[This page is all about the salvation of souls, and nothing is dearer to Jesus and Mary. So I’m hoping that at least a few readers will take just a tiny bit of time to pray for these souls. It can make an eternal difference for them. Thank you and God bless you!]
By now I’m sure you’re aware of my famous mop-up ministry, unless you have just stumbled accidentally (or providentially) upon this blog. You will have learned, after careful reading, that one of the most urgent reasons for praying for sinners who are about to die in their sins is that an average of 150,000 souls leave this world every day to make an account of their lives before the Judgment Seat of God (sure keeps St Peter and his staff busy!).
I think, though, that big numbers like 150,000 don’t register very easily, at least with little brains like mine, so I thought I’d break it down a bit, to increase the sense of urgency even more! 150,000 souls per day is 6,250 souls per hour, which is approximately 104 souls per minute. Just think of it: every minute of every day and every night, 24/7, over 100 souls leave this world and are ushered in to the presence of God, who will examine their lives and declare to them their eternal destination. How many of these are prepared to go? How many have believed in the Lord and loved Him and labored to do his will?
This endless flow of souls may seem overwhelming, and we might think that there is little or nothing that we can do to help—though we should be eager to help, for these are our brothers and sisters, and there will inevitably arrive a moment in which we ourselves will be found among the daily harvest of souls, and we sure would be glad to have someone praying for us at that ultimate moment. So we can at least pray for the 6250, pray for the 104.
As individuals, we can’t help them all, this is clear. But if by our prayers and sacrifices we are able to help save any of them who would otherwise have been lost, then this is eternal glory for the Lord and eternal happiness (not to mention eternal gratitude) for this soul or these souls whom our prayers have assisted.
People often complain that they do not have time for prayer. I won’t get into that whole issue now. But everyone has time for one minute of prayer. Make yourself a note somewhere that you will easily see it, at home, at work (make several while you’re at it). Use your one minute of prayer to pray for the 104 people who will die within that minute. You can do this often during the day, whenever you think of it, even when you don’t have so much as a whole minute: “Lord, have mercy on the 104 souls that are leaving the world this very minute!”
The Lord will hear your prayer. It is true that every soul has to choose personally to embrace faith and love for Christ, but in extreme cases, this can be done at the last moment of life. God will provide the grace to help them do it, if He sees that someone in this world cares enough about them to offer urgent prayer to help save them at the last minute. Remember what Dostoyevsky wrote: “Remember too, every day and whenever you can, to repeat to yourself, ‘Lord, have mercy on all who appear before Thee today.’ For every hour and every moment thousands of men leave life on this earth, and their souls appear before God. And how many of them depart in solitude, unknown, sad, and dejected, so no one mourns for them or even knows whether they have lived or not. And behold, from the other end of the earth perhaps, your prayer for their rest will rise up to God, though you knew them not, nor they you. How touching it must be to a soul standing in dread before the Lord to feel at that instant that for him too there is one to pray, that there is a fellow creature left on earth to love him. And God will look on you both more graciously, for if you have had so much pity on him, how much more will He have pity Who is infinitely more loving and merciful than you. And He will forgive him for your sake… (from The Brothers Karamazov).
So come now, you literally do not have a minute to lose. Pray for the 104. Wait till you get to Heaven and see them all running to embrace you, because you prayed that God would give them one more chance, and they accepted it! This is a very simple thing to do. Just do it from the heart. You can have a much greater role in the salvation of souls than you might ever have imagined. Start right now. Don’t say, “In a minute,” because then it’s too late for that particular 104. The Lord will bless you richly if you love what He loves, if you care about what He cares about, if you do something for the souls for which He lived and died. Nothing is more important to Jesus than to see his beloved people in Heaven; therefore nothing should be more important to us. Try it; there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!