Many of the giants of our faith had a devotion to the Holy Souls. From Saint Faustina’s account in her diary, it sure sounds like the souls in purgatory are dependent upon our prayers. They need us now and we’ll surely need them later. Pray for the Holy Souls! Here’s what Saint Faustina wrote.
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I asked the Lord who… I should pray for. Jesus said that on the following night He would let me know for whom I should pray. 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 suffering 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 called 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.
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It’s interesting that their prayers for themselves are “to no avail” but it is our prayers that relieve their sufferings. This clearly delineates our connectedness as the Body of Christ. With all our prejudices, hang-ups, worldly enticements and judgments, it is a lesson we struggle so hard to embrace and practice in this life. Rampant secularism has diminished our culture's "longing for God."
Keep in mind that at Fatima our Lady revealed to us the story of a young girl who will remain in purgatory until the end of time. Our Blessed Mother isn't using scare tactics. She is embracing her children, pleading with them that Jesus is the only way.