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Old 19th January 2013, 03:33 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default On the Sufferings of Purgatory

We live in a very sinful world. Even many of the members of the Church on earth are very sinful. By the grace and mercy of God, great sinners can avoid eternal punishment by contrition and confession, or by perfect contrition alone (if confession is unavailable). But when a soul dies in a state of grace, yet with unrepented venial sins and/or repented sins for which one has not done sufficient penance, some purification is necessary between death in a state of grace, the particular judgment of God, and entrance into Heaven. Purification in purgatory is necessary because entrance into Heaven and reception of the Beatific Vision of God and the Beatific Union with God requires purity of soul. The mercy of God is a just mercy and a merciful justice; it is not mercy in contradiction to justice or truth. And the justice of God is never without mercy. In God, justice and mercy and love are absolutely identical.

Many descriptions of purgatory propose a place of very intense suffering. Now it is to be observed that many Christians live very sinful lives, and so, if they die in a state of grace, we must consider that the temporal punishment due for their many sin would often be very great. Thus, there is nothing wrong with describing the sufferings of purgatory as being, in general, particularly severe.

Of course, the souls in purgatory do not have bodies, so their sufferings are of the soul only. We might consider that, for certain bodily sins, some souls in purgatory might experience what seems like a bodily suffering, if the justice of God sees fit. But generally the sufferings of purgatory are spiritual. The particular judgment shows each person all the sins of their life (as well as the good). The souls in purgatory retain that knowledge of their own sins. In purgatory, they see the sinfulness of their own knowing choices in life, clearly and fully. They see all the harm done by their sins. And they cannot look away. The sufferings of purgatory go straight to the depths of the soul, and so they are quite intense.

However, the sufferings of purgatory are of the merciful justice of God. And so each soul suffers in proportion to his or her unrepentant venial sins and any temporal punishment still due for repented mortal or venial sins. Some souls suffer more, and other souls suffer less. The range of sufferings must be very large. Some persons die at an advanced age, having committed many sins and done little penance. Other souls die at a relatively young age, having committed far fewer sins and perhaps no mortal sins at all. With the billions of souls that undoubtedly pass through purgatory to Heaven, it must be the case that many spend relatively little time in purgatory and while there suffer far less than other souls. The sufferings of many souls in purgatory are undoubtedly severe. But the justice of God requires that other souls, who have far less temporal punishment due, suffer far less. And their sufferings can be fittingly described as moderate or even light.

Moreover, all the souls in purgatory know without doubt that they are in purgatory, for the particular judgment gave them knowledge from God, with absolute certitude, of the good and evil in their lives and of their death in a state of grace. God is no liar. He does not imprison souls in purgatory in ignorance as to their eternal destiny in Heaven. In fact, one of the sufferings of purgatory is that the soul is looking forward to Heaven, while yet unable to attain that happiness. So the sufferings of purgatory are ameliorated by the knowledge that Heaven will be the final result of their experiences in purgatory. Moreover, the sufferings of purgatory are ameliorated by the state of grace and by cooperation with actual graces. Thus the quality of the sufferings in purgatory, even the most intense of those sufferings, differs by kind from the sufferings of hell.

All the souls in hell, including those suffering least of all in the fringe of hell (the limbo of hell), know without doubt that they are in hell and will be there forever. For the particular judgment gave them knowledge from God, with absolute certitude, of the good and evil in their lives and of their death in a state of unrepentant actual mortal sin. All the souls in hell without any exception died in a state of unrepentant actual mortal sin. The souls in the limbo of hell are guilty of the unrepentant actual mortal sin of omission of failing to obtain sanctifying grace despite ample opportunity. So they too are guilty of unrepentant grave personal sin, and they too suffer much, though less than any others in hell. But none of the souls in hell have any kind of grace, neither the state of grace, nor any actual graces. None of the souls there love God or neighbor, nor do they have even an ordered love of self. So the quality of the sufferings in hell, even the least of those sufferings, differs by kind from the sufferings of purgatory.

The souls in hell cannot pray or love, for they have no graces whatsoever. But the souls in purgatory pray continually, for they are in a state of grace, and they love God and neighbor. They have the actual graces needed to consider the sins of their lives in the light of truth. The souls in purgatory do not gain any merit for their prayers and sufferings, because these efforts are applied to the temporal punishment due to them. What justice requires is not meritorious. However, the souls in purgatory can and do pray for us poor sinners on earth. For the punishments of purgatory are not mere pains, but penances for the purification and instruction of the soul. And part of the penance of the souls in purgatory is to pray for all those who were harmed by their sins. Similarly, we in this life should do penance by praying for all the persons harmed by our many sins and failings. The prayers of the souls in purgatory are effective because they are part of the one Body of Christ, joined to us in the love of God. Therefore, we also must pray for them.
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:39 PM
Abba25 Abba25 is offline
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Default praying for those in purgatory

Many years ago , I read that one of the Medj visionaries stated that it was on Christmas Day and Easter that more souls than any other day moved out of purgatory and into heaven . and the reason for this was not anything that the souls in purgatory did , but it was because of all the people here on earth that prayed for the souls in purgatory. If this is accurate, then what affect do our prayers have on these souls, and how does our prayers expidite their removal from purgatory and into heaven.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:55 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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January 10, 1983
http://www.medjugorje.com/medjugorje...mas&mainform=1

"It is not on All Souls Day, but at Christmas, that the greatest number of souls leave Purgatory."

"The majority of people go to Purgatory. Many go to hell. A small number go directly to Heaven."
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Old 21st January 2013, 01:06 AM
Abba25 Abba25 is offline
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Ok..so now that you concur with my comment by citing the quote, please explain why when people on earth pray for souls in purgatory,that the time spent in purgatory is shortened. I thought that purgatory was a place where we payed for our sins....
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Old 21st January 2013, 01:27 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abba25 View Post
Ok..so now that you concur with my comment by citing the quote, please explain why when people on earth pray for souls in purgatory,that the time spent in purgatory is shortened. I thought that purgatory was a place where we payed for our sins....

Because we are one family, one body in Christ, we have the task of helping one another with salvation. This includes helping one another with penances: praying together, fasting together, doing works of mercy together. And so it makes sense that we can assist one another in paying the debts incurred for sin.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 12:04 AM
Sopocko Sopocko is offline
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I have had a great desire to pray for the souls in Purgatory for many years. I say the prayer Our Lord instructed St. Gertrude which releases 1,000 souls each time it is said and I say this prayer many times daily. To think we have in our power given by God to release many souls from Purgatory.

http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/stgertrude.htm

But it is also my understanding that the souls in Purgatory can not pray for themselves. Only us on earth and in Heaven can pray for these holy souls to released.

St. Faustina speaks in her diary about these graces for the souls in Purgatory and it is in our power given by God also our responsibility to pray for them and show them mercy.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 03:51 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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They can pray for themselves, e.g. God have mercy on me a sinner. But they cannot pray meritoriously, in other words, their prayers for themselves do not earn a reward, but are part of their penance in Purgatory. Still, the greatest prayer is to praise God, and the second greatest prayer is to pray for one's neighbor. Then, thirdly, one may pray for one's self.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 11:02 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Thanks Ron for explaining this.

So, we definitely must pray for the souls in Purgatory AND we can also ask the souls in Purgatory to pray for us, right?... it sounds like a good deal (in the good sense of the word). "Souls in Purgatory, please pray for me regarding __________ and I pray for you to go to Heaven ASAP".

Perhaps they are anxious waiting for us to ask them to pray for us - which help us and helps them in their tasks.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 11:28 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Yes, we can ask them to pray for us. Of course, they can do so while in Purgatory and also once they arrive in Heaven. Their prayers for us while they are in Purgatory are not meritorious; they are penances due for sin.

"Even the souls in purgatory, according to the common opinion of theologians, pray to God to move the faithful to offer prayers, sacrifices, and expiatory works for them. They also pray for themselves and for souls still on earth."
Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12345b.htm
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Old 24th January 2013, 03:55 AM
Pontifex Pontifex is offline
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Ron,

Are the souls in Purgatory tormented by demons ?

[Wisdom 17]
{17:1} For your judgments, O Lord, are great, and your words are indescribable. Therefore, undisciplined souls have wandered astray.
{17:2} For, while they managed to convince the unjust, so as to obtain dominion over the holy nation, they themselves were fettered with chains of darkness and of endless night, enclosed in their houses, fugitives of everlasting providence, lying in ruins.
{17:3} And, while they thought to escape notice in their secret sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of oblivion, being horribly afraid, and having been disturbed with great astonishment.
{17:4} For neither did the cave which enclosed them preserve them from fear, because descending noises disturbed them, and the sorrowful persons appearing to them intensified their fear.
{17:5} And, indeed, even fire had no strength to provide them light, nor could the clear flames of the stars illuminate that horrible night.
{17:6} Yet there appeared to them a sudden fire, filled with fear; and, having been struck with the fear of that face which is unseen, they considered those things which they did see to be worse,
{17:7} and, having been ridiculed, the illusions were removed from their arts along with their contemptuous rebuke of glorious wisdom.
{17:8} Indeed, those who promised to drive away fears and disturbances from a languishing soul, though they were filled with derision, were themselves languishing in fear.
{17:9} And, even if nothing unnatural disturbed them, yet being agitated by the passing of animals and the hissing of snakes, they died of fear, denying what they themselves saw even in the air, which no one thinks to be able to escape.
{17:10} For, while there may be apprehension with wickedness, it gives testimony to condemnation, for a troubled conscience always forecasts harshness.
{17:11} For fear is nothing else but unfaithfulness to thinking helpful things.
{17:12} And, while expectation is driven from within, the cause of this is supposing that one is great in knowledge, and as a result, conflict excels.
{17:13} Yet those who were truly powerless that night, being overcome by both the vilest and the deepest hell, were sleeping the same sleep,
{17:14} sometimes stirred up by the fear of unnatural things, other times sinking down in disgrace of soul, for a sudden and unexpected fear overcame them.
{17:15} Then, if any among them had fallen away, he was kept in a prison without bars which had been left open.
{17:16} For if a farmer, or a shepherd, or a worker in a field of labor were suddenly overcome, he endured an inescapable necessity.
{17:17} For they were all bound together with one chain of darkness. Or if there were a whistling wind, or the sweet sound of birds among the thick tree branches, or the force of water rushing excessively,
{17:18} or the strong noise of rocks crashing down, or the scattering of playful animals having been seen, or the strong voice of bellowing beasts, or the resounding of the highest mountain echo, these things made them sink down because of fear.
{17:19} For the whole world was enlightened with a clear light, and none were being hindered in their labors.
{17:20} But then, the heavy night was placed over the sun for them, an image of that darkness which was about to overcome them. Yet they were more grievous to themselves than was the darkness.
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