Too often, people have a very lax and casual approach to the articles of Faith. One such confusion or doubt regards the doctrine of Purgatory. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states, “From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers for them, above all at the Holy Mass, so that thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God, Heaven” (CCC 1032). It goes on to say, “The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead” (CCC1032). “All who die in God’s grace ad 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” (CCC 1030).
People sometimes ask what the supporting Scriptures tell us regarding this beautiful teaching, You’ll need to look them up:
Matthew 5:48 1 John 5: 16 – 17
Hebrews 12:14 2 Samuel 12:13 – 14
Revelation 21: 27 Matthew 5: 26
Matthew 12: 32 2 Maccabees 12: 44 – 46
1 Corinthians 3: 15 2 Timothy 1: 16 – 18
The great thing about this teaching is that God’s grace, mercy and love abound. God never seems to give upon us. So, we always aim for Heaven, just in case we miss. We have freedom to accept or reject God’s love, but through purgation we still attain Heaven. But, if we reject God’s friendship and fail to convert, Hell is the final destination.
Therefore, we pray for the dead, have Masses said for them, pray for peoples conversions and do whatever we can to increase our charity and holiness before God. The thought of Purgatory is enough to help us be less selfish. May we always have the courage to accuse ourselves of our sins and desire with our whole heart to be at one with God ( to atone for our sins). Let us strive for Heaven with our whole heart, mind and soul.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Glenn Fontana