– Does God allow the souls in Purgatory to come back to earth? –
One of St. Augustine’s close friends, the Bishop of Ustale, one day asked him the following, What must we make of the many reports we have of deceased people appearing and going about the world? What must we also make of the reports that in certain graveyards, sounds may be heard coming from tombs at different hours of the night?
I do not doubt that those apparitions are frequent but it is not of their doing, answered the venerable doctor. If it were so, my pious mother who was constantly by my side, even during my pilgrimages to foreign lands, would visit me every night. I am, however, certain that the Almighty allows them to appear from time to time for reasons full of wisdom and which we must respect.
In fact, why would God keep souls who were dear to us, and who suffer, from expressing their torment to us and of begging for our pity?
In fact, Scripture, the Life of Saints and history itself relates well documented apparitions throughout the ages, in every part of the world and before all types of witnesses.
One must be aware of the gullibility of some people who think that they see apparitions all the time and who take as real the phantoms of an imagination exalted by suffering or by memories.
Guard yourself from denying the possibility of apparitions. Reason tells us that God can authorise them and experience proves to us that He has authorised them on many occasions. They may be rare, but they are possible.
– Why does God allow them? –
Scripture teaches us that after his death, Samuel appeared to Saul to severely reproach him. I am not afraid of saying out loud that the strongest reasons why God would allow such events, is without a doubt the ingratitude of those who forget them. Those who are only bent on becoming rich with their inheritance, those who let them suffer indefinitely in Purgatory without thinking of relieving their torment. Those poor souls usually appear in a form or a manner, which excites our pity and our compassion. Their face is often sad, they are covered with flames, they breathe deep sighs, they cry in pain and they spew reproaches. They sometimes reveal their presence with deafening noises, by extraordinary symbols. It is always a material sign, which stuns us and awakens in us their memory, urging us to pray more fervently for them.
– Example –
A young man, born in a Christian family and faithful to his pious activities, nevertheless, gave little consideration to the souls in Purgatory. He never or rarely prayed for his deceased parents. Not only did he not practice that salvific devotion himself, he also dissuaded others from doing so claiming it was misguided charity. Why should one bother praying for those who are certain of being saved and who can no longer offend God nor lose Him? he would ask. He did not believe in apparitions either, ridiculing the very notion of the deceased visiting loved ones.
In order to correct him, God allowed those very souls to come out of their prison and to appear in horrible forms to him who was causing such severe damage in his community. They besieged him everywhere and at all hours of the day, screaming in pain, filling his eyes with strange beings, freezing his heart with fear. They allowed him no rest, night and day.
This proved to be very efficacious. Leaving behind his worldy ways he entered the Dominican Order. After his ordination to the priesthood, he inspired many with the desire to follow him in his devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Never has there been more convincing and more numerous reasons to prove that the greatest charitable deed one can perform toward a neighbour in this world is to pray for the deceased. He died in holiness and his soul surely rose to Heaven to be with those whom he had himself helped relieve of their suffering. Let us imitate such a beautiful example of charity.
Let Us Pray
My God, You are powerful and good enough to send us extraordinary messengers to remind us of the needs of the faithful members of the suffering Church. You want us to come to their aid. Be their Conciliator! Lord, call Your children to Your Eternal Home and may the light that never dies shine upon them! 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.