The January/February issue of The Friends of the Poor Souls defines Purgatory.
The following are excerpts. Please click above for the entire article on Purgatory.
REASON FOR ITS EXISTENCE:
"Purgatory exists as a result of God's mercy. The requirements for entering Heaven are very high because "nothing unclean will enter it" (Revelation 21:27)...you must have fully paid the penalty for all of your sins, and you can have no attachments to the world that take you away from God (i.e. materialism, jealousy, hatred, etc.)..."
LOCATION OF PURGATORY:
"There have been many debates on where Purgatory is. Some say that it is by the gates of Heaven, others say that it is located in an area of Hell. Still, others say that Purgatory is not a physical place but a mental state of purification. The fact is that no one really knows if it is the latter or the former, the Church has not made any infallible declarations on this. All that we know is that it does exist. This is what the Church has been teaching from the time of the Apostles."
SUFFERING IN PURGATORY:
"The purification process in Purgatory is painful. The souls there see how their sins have separated them from God and deeply regret what they have done. Even venial sin causes them suffering because although it is a minor sin, it does offend God since it is disobedience to His will..."
PRAYERS FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY:
..."Praying for the dead is one of the seven spiritual works of mercy. There are many devotions to help the holy souls. The greatest one is the Mass. This is the most powerful prayer we can participate in and if we only have one devotion to the holy souls, this should be it. More souls are freed through the Mass than by any other prayer. Please remember to pray for the holy souls during each Mass you attend."
The second most powerful prayer is the rosary. The repetitive simplicity of this devotion hides its greatness. We will cover the various prayers for the holy souls in future issues of this newsletter. This month, we present the prayer given to St. Gertrude the Great that releases 1000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said. This would be a good prayer to memorize.
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of Thy divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family.
THE BLESSED MOTHER AND PURGATORY:
..."Mary's intercession to God can provide relief for the holy souls in Purgatory. At times, she will go to Purgatory as a result of our prayers to comfort the people there. If we cooperate with Mary, we can release many souls and give them eternal joy in Heaven...."
CATHOLICS AND NON-CATHOLICS IN PURGATORY:
"Purgatory is meant for Catholics and non-Catholics who are destined for Heaven but cannot enter due to the stain of sin in their soul. A Catholic may be fortunate to have loved ones offer prayers for them while in Purgatory to shorten their time there. Non-Catholics most likely have no one to pray for them due to a lack of belief in Purgatory..."We as individuals must not forget those who have no one to pray for them..."
THE BOOK OF LIFE:
Please visit the Friends blog by clicking above and sign up your dearly departed in the Book of Life.