Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Catechesis and Instruction on Purgatory


What is Purgatory?
Purgatory is a state of transition between earth and paradise. In this state are found those souls who, having died in a state of grace, are not yet worthy of being admitted to the contemplation of God, for nothing enters heaven which is not thoroughly purified of stain. Purgatory is a state of purification and of reparation.
The Church has defined only two things regarding Purgatory:
It’s existence, and the possibility of offering suffrages (Holy Masses, prayers, etc.) for the souls there.
These two simple sentences are heavily backed up by the constant doctrine of the church, especially by the Council of Trent, the Catechism of the Catholic Church #1030-1032, and Sacred Scripture (the Bible), Second Book of Macabies (12:43-45). More on this is found in the New Testament, especially in Matthew 12:32.
Why Pray for the Souls in Purgatory?
Our prayers for them can serve to understand God’s justice and mercy.
Our prayers help to have them make satisfaction for the things that displeased God and did not make up for while on earth.
It is a serious obligation to pray for the Souls in Purgatory. That is why we have “suffrages” for our relatives and friends through Masses, prayers and other works.
Our helping the Poor Souls in this manner guarantees our help when we need it in Purgatory (St. Augustine).


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