Monday, October 18, 2021

Is there a place called purgatory ? Can we extend our help to those who are in purgatory ?

Purgatory often imagined as a place, is actually a condition. Someone who dies in God’s grace but who still needs purification before he can see God face to face is in purgatory. When peter had betrayed Jesus, the Lord turned around and looked at peter: “and peter went out and wept bitterly” – a feeling like being in purgatory. Just such a purgatory probably awaits most of us at the moment of our death: the Lord looks at us full of love and we experience burning shame and painful remorse over our wicked or merely unloving behavior. Only after this purifying pain will be capable of meeting his loving gaze in untroubled heavenly joy. We can extend our help to such persons. Since all those who are baptized into Christ form one communion and are united with one another, the living can also help the souls of the faithful departed in purgatory. When a man is dead, he can do nothing more for himself. The time of active probation is past. But we can do something for the faithful departed in purgatory. Our life extends into the afterlife. Through our fasting, prayers and good works but especially through the celebration of Holy Eucharist, we can obtain grace for the departed.(You cat-159,160)

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