The Existence of Purgatory, Part II
– Witnessing of our reason –
Along with faith, our reasoning also proclaims the existence of Purgatory: its voice speaks to us as do the Church and Scriptures. It tells us firstly that God, being perfect Holiness, cannot allow anything impure to enter Heaven. There is an eternal invincible repulsion between the slightest evil and perfect Goodness. A soul marked by the smallest stain, is unworthy of being united to God until it has been purified. It would otherwise introduce sin into Heaven. Lord, cried out the prophet, who may dwell in your tabernacle, on your holy mountain? Only those without sin who possess the perfection of Justice.
Our reasoning also tells us that God, being infinite Justice, requires reparation. He cannot leave the slightest sin without purification, just as He cannot leave the slightest virtuous action without reward. Thus, those who have not made reparation for their sins in this world will without fail make reparation for them in the next. The satisfaction we neglected to render to the Justice of God during our lifetime, God will render unto himself following our death. Where will it be rendered? In Purgatory.
Let us prove our faith in the dogma of Purgatory by having a tender charity for the souls who are subjected to rigorous purification and by avoiding the sins that will send us there. May those who are just become even more just and those who are holy become even more holy!
– Witnessing of the heart –
There is no Catholic dogma that does not have its roots deeply imbedded in the human heart, said Monsieur de Maistre. That is why we are inclined to embrace certain revealed truths. Purgatory is among these truths.
Many self-proclaimed atheists who have renounced every belief or religious sentiment, have admitted that under grave circumstances, they could not refrain from secretly praying in the depths of their heart for loved ones who have died. Therein lies the proof of the sentiment printed by God on the heart of man. It is manifested in every country and in all the peoples of the world. Is there anything more comforting for the human heart than to know that we are still united to the memory and the suffering of the deceased? Truly, we need to believe that there exists beyond the barriers of time, a place of purification which is not Hell but the gateway to Heaven. We need to believe and we must believe that our friends and family members who are prisoners in Purgatory, are comforted by our prayers and good deeds, that they see and they hear us. We need to believe some day we ourselves will need to be relieved from our suffering. That thought is soothing and comforting.
– Example –
A young Scottish Lutheran had an only brother whom he loved deeply. That young brother suddenly died from a ruptured aneurysm during a large family gathering. Devastated by the loss, the young man could not stop thinking of his brother and constantly worried as to the state of his soul. He feared he had not been pure enough to enter Heaven immediately and his Protestant faith did not teach him that there exists a place of purification between Heaven and Hell. He decided to go on a trip to France to try and relieve his sorrow. He met there a priest in whom he confided his grief. My friend, said the man of God, it is necessary for all people to expiate their sins, even in the hereafter. Our Catholic faith teaches us that there is a place between Heaven and Hell where souls finish their purification and from which we can help deliver them with our prayers and sacrifices. The young man accepted the teaching of the Catholic Church and began praying for his dead brother. It is true that belief in Purgatory is a necessity for the human heart!
Let Us Pray
My God, may my prayers, my sacrifices and my suffering serve to touch your Goodness and hasten the moment of deliverance for the souls of our loved ones! Be blessed, oh my Jesus, for your consolations! Call our brethren to your eternal kingdom! May they rest in peace!
Let Us Pray
Lord, hear the prayers we will offer up to you every day of this month for the consolation of our deceased brothers and sisters and grant them a place of refreshing light and peace! Hear also the prayers which those souls will offer up to you for our intention that we might ultimately obtain, through their intercession, the graces for which we pray for.