St Francis Q&A

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Who goes to Purgatory?

Unfortunately, we will not have Adoration this Friday (9/1) because of a previously scheduled event in the Church. Adoration will resume next Friday, 7 pm.
Here are final notes from the talk that I give on Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Many thanks to Rev. Thomas Morrow and his booklet, "Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory"

Purgatory (cont.)

c. How long does it last?

see Mt 25:34-41 : general judgement will only have 2 states, Heaven and Hell, so Purgatory will not continue after the general judgement

Council of Trent (1551): Purgatory is a state of purification which frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin (Hell is eternal punishment)

- so, we understand Purgatory to be temporal, “in time”; while it may not be in 24-hour days as on Earth, we do associate a soul’s stay in Purgatory with a number of days

- the amount of “time” a soul stays in Purgatory is based on the amount of purification needed

- we stay in Purgatory until we “love as God loves” (Msgr. Hill, SSM pastor)

- we can do works (of mercy, penance, prayer, almsgiving, gain indulgences, etc.) on Earth to remove days from our temporal punishment in Purgatory for ourselves or for others; but, once in Purgatory we can’t lessen our own punishment

d. Who goes there?

Scripture (see notes from Tuesday's post)

Catechism (CCC) - “all who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified; (they) 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” (# 1030).

Council of Florence (1439): “souls who die with true repentance and in God’s love before having rendered satisfaction for their sins of omission and commission by the worthy fruits of penance”

- what about the person who dies just after having gone to Confession and completed the penance? He / she would go to Purgatory to satisfy the temporal punishment due to his / her sins (kind of like a criminal who still has to serve his prison sentence, for the sake of justice, even if he is truly sorry for the crime he has committed)

- serious reparation is needed for serious sins, especially

- can repair those sins in this life through a penitential life (like the saints), acts of faith, hope, and love, corporal and spiritual works of mercy, etc.

- Mt 19:21 – “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; then, come follow me

- Mt 5:48 - “ Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect


  • I just got back from my friend's home. It was so sad because she had to put her dog down as she was so old and in so much pain. That got us talking about where her dog's soul would be going and she told me what she believed according to the Jewish faith. One thing I have to say is I know the Catholic faith says that animals don't have souls. I really have a hard time believing that as I feel as animals are living creatures and they too should have souls.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 PM  

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