Advent is not all fun and games. Although it's not Lent, we are supposed to prepare ourselves for Jesus' arrival, which, considering the shape in which many of us find ourselves, could take some work. Hence the timeliness of today's question:
Sister, I am new to all this, but I love your blog. Can you explain exactly what you mean by 'offering it up'? Are there certain prayers that you use?
I assume you are not being sarcastic- but not totally sure...
I volunteer with a lot of nuns, and am amazed by their toughness, warmth an energy!
I am SO not being sarcastic.
First, let's revisit what we mean by "offering it up". You're not a cradle Catholic, are you? Somehow, that is something people raised in the faith just...get. But here you go. I'll wait while you catch up.
Are we on the same page now? Any prayers will do, but there are prayers that are expressly for the souls in Purgatory. There are two St. Gertrudes and they are both famous for their devotion to the souls in Purgatory. St. Gertrude the Great has a prayer for you to say. St. Gertrude of Nevilles is the patron saint of cat lovers.
But that was because she thought of the mice overrunning the convent as a metaphor for the souls in Purgatory and since she was so interested in mice she became the patron saint of cat lovers, because cats are very interested in mice, too.
Our newer cat, Chester, is a fine mouser but leaves his gory leftovers on the bathmat. Go in to wash your hands and suddenly you're in a cat horror movie.
It's not just prayers we offer up, but our sufferings, large and small. Nuns tend to be energetic and tough precisely because they are so highly trained in doing this. You'll be amazed at the burden that is lifted from you when you're sufferings are no longer your own, but going to a greater good.