Tag: purgatory

Whatever Happened To Purgatory? 

Whatever Happened To Purgatory? 

Whatever Happened to Purgatory?

The doctrine of purgatory is full of compassion, common sense, confidence, joy and eternal hope.

Have you noticed how many Catholics seem to have forgotten purgatory?

When a loved one dies they say, “Aunt Hilda has gone to be with the Lord” or “Daddy is in heaven now.” or they comfort the bereaved by saying, “George is with his beloved Gladys now.” Or at Catholic funerals the preacher consoles the loved ones with talk about the departed being in heaven now.

This isn’t Catholic. It’s Protestant.

Most Protestants believe in the Calvinist doctrine of eternal security and think that as soon as a person dies they go straight to heaven. They quote the beautiful Bible verse, “to be absent in the body and be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). But St Paul is expressing his hope here, not a certainty. In context his words are, “We have confidence and would prefer to be absent from the body and present with the Lord.”

However, there is more going on here than just the influence of Bible believing Calvinists. The real influence in this Catholic theological drift is universalism and semi-universalism.

Universalism is the heresy that everyone will be saved and semi-universalism is the wishy-washy halfway house in which people know they can’t hold to universalism so they say, “It is our hope that no one is in hell and that eventually everyone will be saved.”

I should point out that universalism and semi-universalism is usually held by nice, upper-middle-class educated people who don’t really know anyone who is not equally nice, educated, polite and middle class. They don’t know any really awful, sinful, nasty people so they can’t imagine that God would send anyone as nice and polite as them and their friends to hell.

What are the consequences of this universalism and semi-universalism? It’s just the kind of complacent, sentimental feel good religion we see in contemporary American Catholicism.

Since everyone will be saved we smoothly and sweetly assure people that “Uncle George is in heaven now” and “Be happy. Jimmy is with Jesus.”

One of the main reasons we’ve fallen into this trap is because we have forgotten purgatory.

The prevailing Protestant culture (which denied purgatory long ago) teaches that if the loved one isn’t in heaven immediately then he or she is in hell immediately and we sure don’t want to say THAT at the funeral or the bereavement counseling session. So we go the way of being nice and even when we know Jimmy and Uncle George were not exactly ready for yet to be ushered into the presence of the Almighty, we say so anyway.

Heaven has therefore become a kind of democratic all-inclusive theme park where everyone gets in and everyone has a happy time, world without end AMEN.

Another symptom of this “Grandpa went straight to heaven” heresy is the declining number of requests we get for requiem Masses to be said. Of course if people think Grandpa went straight to heaven they see no need to have Masses said for the repose of his soul.

Protestants and liberals don’t believe in Purgatory.

I’ve even heard a liberal nun tell a catechumen, “We don’t believe in all that since Vatican II.”

Sorry sister!

The Catholic belief is that most Christians, when they die — if they are not in a state of mortal sin — go to purgatory.

Purgatory is not a third place, but a kind of ante-chamber of heaven.

It’s where you go to finish your homework. It’s where you go to wash up before dinner.

Belief in purgatory is both compassionate and common sense.

It is compassionate because it allows for a place for us to go to finish the work of becoming “perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect.” It is compassionate because it takes human responsibility seriously and allows us to continue to co-operate with God’s grace for our soul’s purification.

Purgatory is common sense because all of us realize that very few of us are saints ready to enter directly into God’s presence, but also we know that (hopefully) not many of us are so desperately evil as to reject God forever and go to hell.

Therefore what do we say at funerals? We can be consistent with Catholic beliefs and also be compassionate.

We can say, “Thank God for George’s life. What a terrific man he was. We’ll all miss him, and you can bet I will continue to pray that God will complete his work of grace in George’s life.”

We can say, “Thank God for Jimmy. May God continue to lead him into his life, light and happiness.”

Purgatory is therefore a doctrine not only full of compassion and common sense, but also full of confidence, joy and eternal hope.

*Article Originally Written And Posted By Fr. Dwight Longenecker, For National Catholic Register. 

How St. Gemma Galgani Freed A Religious Nun From The Flames Of Purgatory 

How St. Gemma Galgani Freed A Religious Nun From The Flames Of Purgatory 

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903). 

This testimony is taken from the excellent book “The Life of St Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus Ruoppolo C.P.:

“Gemma knew by Divine inspiration that in the Convent of Passionist Nuns at Corneto [Italy] there was a Religious Sister very dear to God who was near death. She asked me about it, and on my answering that it was so, she at once began to implore of Jesus to make that particular Religious expiate all her faults on her deathbed, so that breathing her last she might enter Paradise at once. Her prayer, at least in part, was heard. The Sister suffered greatly and died in a few months. Gemma told those in her home of it in order that they might pray for the deceased, and she gave her name, Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus, as she was not known in Lucca. After her death, this soul appeared to her full of sorrow, imploring her help as she was undergoing great torments in Purgatory for certain defects.

Nothing more was needed to set all the fibers of Gemma’s heart in motion. From that moment she gave herself no rest: she fervently offered prayers, tears and loving petitions to Our Lord.

“Jesus, save her,” she was overheard to exclaim. “Jesus, take Maria Teresa to Paradise without delay. She is a soul that is most dear to Thee. Let me suffer much for her; I want her to be in heaven.” 

And during this time Gemma writes the following in her Diary:

“It was around 9:30 and I was reading; all of a sudden I am shaken by a hand resting gently on my left shoulder. I turn in fright; I was afraid and tried to call out, but I was held back. I turned and saw a person dressed in white; I recognized it was a woman; I looked and her expression assured me I had nothing to fear: “Gemma,” she said after some moments, “do you know me?” I said no, because that was the truth; she responded: “I am Mother Maria Teresa of the Infant Jesus: I thank you so very much for the great concern you have shown me because soon I shall be able to attain my eternal happiness.”

All this happened while I was awake and fully aware of myself. Then she added: “Continue still, because I still have a few days of suffering.” And in so saying she caressed me and then went away. Her countenance, I must say, inspired much confidence in me. From that hour I redoubled my prayers for her soul, so that soon she should reach her objective; but my prayers are too weak; how I wish that for the souls in Purgatory my prayers should have the strength of the saints’.”

And the dear victim of expiation suffered without ceasing for sixteen days, at the end of which God was pleased to accept her sacrifice and to release that soul. This is how Gemma herself told me of it:

“Toward half-past one it seemed to me that the Blessed Mother herself came to tell me that the holy hour I was making was drawing to an end. Then almost immediately I thought I saw Sr. Maria Teresa coming toward me clad as a Passionist, accompanied by her Guardian Angel and by Jesus. Oh, how she was changed since the day I first saw her! Smiling, she drew close to me and said: “I am truly happy, and I go to enjoy my Jesus forever.” She thanked me again. Then she made sign of bidding me good-bye with her hand, several times, and with Jesus and her Guardian Angel she flew to Heaven. It was about half-past two o’clock in the morning.”

In closing, I would like to bring forth one final comment concerning where it is has been revealed by at least one mystic that the souls in the lowest level of Purgatory are not allowed to receive any benefit from prayers and offerings made to them by people here on earth. While it may very well be that the souls in the lowest part of purgatory do not receive any relief from our prayer until they reach the next highest level, but that is not to say that they do not receive any benefit. 

While it is believed that for all souls in purgatory, except for the ones in the lowest level, when we pray for them they receive a two-fold gracefirstly, they receive a lessening of some of their time they were assigned to be in purgatory (kind of like lessening the sentence of a prisoner here on earth) and then too they also receive a certain relief from the pain of the purification that they are experiencing (kind of like giving a glass of water to someone who is very thirsty). 

So allegedly according to at least one mystic, the souls in the lowest level of purgatory do not receive the second grace I just mentioned, only the first. But once they elevate to the next higher region of purgatory, they would receive both graces from our prayers.

Always Offer up Masses and Prayers for the souls in Purgatory.

Watch Video! ‘Visitor’ From Purgatory? Ghost Hitchhiker Vanishes Into Thin Air Leaving Burnt Footprint On Car Mat

Watch Video! ‘Visitor’ From Purgatory? Ghost Hitchhiker Vanishes Into Thin Air Leaving Burnt Footprint On Car Mat

Pedro Peirone, an Argentinian man has been making news headlines all over South America for experiencing a bizarre paranormal phenomenon. A hitchhiker he picked up from the side of the road allegedly disappeared from the front passenger seat of his truck, leaving behind only a burnt smell and melted shoe marks in the rubber car mats.
Pedro Peirone, from the town of San Jose de la Esquina, in Santa Fe, was driving home on February 26th, when he saw a young man hitchhiking on the side of the road. As he often did on his business trips around the province, Peirone pulled over and offered to give the boy a ride. Although the hitchhiker was a bit shy and reserved, Pedro says he seemed to be a regular teen the likes of which he often picked up. But while he can hardly remember the faces of most of the people he given rides to throughout the years, the memory of this particular boy will probably stay with him for the rest of his life.

Looking back on the events that transpired that day, Pedro Peirone wishes he had learned more about his mysterious passenger. All he was able to get out of him was that he came from the neighboring town of Arteaga and that he was 17-years-old. When asked if he was going all the way to San Jose de la Esquina, the boy said “no”, adding that he will let Peirone know where he’d like to get out.

“Finally, he asked me to drop him off at the junction with the road leading to the cemetery, and, as soon as I got there, I sensed an awful burning smell,” Pedro Peirone told reporters. “I stopped to see if something had caught fire, got out to check the back of the truck, and as soon as I turned around, I noticed there was no one inside.”

The startled driver went to check the front passenger seat more thoroughly, but all he found was two footprints melted into the rubber car mat and that lingering burnt smell. He looked around to see if the boy had just ran out faster than he could spot him, but there was no sign of him anywhere and no other footprints. Some friends of Pedro happened to drive by moments later and helped him look for the hitchhiker for a while, but they couldn’t find anything.

Unable to explain what had happened, Pedro Peirone went to the police and told them the whole story. Word of his experience spread around San Jose de la Esquina, and soon the man was contacted by dozens of TV and radio stations for interviews. He even took some of the reporters to the place where the hitchhiker allegedly vanished from his truck, and showed them the burnt shoe prints melted into the car mats.

The media did a little digging on Peirone as well, to find out if he was the kind of man who would make up such an unusual story, but everyone they talked to described him as an upstanding member of the community, a hard-working man and a good Catholic.

Peirone himself admitted that he had always put his faith in the Blessed Virgin Mary, and never really believed in paranormal activity and unexplained mysteries, but that the bizarre occurrence he experienced last month has left him a bit confused.

“I’m a little stressed, nervous. I’m not afraid, but I just cannot explain what happened,” the man said in an interview.

Now could this be a soul from purgatory who need prayers? 

Remember to always pray for the souls in Purgatory. 



Watch video below 



30 Questions And Answers On The Last Judgement, The Resurrection, Heaven, Hell And Purgatory 

30 Questions And Answers On The Last Judgement, The Resurrection, Heaven, Hell And Purgatory 

Q. 1371. When will Christ judge us?

A. Christ will judge us immediately after our death, and on the last day.


Q. 1372. What is the judgment called which we have to undergo immediately after death?

A. The judgment we have to undergo immediately after death is called the Particular Judgment.


Q. 1373. Where will the particular judgment be held?

A. The particular judgment will be held in the place where each person dies, and the soul will go immediately to its reward or punishment.


Q. 1374. What is the judgment called which all men have to undergo on the last day?

A. The judgment which all men have to undergo on the last day is called the General Judgment.


Q. 1375. Will the sentence given at the particular judgment be changed at the general judgment?

A. The sentence given at the particular judgment will not be changed at the general judgment, but it will be repeated and made public to all.


Q. 1376. Why does Christ judge men immediately after death?

A. Christ judges men immediately after death to reward or punish them according to their deeds.


Q. 1377. How may we daily prepare for our judgment?

A. We may daily prepare for our judgment by a good examination of conscience, in which we will discover our sins and learn to fear the punishment they deserve.


Q. 1378. What are the rewards or punishments appointed for men’s souls after the Particular Judgment?

A. The rewards or punishments appointed for men’s souls after the Particular Judgment are Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell.


Q. 1379. What is Hell?

A. Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments.


Q. 1380. Will the damned suffer in both mind and body?

A. The damned will suffer in both mind and body, because both mind and body had a share in their sins. The mind suffers the “pain of loss” in which it is tortured by the thought of having lost God forever, and the body suffers the “pain of sense” by which it is tortured in all its members and senses.


Q. 1381. What is Purgatory?

A. Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.


Q. 1382. Why is this state called Purgatory?

A. This state is called Purgatory because in it the souls are purged or purified from all their stains; and it is not, therefore, a permanent or lasting state for the soul.


Q. 1383. Are the souls in Purgatory sure of their salvation?

A. The souls in Purgatory are sure of their salvation, and they will enter heaven as soon as they are completely purified and made worthy to enjoy that presence of God which is called the Beatific Vision.


Q. 1384. Do we know what souls are in Purgatory, and how long they have to remain there?

A. We do not know what souls are in Purgatory nor how long they have to remain there; hence we continue to pray for all persons who have died apparently in the true faith and free from mortal sin. They are called the faithful departed.


Q. 1385. Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory?

A. The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms, deeds; by indulgences, and by having Masses said for them.


Q. 1386. Since God loves the souls in Purgatory, why does He punish them?

A. Though God loves the souls in Purgatory, He punishes them because His holiness requires that nothing defiled may enter heaven and His justice requires that everyone be punished or rewarded according to what he deserves.


Q. 1387. If every one is judged immediately after death, what need is there of a general judgment?

A. There is need of a general judgment, though every one is judged immediately after death, that the providence of God, which, on earth, often permits the good to suffer and the wicked to prosper, may in the end appear just before all men.


Q. 1388. What is meant by “the Providence of God”?

A. By “the Providence of God” is meant the manner in which He preserves, provides for, rules and governs the world and directs all things by His infinite Will.


Q. 1389. Are there other reasons for the general judgment?

A. There are other reasons for the general judgment, and especially that Christ Our Lord may receive from the whole world the honor denied Him at His first coming, and that all may be forced to acknowledge Him their God and Redeemer.


Q. 1390. Will our bodies share in the reward or punishment of our souls?

A. Our bodies will share in the reward or punishment of our souls, because through the resurrection they will again be united to them.


Q. 1391. When will the general resurrection or rising of all the dead take place?

A. The general resurrection or rising of all the dead will take place at the general judgment, when the same bodies in which we lived on earth will come forth from the grave and be united to our souls and remain united with them forever either in heaven or in hell.


Q. 1392. In what state will the bodies of the just rise?

A. The bodies of the just will rise glorious and immortal.


Q. 1393. Will the bodies of the damned also rise?

A. The bodies of the damned will also rise, but they will be condemned to eternal punishment.


Q. 1394. Why do we show respect for the bodies of the dead?

A. We show respect for the bodies of the dead because they were the dwelling-place of the soul, the medium through which it received the Sacraments, and because they were created to occupy a place in heaven.


Q. 1395. What is Heaven?

A. Heaven is the state of everlasting life in which we see God face to face, are made like unto Him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness.


Q. 1396. In what does the happiness in heaven consist?

A. The happiness in heaven consists in seeing the beauty of God, in knowing Him as He is, and in having every desire fully satisfied.


Q. 1397. What does St. Paul say of heaven?

A. St. Paul says of heaven, “That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man what things God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (I. Cor. ii., 9).


Q. 1398. Are the rewards in heaven and the punishments in hell the same for all who enter into either of these states?

A. The rewards of heaven and the punishments in hell are not the same for all who enter into either of these states, because each one’s reward or punishment is in proportion to the amount of good or evil he has done in this world. But as heaven and hell are everlasting, each one will enjoy his reward or suffer his punishment forever.


Q. 1399. What words should we bear always in mind?

A. We should bear always in mind these words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul, or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then will He render to every man according to his works.”


Q. 1400. Name some of the more essential religious truths we must know and believe.

A. Some of the more essential religious truths we must know and believe are:

1. That there is but one God, and He will reward the good and punish the wicked.

2. That in God there are three Divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these Divine Persons are called the Blessed Trinity.

3. That Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, became man and died for our redemption.

4. That the grace of God is necessary for our salvation.

5.That the human soul is immortal.

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