Is this your understanding also? The real doctrine consists of the conviction that God’s mercy and justice must be kept intact and upheld. Gregorian Masses are absolutely the best way to help souls out of purgatory. Purgatory is like that secondary part of recovery — the healing, cleaning, and bandaging. God, being a just Judge, deals out a “punishment” according to our attachment to sin. Adopt this beautiful way the Polish honor the... Multi-faith complex to rise where pope and im... © Copyright Aleteia SAS all rights reserved. Question: That kind of leads me to my next question. Catholicism teaches no. You can't do anything to get out of purgatory - it is only because of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that anyone is able to enter heaven. The background behind them is a fascinating story. Each person will have a different attachment at the moment of death and so each person’s experience of purgatory will be vastly different. Another chief consideration is that purgatory is different for everyone. Our Mission Remains the Same, No Matter Who Wins the Election. For example, keep company with Christ through the Eucharist and prayer, get to know the Bible and the Catechism well, go to Confession as needed, and make friends with a lot of praying people! Although I strive to be holy everyday and to spread the Gospel in my words and actions, I am pretty sure I will have to wait to get there…….until the Day of Judgment. For me it is not an issue of will I be in Heaven when I die; it is when will I be able to see Jesus vouch for me at the Right Hand of God and hear my name in the Book of Life? The Church believes that Jesus’ death allows everyone the possibility of heaven, and his mercy grants forgiveness, but his justice demands that good be rewarded and evil punished — in this life or the next. Similarly Article 12, 1032 cites II Maccabees 12, which refers to the time before Christ when Judas Maccabeus made atonement for the dead. As the book Purgatory Surveyed explains, “it is most certain, that these pains are not eternal; otherwise it were not Purgatory, but hell itself: for in this chiefly lies the difference between hell and Purgatory, that the pains of Purgatory last but for a time; those of hell, for an eternity.”. Purgatory is an often-misunderstood Catholic doctrine. A pure heart stays buoyant. Many innocent persons who suffer from disease, poverty, or persecution are living their purgatory now, and when they die, they probably go straight to heaven. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. What is true and immensely important is that purgatory is not eternal. To explain for readers who haven't heard the Church's voice on this doctrine of faith, Article 12, 1030 of the Catechism says, "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." God’s justice, however, is that good is rewarded and evil punished. The surgery achieves the main objective, but the wound needs to heal, and the incision needs to be cleaned and rebandaged. Should Joe and Max both go to heaven at the same time? Catholics confess their sins and believe that God forgives them in the Sacrament of Penance. If you look at scripture, I think it means that if you die you will be in purgatory and waiting for Jesus to return to judge the living and the dead. Meanwhile, none of us knows exactly when we'll see Jesus. Why all this preparation? Catholics believe in Heaven, Hell, and something called Purgatory that has two purposes: a temporal punishment for sin, and the cleansing from the attachment to sin. We need you. They believe that purgatory isn’t a place but a spiritual state of the soul in which it’s purified before entering heaven. Lord willing, we'll investigate that Day of Judgment and also the Second Coming of Christ in upcoming Bible Talks. Read more:In praise of Purgatory: 4 Points to ponder about your hour of death, Read more:The patron saint of the souls in purgatory was visited by a friar suffering there. Purgatory is an often-misunderstood Catholic doctrine. It may help to think of the purgatory in terms of a major operation to save a life. Can you reference scripture? The Virgin Mary and the Apostles surely understood this, but to clarify, a previously quoted portion of the Catechism (1030) bears repeating: "All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven." From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come” (CCC 1031). Faith floats. Question: I have asked this question to a retired priest I know, and he could not give me an answer. Purgatory purifies the soul before the soul’s grand entrance into heaven. All the souls in purgatory will enter Heaven and when they do, purgatory will be no more. Catholics don’t see purgatory as a place of pain and torment. Maybe there is none. For me, I pray more in an anticipation of Jesus' return and the last judgment so that all may see his face than of me going straight to Heaven when I die. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect … As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. Everyone in purgatory will make it to heaven. However, many Christians who remain close to God believe this happens at the very instant of death, assuming, of course, that Christ has not returned to earth prior to that particular moment. Thank you! Catholics believe that God and heaven are worth it. It isn’t considered a spiritual jail or hell with parole. Again it's a matter of waiting to find out — not passively though, but actively as loving, forgiving, and forgiven members of the Body of Christ. If you are to enter purgatory some day, rejoice, for you can only go up! Think of it like this: Joe and Max were both born on the same day and both died on the same day. If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible. We can say that purgatory has time in the sense that souls begin and end periods of demarcated purification there. Say a doctor performs surgery on someone’s heart or brain and removes a cancerous tumor. At the end of time, when Our Lord comes again, purgatory will cease to exist, for all the souls within it will have been purified and its purpose will be completed. If one man struggles all his life to be good while another lives a life of selfishness, greed, and comfort, both can’t walk through the pearly gates side by side. It only takes a minute. To summarize Church teaching, we've been given an active role to pray and to do good works on behalf of those who have gone before us in death. ). He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. Finally, a quote in 1032 from St. John Chrysostom refers to Job 1:5 then concludes, "Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.". The Church believes that almost everyone else, although not bad enough to go to hell, aren’t good enough to skate into heaven with no need for some introspection and purification.