. As someone who was not all that familiar with the practice of praying for the souls in purgatory, I found the book to be a wealth of information. Susan Tassone explains in her introduction how exactly she got involved in her mission of freeing the souls in purgatory and from there the book gains momentum. The book is comprised of three sections.

The first section covers what is known about the holy souls in purgatory. It is essentially a catechism on purgatory, and how praying for the souls in purgatory works. It's a short section of the book, but it's packed with information. I think that's the section of the book that is either going to pull you in all the way or make you want to jump ship. I was in the camp that decided to forge ahead into the next section.

The second section is the real meat of the book. It covers what the saints have revealed about purgatory. It is in this section that you get a good explanation of the plethora of ways you can help the poor souls in purgatory and how doing so will help you avoid or lessen your time in purgatory. Who wouldn't be interested in this sweet sounding deal?

The third portion of this book covers how you can be an apostle of purgatory through a variety of seasonal practices and devotions. This section is a little sparse, but it offers references to other sources for a variety of devotions.

So who might want to read this book? Good question. I would say that anyone who has deceased relatives and friends (Who doesn't?) and wants to help those souls to heaven. If you think you may die some day, then I would think that you might also want to read this book. I like the quid pro quo behind the concept of praying for the poor souls in purgatory. Free them from purgatory and you have souls in heaven interceding for you. Of course, if you're a do it yourself kind of person who doesn't want any help reaching heaven then you can probably pass on this book. I can tell you that I'm pretty happy I decided to give this book a go.

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer Program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

As a reviewer for The Catholic Company's Book Reviewer Program, I was supplied with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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