"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Souls in purgatory.

I believe there is a purgatory. 

I believe what the Catholic Church teaches.

Most people know the Church changed the rules on indulgences so that we no longer count days or years.*  Indulgences are now simply plenary or partial.  Counting time pretty much stops at death, right?  I don't know.  At any rate - souls who do not go straight to heaven, and those who are not damned, need to be purged -  hence they are purified before they enter into the fullness of the Beatific Vision.  Maybe that is not the right way to describe it either. 

From all accounts, the purification process is painful - but not without hope... the soul knows he is saved. 

Yet the Church asks for prayers and suffrages for the Holy Souls.  They are called holy because they are saved.  Holy people on earth seem to suffer rather well - at least the saints did - I suppose because they loved much.  Likewise, the Holy Souls must grow in charity, and therefore have peace in their sufferings - don't you think?

Yet they need our prayers.  It is such a mystery.  Some of the saints and mystics said they communicated with the souls in purgatory - many often came to tell them they needed prayers and Masses, and so on.  The other day I posted on a museum of Holy Souls, which contains artifacts from souls - evidence they left for the living as proof of their existence.  That can be scary to people.

I believe what the Church teaches - I don't always believe what the mystics say however.  For instance, I have a hard time believing the Maria Simma stories. 

Of course, I pray for the souls of the dead, and have Masses said for them. 

I sincerely hope I make it to purgatory. 

I like the art.

*Did you know that the designation of so many days indulgence wasn't counted as time off in purgatory but counted for as many days of earthly penance instead?  I read that somewhere.  So if someone alive started now, doing penance - and did so for the rest of his life, he might well avoid purgatory all together.  Kind of.


  1. I hope I don't make it to purgatory! I hope I go straight to heaven.

    The way I'm going though, the only way I go straight to heaven is martyrdom. If that's what I'm called to do then I hope to have the fortitude...

    I sure hope I make it to purgatory...

    As to your comment about indulgences. In the ancient world the early Christians had to perform penances for so many days -or years!- either after, or even before being given absolution. Murder, for instance, was a ten year penance, with absolution coming *after* the penance was completed. Indulgences are ways of completing those penances. The Church took away the "300 days indulgence" thing because people thought it meant they got out of 300 days in purgatory. Now it's just a partial or plenary indulgence. Of course, if you perform these indulgences, it will help you stay out of purgatory, so... I'm confused...

  2. Speaking of penance, the penitential service tonight was lovely.

  3. I didn't know they were having one. That is good, Was there a rosary? I hour seems rather short. Was the Archbishop there?

  4. Terry,
    With regards to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, does God consider us as we pray for them? Will he consider our acts of prayer as acts of charity and therefore shorten our time in Purgatory should we make it there? Surely he would, yes? If our hearts are true and sincere in our efforts to pray for them I have to trust he will.

  5. Yaya - for sure God considers us as we pray for others and the souls in purgatory. Remember the Holy Spirit inspires our prayer.

    Charity covers a multitude of sins. Every prayer for others is an act of charity and an increase of grace in our souls.

    1. Thank you for affirming that truth. I find that of late, and because of all of the turmoil in the world, I want to spend more time praying but very hard to do in a busy household such as mine. Regardless, I will still try to do so praying the good Lord Jesus to help me out.

      Thanks again Terry!


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