Ask Father Josh (Your Catholic Question and Answer Podcast)

Forgiving Deep Wounds Caused by Family, Praying for Souls in Purgatory, and Tired of Praying

August 6th, 2019

Fr. Josh answers questions about how to forgive deep wounds caused by family members, what to do if you’ve grown bored with prayer, and what are some prayers we can say for souls in purgatory.

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Snippet from the Show
“As people were actively attacking Jesus on the cross—mocking him, cursing him, spitting on him—he said, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ He still felt hurt, betrayed, abandoned, and rejected, but he chose to turn that into intercession.”


Glory Story (1:36)
Fr. Josh discovered this song: Spirit Lead Me by Influence Music & Michael Ketterer!

Listener Feedback (3:52)

Forgiving Deep Wounds Caused by Family (10:49)
Hello Fr. Josh. Thank you, first of all, for all you do. I stumbled upon your podcast and it is helping me examine things in myself that I otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s from this self reflection that this question came forth. I am struggling to forgive my family for their treatment of me, my new husband, and our new baby daughter. I was married previously to a man who abused me for five years, to the point that I had our priest telling me I was unsafe and giving me the resources to leave. My family, however, refuses to accept that I was right on leaving because I “shamed the family” by getting divorced. They still talk to and invite my ex husband to family functions on a regular basis. Nearly a year after the divorce and subsequent annulment, I met a wonderful man. He accepted my two previous children as his own and has been so patient with me. He is a Christ loving man who has shown me what love in a sacramental marriage should be. I had tolerated their behavior regarding me and my husband, but now their behavior affects my children. I had our daughter at 24 weeks gestation. Thanks be to God, she is now nine months old and doing very well all things considered. I have a large family. Aside from my parents and maternal grandparents, everyone in my family has refused to acknowledge her, much less meet her. We spent 143 days in the NICU and needed the support of family desperately. My family has refused. My husbands family has done everything humanly possible, with my mother in law staying with us for all but a month of our NICU stay to help with the older two children. They (the older children) have been asking why the family that used to be so present is ignoring us. I know an apology will likely never occur, so I am struggling how to forgive my family. How do I forgive when offenses have been so deeply felt?
-Anonymous Mother

Praying for the Souls in Purgatory (21:14)
Hi Father Josh! I'm trying to figure out the right way to pray for souls in purgatory. Since I can't know (unless one of them is beatified) whether my family members who have died are in heaven, I don't know who exactly to pray for. But it feels exclusive just to pray "for my family in purgatory." It feels like if I'm being that general, I should just pray "for all souls in purgatory." But if I don't call them out by name, does it count or count less? Thanks for your help, Father, and all the good work you do!

Tired of Praying (28:20)
Hello Father Josh, I listen to your podcast a lot, and I really like it. Thank you for the work you do. I am a junior in college, just striving to live out the Catholic faith. Earlier this year (January) I listened to a ton of talks on Mary, the power of the Rosary and all of that. I was strongly convicted to pray the Rosary more often. I made a decision to pray the Rosary everyday. I had made decisions like this in the past with reading my Bible, and other forms of prayers but after a month, that all disappeared into thin air. However, with the Rosary I have been pretty much consistent in praying it. So here’s the issue. Father Josh, honestly, on some days I am just exhausted, and really just don’t feel like praying the Rosary or any prayer in general. Although I still pray it, I often rush through it, or my mind wanders off occasionally, or I doze off in between. Frankly, sometimes I just pray it to keep my streak. I tell myself I have come too far to give up now. I don’t want to waste my time (or Jesus’s or Mary’s time). I feel like if it has become a game to me, or just really mechanical then I should stop. Still, I like to believe I receive some graces when I strive through it, even when I don’t feel like it or when I’m just doing it to fulfill all righteousness. I’m scared that if I stop now, I’m never going to have the courage to take up any other challenge to strengthen my prayer life. I may just give up this whole prayer thing in general, because Father, I’m legit tired, confused and need some advice. Thank you.
-Legit Tired

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Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

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