Tag: Purgatory Stories

Tales Of Purgatory – As Told By The Saints 

Tales Of Purgatory – As Told By The Saints 

Some fear it. Others hope for it. Some see it as proof of God’s mercy; others as testimony to God’s wrath. Many don’t know anything about it, while many more have forgotten what they once knew.

The “it” is purgatory, and when it comes to Catholic beliefs about the afterlife, the Church’s teachings on purgatory have long been among its most contested and misunderstood. 

Purgatory is More painful than anything on earth, and yet more peaceful than anywhere but Heaven. 

In her official teaching, the Church doesn’t say much about what Purgatory is actually like, but from the writings of the saints and theologians, there’s much we can learn.

1- It’s a place of intense suffering and joy:

St. Catherine of Genoa, who is said to have suffered the pain of purgatory on earth, claimed “there is in purgatory as much pain as in hell” (Treatise on Purgatory). Like the damned, souls there suffer hunger for the God they don’t yet see—like a man who could live without eating, hungering more and more for the bread he doesn’t have (to use St. Catherines image). And they suffer from fire that “will be more painful than anything man can suffer in the present life” (St. Augustine, On Psalm 37:3).

Once St. Catherine of Ricci is said to have suffered 40 days for a soul in Purgatory—when a novice touched her hand, she remarked, “Mother, you are burning!”

At the same time, St. Catherine of Genoa also taught, “Souls in purgatory unite great joy with great suffering … No peace is comparable to that of the souls in purgatory, except that of the saints in heaven.”

There’s a mysterious ebb and flow of pain and joy in Purgatory, says the Dominican Fr. Reginald GarrigouLagrange, because the suffering is temporary and leads to heaven: The more the soul loves God, the more it suffers not seeing Him; the more it suffers, the more joy and love it has in drawing closer to God.

2- It’s a place of cleansing and mercy: 

Remember the parable about the man who came to the king’s marriage feast without a wedding garment? (Matthew 22:114) The wedding garment is the life of grace we need to enter the feast of heaven. Now imagine a twist: The man comes wearing his garment, but it’s all soiled. What would the king say? Maybe something like: “Nothing unclean shall enter” (Revelation 21:27).

In the Old Testament, Judas Maccabeus had his men pray for the deceased and requested that a sin offering be made for them: “Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” (2 Maccabees 12:43). This presupposes a place of purification after death—Purgatory.

Many Church Fathers think St. Paul alluded to Purgatory when he wrote about building on the foundation of Jesus with gold or silver, wood or straw:  “The fire will test what sort of work each one has done … If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:13, 15). Wood and straw didn’t fare well for the three pigs—but God, in His mercy, doesn’t demand gold!

That’s a good thing, because Fr. GarrigouLagrange says, “Souls that completely escape all purgatory are probably rather rare. Among the good religious whom St. Teresa knew, only three had completed their purgatory on earth” (Life Everlasting., p. 194). 

3- It’s a place to avoid:

Nevertheless, it can be avoided, and the saints have repeatedly encouraged us to make our Purgatory on earth. 

Fr. Paul OSullivan gives the following advice for avoiding Purgatory (How to Avoid Purgatory): 

  1. Avoid sin
  2. Do penance
  3. Accept suffering
  4. Frequent confession and Communion
  5. Pray with faith and perseverance
  6. Prepare for death: “Eternal Father, from this day forward, I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death it will please You to send me, with all its pains and sufferings.”
  7. Gain indulgences.

It’s advice that makes saints … even in this life. As Fr. GarrigouLagrange reminds us: Attaining sanctity on earth is possible—and normal—for everyone.

Mary Visits Souls In Purgatory: The Holy Souls Have Knowledge Beyond Ours, They See Earth As A Place Of “Darkness”(3)

Mary Visits Souls In Purgatory: The Holy Souls Have Knowledge Beyond Ours, They See Earth As A Place Of “Darkness”(3)

 

The following are excerpts from this interview of Sister Emmanuel of Medjugorje with Maria Simma, taken from a booklet entitled: The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory, published by Queenship Publishing Co., P.O. Box 220, Goleta, CA 93116, USA (Phone 800-647-9882, Fax: 805-967-5843).

…Continued


The Holy Mass

EditMaria, can you now tell us what are the most effective means to help deliver the souls in Purgatory?

The most efficient means is the Mass.

Why the Mass?

Because it is Christ who offers Himself out of love for us. It is the offering of Christ Himself to God, the most beautiful offering. The priest is God’s representative, but it is God Himself who offers Himself and sacrifices Himself for us. The efficacy of the Mass for the deceased is even greater for those who attached great value to the Mass during their lives. If they attended Mass and prayed with all their hearts, if they went to Mass on weekdays — according to their time available — they drew great profit from Masses celebrated for them. Here, too, one harvests what one has sown.

A soul in Purgatory sees very clearly on the day of his funeral if we really pray for him, or if we have simply made an act of presence to show we were there. The poor souls say that tears are no good for them: only prayer! Often they complain that people go to a funeral without addressing a single prayer to God, while shedding many tears; this is useless!

Earthly sufferings

There is another means, very powerful, to help the poor souls: the offering of our sufferings, our penances, such as fasting, renunciations, etc., — and of course, involuntary suffering, like illness or mourning.

Maria, you have been invited many times to suffer for the poor souls, in order to deliver them. Can you tell us what you have experienced and undergone during these times?

The first time, a soul asked me if I wouldn’t mind suffering for three hours in my body for her, and that afterwards I could resume working. I said to myself: “If it will all be over after three hours, I could accept it.” During those three hours, I had the impression that it lasted three days, it was so painful. But at the end, I looked at my watch, and I saw that it had only lasted three hours. The soul told me that by accepting that suffering with love for three hours, I had saved her twenty years of Purgatory!

Yes, but why did you suffer for only three hours to avoid twenty years of Purgatory? What did your sufferings have that was worth more?

It is because suffering on earth does not have the same value. On earth, when we suffer, we can grow in love, we can gain merits, which is not the case with the sufferings in Purgatory. In Purgatory, the sufferings serve only to purify us from sin. On earth, we have all the graces. We have the freedom to choose.

All of this is so encouraging because it gives an extraordinary meaning to our sufferings. The suffering which is offered, voluntary or involuntary, even the smallest sacrifices we can make, suffering or sickness, mourning, disappointments… if we live them with patience, if we welcome them in humility, these sufferings can have an unheard-of power to help souls.

The best thing to do, Maria tells us, is to unite our sufferings to those of Jesus, by placing them in the hands of Mary. She is the one who knows best how to use them, since often we ourselves do not know the most urgent needs around us. All this, of course, Mary will give back to us at the hour of our death. You see, these sufferings offered will be our most precious treasures in the other world. We must remind each other of this and encourage each other when we suffer.

Let me add something important: the souls in Purgatory can no longer do anything for themselves; they are totally helpless. If the living do not pray for them; they are totally abandoned. Therefore, it is very important to realize the immense power, the incredible power that each one of us has in our hands to relieve these souls who suffer.

We wouldn’t think twice about helping a child who has fallen in front of us from a tree, and who had broken his bones. Of course, we would do everything for him! So, in the same way, we should take great care of these souls who expect everything from us, attentive to the slightest offering, hopeful for the least of our prayers, to relieve them from their pain. And it might be the finest way to practice charity.

Maria, why can one no longer gain merits in Purgatory, when one can on earth?

Because at the moment of death, the time to earn merits is over. For as long as we are living on earth, we can repair the evil we have done. The souls in Purgatory envy us of this opportunity. Even the angels are jealous of us, for we have the possibility of growing for as long as we are on earth.

But often, the suffering in our lives leads us to rebellion, and we have great difficulty in accepting and living it. How can we live suffering so that it bears fruit?

Sufferings are the greatest proof of the love of God, and if we offer them well, they can win many souls.

But how can we welcome suffering as a gift, and not as a punishment (as we often do), as a chastisement?

We must give everything to Our Lady. She is the one who knows best who needs such and such an offering in order to be saved.

We should not always consider sufferings as a punishment. It can be accepted as expiation not only for ourselves, but above all for others. Christ was innocent himself, and He suffered the most for the expiation of our sins. Only in Heaven will we know all that we have obtained by suffering with patience in union with the sufferings of Christ.

Maria, do the souls in Purgatory rebel when faced with their suffering?

No! They want to purify themselves; they understand that it is necessary.

What is the role of contrition or repentance at the moment of death?

Contrition is very important. The sins are forgiven, in any case, but there remains the consequences of sins. If one wishes to receive a full indulgence at the moment of death — that means going straight to Heaven — the soul has to be free from all attachment.

Maria, I would like to ask you: at the moment of death, is there a time in which the soul still has the chance to turn towards God, even after a sinful life, before entering into eternity — a time, if you like, between apparent death and real death?

Yes, yes! The Lord gives several minutes to each one in order to regret his sins and to decide: I accept, or I do not accept to go and see God. Then we see a film of our lives.

I knew a man who believed in the Church’s teachings, but not in eternal life. One day, he fell gravely ill and slid into a coma. He saw himself in a room with a board on which all his deeds were written, the good and the bad. Then the board disappeared as well as the walls of the room, and it was infinitely beautiful. Then he woke up from his coma, and decided to change his life.

Maria, does the devil have permission to attack us at the moment of death?

Yes, but man also has the grace to resist him, to push him away. So, if man does not want anything to do with him, the devil can do nothing.

Maria, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a saint here on earth?

Be very humble. We must not be occupied with ourselves. Pride is evil’s greatest trap.

Maria, please tell us: can one ask the Lord to do one’s Purgatory on earth, in order not to have to do it after death?

Yes. I knew a priest and a young woman who were both ill with tuberculosis in the hospital. The young woman said to the priest: “Let’s ask the Lord to be able to suffer on earth as much as necessary in order to go straight to Heaven.” The priest replied that he himself didn’t dare to ask for this. Nearby was a religious sister who had overheard the whole conversation. The young woman died first, the priest died later, and he appeared to the sister, saying: “If only I had had the same trust as the young woman, I too would have gone straight to Heaven.”

Maria, are there different degrees in Purgatory?

Yes, there is a great difference of degree of moral suffering. Each soul has a unique suffering, particular to it; there are many degrees.

Maria, are the sufferings in Purgatory more painful than the most painful sufferings on earth?

Yes, but in a symbolic way. It hurts more in the soul.

Maria, you know, many people today believe in reincarnation. What do the souls tell you concerning this subject?

The souls say that God gives only one life.

But some would say that just one life is not enough to know God and to have the time to be really converted, that it isn’t fair. What would you reply to them?

All people have an interior Faith (conscience); even if they do not practice, they recognize God implicitly. Someone who does not believe — that doesn’t exist! Each soul has a conscience to recognize good and evil, a conscience given by God, an inner knowledge — in different degrees, of course, but each one knows how to discern good from evil. With this conscience, each soul can become blessed.

What happens to people who have committed suicide? Have you ever been visited by these people?

Up to now, I have never encountered the case of a suicide who was lost — this doesn’t mean, of course, that that doesn’t exist — but often, the souls tell me that the most guilty were those around them, when they were negligent or spread calumny.

At this moment, I asked Maria if the souls regretted having committed suicide. She answered yes. Often, suicide is due to illness. These souls do regret their act because, as they see things in the light of God, they understand instantly all the graces that were in store for them during the time remaining for them to live — and they do see this time which remained for them, sometimes months or years —– and they also see all the souls they could have helped by offering the rest of their lives to God. In the end, what hurts them most is to see the good that they could have done but didn’t, because they shortened their lives. But when the cause is illness, the Lord takes this into account, of course.

Are there priests in Purgatory?

Yes, there are many. They didn’t promote respect for the Eucharist. So Faith overall suffers. They are often in Purgatory for having neglected prayer — which has diminished their Faith. But there are also many who have gone straight to Heaven.

What would you say, then, to a priest who really wants to live according to the Heart of God?

I would advise him to pray much to the Holy Spirit — and to say his Rosary every day.

Have you been visited by souls who, on earth, practiced perversions? I am thinking, for example, about the sexual domain.

Yes, they are not lost, but they have much to suffer to be purified. For example: homosexuality. This truly comes from the Evil One.

What advice would you give, then, to all those people afflicted by homosexuality, with this tendency in them?

Pray a lot for the strength to turn away from it. They should above all pray to the Archangel Michael; he is the great fighter par excellence against the Evil One.

What are the attitudes of heart which can lead us to losing our soul for good, I mean going to Hell?

It is when the soul does not want to go towards God, when it actually says: “I do not want.”

Jesus said that it was difficult for a rich person to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Have you seen such cases?

Yes! But if they do good works, works of charity, if they practice love, they can get there, just like the poor.

What do you think of the practices of spiritism? For example: calling up the spirits of the departed, Ouija-boards, etc.?

It is not good. It is always evil. It is the devil who makes the table move.

What is the difference between what you are living with the souls of the departed, and the practices of spiritism?

We are not supposed to summon up the souls — I don’t try to get them to come. In spiritism, people try to call them forth.

This distinction is quite clear, and we must take it very seriously. If people were only to believe one thing I have said, I would like it to be this: those who engage in spiritism (moving tables and other practices of that kind) think that they are summoning up the souls of the dead. In reality, if there is some response to their call, it is always and without exception Satan and his angels who are answering. People who practice spiritism (diviners, witches, etc.) are doing something very dangerous for themselves and for those who come to them for advice. They are up to their necks in lies. It is forbidden, strictly forbidden, to call up the dead. As for me, I have never done so, l do not do so, and I never will do so. When something appears to me, God alone permits it. (End of interview).

Concluded

What The Holy Souls Do For Those Who Help Them (4)

What The Holy Souls Do For Those Who Help Them (4)

Father Paul O’Sullivan in his book ‘Read me Or Rue it’ shares these three (3) amazing testimonies on how the holy souls help those who pray for them!
The Cure Of A Cancer 

D. Joana de Menezes thus tells of her cure: She was suffering severely from a cancerous growth in the leg and was plunged in grief. 

Remembering what she had heard of the power of the Souls in Purgatory, she resolved to place all her confidence in them and had nine Masses offered for them. She promised, moreover, to publish news of her cure if it were granted. Gradually the swelling went down, and the tumor and cancer disappeared. 
An Escape From Brigands 

Read More Read More

Revelations That Show How Slowly Time Seems To Pass For The Poor Souls In Purgatory (3)

Revelations That Show How Slowly Time Seems To Pass For The Poor Souls In Purgatory (3)

​This severity of Divine Justice in regard to the most fervent souls is explained by the infinite Sanctity of God, who discovers stains in that which appears to us most pure. 

The Annals of the Order of St. Francis speak of a Religious whose eminent sanctity had caused him to be surnamed Angelicus. (Chronique des Frères Min., p. 2, I, 4. c. 8; cf. Rossignoli) He died in odor of sanctity at the monastery of the Friars Minors in Paris, and one of his brethren in religion, a doctor in theology, persuaded that, after a life so perfect, he had gone directly to Heaven, and that he stood in no need of prayers, omitted to celebrate for him the three Masses of obligation which, according to the custom of the Institute, were offered for each departed member.

After a few days, whilst he was walking and meditating in a retired spot, the deceased appeared before him enveloped in flames, and said to him, in a mournful voice:

“Dear master, I beg of you have pity upon me!”  

“What! Brother Angelicus, do you need my assistance?”  

“I am detained in the fires of Purgatory, awaiting the fruit of the Holy Sacrifice which you should have offered three times for me.”  

“Beloved brother, I thought you were already in possession of eternal glory. After a life so fervent and exemplary as yours had been, I could not imagine that there remained any pain to be suffered.”  

“Alas! alas!” replied the departed, “No one can believe with what severity God judges and punishes His creatures. His infinite Sanctity discovers in our best actions defective spots, imperfections which displease Him. He requires us to give an account even to the last farthing.”

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