Tag: purgatory

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace and the joy of Purgatory.

The will of the Holy souls are in accordance in all things with the will of God, who therefore sheds on them His goodness, and they, as far as their will goes, are happy and cleansed of all their sin.

As for guilt, these cleansed souls are as they were when God created them, for God forgives their guilt immediately who have passed from this life ill content with their sins, having confessed all they have committed and having the will to commit no more. Only the rust of sin is left in them, and from this, they cleanse themselves by pain in the fire. Thus cleansed of all guilt and united in will to God, they see Him clearly in the degree in which He makes Himself known to them, and see too how much it imports to enjoy Him and that souls have been created for this end.

Moreover, they are united in conformity with God, and are drawn to Him in such a way, that his natural instinct towards souls working in them, that neither arguments nor figures nor examples can make the thing clear as the mind knows it to be in effect and as by inner feeling it is understood to be. I will, however, make one comparison which comes to my mind.

A comparison to show with what violence and what love the souls in Purgatory desire to enjoy God.

If in all the world there were but one loaf of bread to feed the hunger of all creatures, and if they were satisfied by the sight of it alone, then since man, if he be healthy, has an instinct to satisfy his hunger, if he neither ate nor sickened nor died, would grow unceasingly for his instinct to eat would not lessen. Knowing that there was only that loaf to satisfy him and that without it he must still be hungry, he would be in unbearable pain. All the more if he went near that loaf and could not see it, would his natural craving for it be strengthened, his instinct would fix his desire wholly on that loaf which held all that could content him; at this point, if he were sure he would never see the loaf again, he would be in Hell. Thus are the souls of the damned from whom any hope of ever seeing their bread, which is God, the true Savior, has been taken away. But the souls in Purgatory have the hope of seeing their bread and wholly satisfying themselves therewith. Therefore they suffer hunger and endure pain in that measure in which they will be able to satisfy themselves with the bread which is Jesus Christ, true God and Savior and our Love.

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace, Joy And Desire Of The Holy Souls In Purgatory. 

The Peace and the joy of Purgatory.

The will of the Holy souls are in accordance in all things with the will of God, who therefore sheds on them His goodness, and they, as far as their will goes, are happy and cleansed of all their sin.

As for guilt, these cleansed souls are as they were when God created them, for God forgives their guilt immediately who have passed from this life ill content with their sins, having confessed all they have committed and having the will to commit no more. Only the rust of sin is left in them, and from this, they cleanse themselves by pain in the fire. Thus cleansed of all guilt and united in will to God, they see Him clearly in the degree in which He makes Himself known to them, and see too how much it imports to enjoy Him and that souls have been created for this end.

Moreover, they are united in conformity with God, and are drawn to Him in such a way, that his natural instinct towards souls working in them, that neither arguments nor figures nor examples can make the thing clear as the mind knows it to be in effect and as by inner feeling it is understood to be. I will, however, make one comparison which comes to my mind.

A comparison to show with what violence and what love the souls in Purgatory desire to enjoy God.

If in all the world there were but one loaf of bread to feed the hunger of all creatures, and if they were satisfied by the sight of it alone, then since man, if he be healthy, has an instinct to satisfy his hunger, if he neither ate nor sickened nor died, would grow unceasingly for his instinct to eat would not lessen. Knowing that there was only that loaf to satisfy him and that without it he must still be hungry, he would be in unbearable pain. All the more if he went near that loaf and could not see it, would his natural craving for it be strengthened, his instinct would fix his desire wholly on that loaf which held all that could content him; at this point, if he were sure he would never see the loaf again, he would be in Hell. Thus are the souls of the damned from whom any hope of ever seeing their bread, which is God, the true Savior, has been taken away. But the souls in Purgatory have the hope of seeing their bread and wholly satisfying themselves therewith. Therefore they suffer hunger and endure pain in that measure in which they will be able to satisfy themselves with the bread which is Jesus Christ, true God and Savior and our Love.

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.

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