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'Quick Help' Page: Assisting Those In Purgatory

 

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Purgatory

Holy Souls in Purgatory

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Arrow Question / Issue:

How can we assist those in Purgatory?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

[click link(s) below, as applicable]

First, it should be remembered that the Holy Souls in Purgatory are undergoing dreadful torments...

"That purgatorial fire itself will be more difficult than any punishments that can be seen or imagined or felt in this life." (St. Caesar of Arles, c. 540 A.D.)

"[T]he pain of Purgatory, both of loss and of sense, surpasses all the pains of this life." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

"Purgatory is a crucible where the dross of sin is burnt away, until every debt is cancelled. When its flames have effaced every stain and every wrinkle that marred the soul's beauty, then she flees away to her Spouse, truly a blessed one and sure of offering no obstacle to the complacent love of her Lord. Yet to what a sad length her exile is prolonged! True, she is united by charity to the inhabitants of heaven: but the fire which torments her is of the same nature as that of hell" (Liturgical Year) 

Remember that we are obligated to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Purgatory so that they may be released into Heaven as soon as possible. [Note: Try here for prayers for the deceased.]

We should also gain indulgences for them (see here), have Masses said for them, perform good works on their behalf, give alms, etc.

As stated in the Baltimore Catechism...

Q. Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory?

A. The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms-deeds; by indulgences, and having Masses said for them.

As stated in the Catechism of St. John Neumann...

Q. How can we help the souls in purgatory?

A. By prayer, good works, indulgences, and principally by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

+ + +

"One of the holiest works, one of the best exercises of piety that we can practice in this world is to offer sacrifices, alms, and prayer for the dead." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

 "To assist the souls in Purgatory is to perform the most excellent of the works of mercy, or rather it is to practice in a sublime manner all the works of mercy together: it is to visit the sick; it is to give drink to those who thirst for the vision of God; it is to feed the hungry, to ransom prisoners, to clothe the naked, to procure for poor exiles the hospitality of the Heavenly Jerusalem; it is to comfort the afflicted, to instruct the ignorant - in fine, to practice all works of mercy in one." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)


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