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Copyright © 2009, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - November, 2009 [Plain text version]

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+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + Newsletter - November, 2009

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

* Catholic Trivia

* Liturgical Feasts in November

* Last Words of the Saints

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Purgatory

* Advent Resources (Note: Advent Begins 11/29/09)

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Dear Friend,

"For indeed it becomes the glorious people of this earth who think of eternal glory so to act that in virtue of their excelling in temporal power, they may procure for themselves a reward that is not temporal. Accordingly, addressing to you the greeting which we owe, we implore Almighty God both to replenish your life with present good, and to extend it to the lofty joys of eternity." (Pope St. Gregory the Great: Epistle)

We send your our warmest greetings in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We have now entered the second year since our 'official unveiling'. Please pray that in this second year we may make some accomplishments towards our goal of helping promote the reign of Christ the King on earth. We would like to thank you for your support last year and also to extend a special thanks to all subscribers and to all who participated in our first annual Rosary Week. Your support is greatly appreciated.

May God bless you & keep you,

Your Friends at

"May the blessed Trinity and all the saints guard thee and protect thee from all evils" (St. Louis, King of France)

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MCS News & Notes

* We have made cosmetic improvements throughout the site, particularly in the Prayers & Devotions Section, Non-Catholics Section, and the Scripture/Parables Section. We hope to complete all improvements shortly. We hope you enjoy the changes.

* We have renamed the search area "Reflections" on the site search page in order to make the nature of Reflections more clear. The new name for the search area is "Reflections (Quotes From Popes, Saints...)" - the site search page may be found at:

* We have made some cosmetic improvements to the MCS Daily Digest. If you have any comments, suggestions, etc. about this page, please let us know. The MCS Daily Digest may be found at

* We have added "tag/label cloud" to the bottom of our blog on trial basis. This "cloud" displays a number of keywords that may be clicked on to view relevant entries. We welcome your thoughts on this change. Our blog may be viewed at

* We have added links / instructions for bookmarking a number of pages on the site. Users of Internet Explorer 4.0 & higher may see a link on certain pages which contains a message such as "Click here to add this page to your favorites", whereas users of other browsers (e.g. Firefox, Opera) may see a message such as "Bookmark this page! Press CTRL+D (or CTRL+T, etc.)"

Did you know...? Bookmarking helps both you & us! Bookmarking our site helps you since it makes it quicker & easier for you to get back to desired content. It also helps us when users return via a bookmark rather than clicking on our ads (since we may pay per-click for ads).

* Two new guest articles have been added to the News & Opinion page. One article is entitled "What Not To Pray For: Some Prayers Are An Abomination", the other is titled "Does the New Replica Disprove the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin?" Presently, both articles may be viewed at . Also, a previous guest article entitled "Things I'd like to ask Sonia Sotomayor" has been archived. It may be viewed at

* If you joined the Purgatory Release Project effort and plan to submit your form, please do so as soon as possible. For more information, and to start a new form for next year, please visit

* Please help us improve! Feedback from visitors can help us improve the site. If something could be easier to use, better formatted, more clearly worded, etc. we would appreciate it if you'd let us know. Your suggestions are welcome & appreciated. You can leave feedback anytime via chat or our feedback forms. For subscribers, we welcome you to use the special subscriber feedback form at to submit comments. If your comments involve appearance or formatting issues, please include the name of the browser used (and version number, if possible) as well as the URL of the page(s) you are referring to.

* The 'post of the month' page has been updated for 10/09. This month it was chosen from the Catholic Life Section and it is titled "New pro-life approach". To view the 'post of the month' page, please go to: . To submit a post in your choice of hundreds of categories, visit  

* Please visit the "Notices" page for our message to Rosary Week participants, our anniversary message, and for timely news and other important information regarding - 

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The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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

"Day and night I am pursued by the same thought: One does not pray enough for the dead. Eighty thousand people die in this nation every day." (Bl. Eugenie Smet)

"[T]he souls in Purgatory can be relieved by our prayers, alms-deeds, all our other good works, and by indulgences, but above all by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

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Definition of Purgatory

(Note: See )

"Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins." (Baltimore Catechism) The souls in purgatory - called 'Holy Souls' - suffer dreadfully for their sins, but they are assured of eventually reaching heaven. They may be assisted by the living by means of indulgences. It is believed that most of the souls that are saved must pass through purgatory, and that the duration of purgatory may be as long as decades or centuries or even longer.

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Why do the poor souls need my help?

While it is true that the souls in Purgatory are assured of heaven, they are presently suffering dreadful torments. They are unable to assist themselves and they are unable to ask you for assistance directly.

Frequently, there is also an unfortunate "instant canonization" of relatives and friends that may leave the poor souls without relief from those remaining on earth. Those who assume their loved ones are in heaven may leave them unassisted in their torments. Remember that even the holiest persons may suffer terribly in Purgatory for so-called 'slight' faults.

Remember also that you have a duty of charity not just towards the living, but towards your brothers and sisters who have departed this earth. Just as you would aid someone on earth who was suffering, so should you assist those in Purgatory who suffer terribly and who may have no one else to assist them.

"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")

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Which souls are in Purgatory?

Although we do not know which specific souls are in Purgatory, it is very possible that some of your friends and relatives are among the poor souls. Even persons who passed away long ago may still remain in Purgatory. It has been said seven years of penance is due for each mortal sin committed during one's life. It is good to assume that any particular loved one - no matter how good they appeared to you in life - may be in Purgatory.

"[S]he will be in Purgatory until the end of the world." (Our Lady of Fatima to Sister Lucy, in response to whether or not Lucy's young friend was in heaven)

"[I]f you assign, on the average, as St. Frances of Rome says, seven years for the expiation of one mortal sin, remitted as to the guilt, who does not see that we arrive at an appalling duration [in Purgatory] and that the expiation may especially be prolonged for many years, and even for centuries? Years and centuries of torments! Oh! if we only thought of it, with what care should we not avoid the least faults! with what fervor should we not practice penance to make satisfaction in this world!" (Fr. Schouppe)

"According to the holy Doctors, for every mortal sin a man is obliged by God to seven years of penance in this world, or the equivalent in purgatory; the reason being that every mortal sin is an offense against the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost." (St. Vincent Ferrer)

"There is no doubt that the pains of Purgatory are not limited to ten and twenty years, and that they last in some cases entire centuries. But allowing to be true that their duration did not exceed ten or twenty years, can we account it as nothing to have to endure for ten or twenty years the most excruciating sufferings without the least alleviation? If a man was assured that he should suffer some violent pain in his feet, or his head, or teeth for the space of twenty years, and that without ever sleeping or taking the least repose, would he not a thousand times rather die than live in such a state? And if the choice were given to him between a life thus miserable and the loss of all his temporal goods, would he hesitate to make the sacrifice of his fortune to be delivered from such a torment? Shall we then find any difficulty in embracing labor and penance to free ourselves from the sufferings of Purgatory? Shall we fear to practice the most painful exercises: vigils, fasts, almsgiving, long prayers, and especially contrition, accompanied with signs and tears?" (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

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Must I believe in Purgatory?

Yes, you must believe in Purgatory. Purgatory has been divinely revealed and has always been a dogma of the faith.

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Why do the poor souls suffer?

Since "nothing unclean can enter heaven" (cf. Rev. 21:27), the souls of the elect must be purified before they can enjoy the Beatific Vision. Divine justice also requires expiation for sins, since "no sin goes unpunished" (cf. Sirach 7:8).

"For justice is undying." (Wisdom 1:15)

"... you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 5:26, Lk.12:59)

"If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one's work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire." (St. Peter, 1 Cor. 3:12-15)

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Doesn't penance eliminate all Purgatory time?

The slight penances now given by priests during Confession are generally believed not to remit all purgatory time. During the ages of great faith, the Church used to give much more difficult penances to sinners. As a result of weakened faith, the Church has curtailed the use of more difficult penances in order not to discourage penitent sinners. The duty of expiating one's sins, however, still remains. Remember that there is a difference between receiving forgiveness of sins - which one does receive by the priest's absolution in Confession - and satisfying Divine Justice for sins committed. To put it in earthly terms, if someone vandalized your property, you may forgive the person yet still require the vandal to pay for the damage. Similarly, although God forgives an absolved sin, Divine Justice must still be satisfied.

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What if none of my loved ones are in Purgatory?

If you are somehow fortunate enough to only associate with and be born into a long line of saints, perhaps you have no loved ones in Purgatory. If that is not the case, however, at least some of your loved ones are likely to be in Purgatory. In any event, you have a Christian obligation - to the best of your ability - to assist all your brothers and sisters, even if you are not related to them by blood.


How do my prayers help?

When you pray for the poor souls, God applies the merits of your prayers towards those in Purgatory. The relief from prayers to the poor souls has been compared to the pouring of water on someone on fire. While prayers and partial indulgences may provide a measure of relief to the poor souls, a Plenary Indulgence makes it possible for a soul to be released immediately from Purgatory and enter heaven. The poor souls will always be grateful for your efforts on their behalf and will become your faithful friends for all eternity. Note: For information on indulgences, visit

"In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin." (2 Macc. 12:43-46)

"Now, one of the easiest, yet one of the most powerful, means to procure relief for the souls in Purgatory is to say the beads [the Holy Rosary] for them with fervor. To say the Rosary for the souls in Purgatory is to offer up to God for their relief all the labors, fatigues, prayers, tears, contempt, sufferings, blood, and death - all the merits of the life of our dear Savior. Next to Mass, no more efficacious offering can be made to God then this for the relief of the souls in Purgatory." (Muller)


How else can I assist the poor souls?

In addition to prayers and indulgences, you may apply the merits of your good works and almsgiving to the poor souls, as well as offering up your sufferings on their behalf. Best of all, you may have Masses offered for those in Purgatory. Remember that nothing can be better than the application of Holy Masses to the souls in Purgatory.


"The soul in purgatory, separated from the body which weighted her down and distracted her by a thousand vain preoccupations, is now entirely absorbed by the one desire of becoming at length perfectly pleasing to God. Towards this end her whole energy is directed; and so too is the force of the torments for whose violence she is so grateful. 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)

Pray for the poor souls!


Other Resources

* Prayers for the departed -

* Purgatory Reflections (quotes from popes, saints...) -

* Indulgence Information (includes Q & A and information on both plenary and partial indulgences) -

* Indulgence Reflections -

* Purgatory (Topical Scripture) -

* Suffering & Death (including "When a Loved One Has Died") -

* Purgatory/Catholic Basics: Q & A (Resources) -

* Purgatory (Selections From the Baltimore Catechism) -

* Purgatory (Non-Catholics Section, apologetics) -

* Scriptural References for Purgatory (Non-Catholics Section, apologetics) -

* Aid the Holy Souls! Join the Purgatory Release Project (PRP) effort - visit

Did you know...? The Purgatory Release Project (PRP) is an ongoing effort by users of to assist the pour souls in Purgatory. The goal is to help release as many souls as possible from Purgatory. Please join the PRP. Go to for more information

==> Want a reminder when certain plenary indulgences may be available? Be sure to check out the MCS Daily Digest each day -

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Catholic Trivia

Note: All trivia this month is purgatory or indulgence themed

1. What might Purgatory also be called?

2. List dates for two special plenary indulgences which may be available in November for the Holy Souls (assuming the indulgences are not transferred)

3. Who is punished in purgatory?

4. Does pain suffered voluntary in this life cleanse more or less than pain inflicted in purgatory?

5. It is acceptable to say that "after the reception of the grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened"?

6. What does St. Catharine of Genoa say about happiness in purgatory?

7. It is commonly believed that the souls in purgatory can intercede for us, but did St. Thomas Aquinas hold this view?

8. Do indulgences forgive sin?

9. Were changes made to indulgences since the Second Vatican Council?

10. What does it mean when an indulgence is measured in days or years?



1. 'The Church Suffering' [See ]

2. Cemetery visit indulgence: 11/1-11/8; All Souls Day indulgence: 11/2 [Note: For more information, try ]

3. "Those are punished for a time in purgatory who die in the state of grace but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

4. "[P]ain suffered in this life voluntarily cleanses much more than pain inflicted after death... the pain of martyrdom is of short duration in comparison with the pain endured in purgatory." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

5. No. According to the Council of Trent: "If anyone shall say that after the reception of the grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema."

6. "I believe that no happiness can be compared with that of a soul in purgatory, except that of the saints in paradise. And this happiness increases in proportion as the rust of sin is consumed away by the fire, enabling the soul to reflect, more and more clearly, the rays of the true sun, which is God. The suffering, however, does not diminish. On the contrary, it is love kept back from its object which causes the pain; and consequently the suffering is greater according as God made the soul capable of a greater perfection of love." (St. Catharine of Genoa)

7. No. He said: "Those who are in this world or in Purgatory, do not yet enjoy the vision of the Word, so as to be able to know what we think or say. Wherefore we do not seek their assistance by praying to them" (St. Thomas Aquinas)

8. No. Indulgences do not forgive sin, but remit punishment due to already forgiven sin.

9. Yes, sweeping changes were made to the regulations for indulgences in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, such as: a reduction in the number of plenary indulgences, the suppression of many traditional indulgences, the elimination of the distinction between real/personal indulgences, elimination of the measurement of days/years for partial indulgences, and the reduction of the comprehensive list of traditional & beautiful indulgenced prayers (e.g. in the Raccolta) to a small number of prayers, and an increased emphasis on good works.

10. Traditionally, partial indulgences were measured in days or years. This time referred to an equivalent amount of days or years of penance that would be remitted. For example, a 300 days indulgence would cancel out the same amount of punishment that would have been remitted had one done 300 days of prescribed penance (e.g. the canonical penance in the early Church). [Note that this refers to days of penance - NOT days in purgatory.] This longstanding practice of measuring indulgences in days and years was - some argue, very sadly - eliminated in the wake of the Second Vatican Council.

For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest page at

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Liturgical Feasts in November

This month, we have included a listing of all liturgical feast dates for November as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

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November 1 - All Saints (T)

November 1 - All Saints (N)

November 2 - All Souls (T)

November 2 - All Souls (N)

November 3 - St. Martin de Porres (N)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (T)

November 4 - Sts. Vitalis & Agricola (T)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (N)

November 5 - Feast of Holy Relics (T)

November 6 - St. Leonard (T)

November 8 - Four Holy Crowned Martyrs (T)

November 9 - Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Saviour (T)

November 9 - St. Theodore the Recruit (T)

November 9 - Dedication of St. John Lateran (Lateran Basilica in Rome) (N)

November 10 - St. Andrew Avellino (T)

November 10 - Sts. Tryphon, Respicius & Nympha (T)

November 10 - St. Leo the Great, pope (N)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (T)

November 11 - St. Mennas (T)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (N)

November 12 - St. Martin I, pope (T)

November 12 - St. Josaphat (N)

November 13 - St. Didacus (T)

November 13 - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (N)

November 14 - St. Josaphat (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Gertrude (T)

November 16 - St. Gertrude the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Margaret of Scotland (N)

November 17 - St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (T)

November 17 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (N)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul (T)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (N)

November 19 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (T)

November 19 - St. Pontianus, pope (T)

November 20 - St. Felix of Valois (T)

November 21 - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

November 21 - The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (T)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (N)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (T)

November 23 - St. Felicitas (T)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (N)

November 23 - St. Columban (N)

November 24 - St. Chrysogonus (T)

November 24 - St. John of the Cross (T)

November 24 - St. Andrew Dung-Lac & companions (N)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (T)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (N)

November 26 - St. Peter of Alexandria (T)

November 26 - St. Sylvester (T)

November 27 - Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (T)

November 27 - St. Virgilius (T)

November 29 - St. Saturninus (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (N)

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Last Words of the Saints

November 1st is All Saints Day. Here are some last words of some beloved saints.

*** Advisory: Contains some graphic references ***

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St. Boniface, martyr, during torture: "I give thee thanks, Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God!"

St. Cyprian on hearing his death sentence: "Thanks be to God."

St. Laurence, on being struck with stones, smiling: "I give Thee thanks, O Christ."

"I come to thee, O good Jesus!" (St. Laurence Justinian)

"I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity - therefore I die in exile" (Last words of Pope St. Gregory VII)

St. Probus, martyr: "The more my body suffers for Jesus Christ, the more is my soul refreshed."

St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church, last words: "Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost."

St. Eusebius while being tortured: "Lord Jesus, preserve me. Whether we live or die, we are thine."

St. Dorothy, while being tortured: "Never in my whole life have I felt such joy, as I do today."

St. Laurence to his executioner, while over burning coals: "See, this side is well roasted; turn me on the other and eat."

St. Tiburtius, while walking upon fire: "Learn that the God of the Christians is the only God, for these hot coals seem flowers to me."

St. Dulas while being scourged: "I thank thee, my Lord Jesus, for having deemed me worthy to suffer this for love of thee."

St. Dorothy, said while being taken to execution: "I give thee thanks, O thou lover of our souls, that thou callest me to thy paradise!"

Last words of St. Peter of Verona (written by him in his blood as he was dying) "Credo in unum Deo" ("I believe in one God", from the Creed)

St. Hippolytus, martyr, last words: "Lord, they tear my body, receive thou my soul."

St. Probus, martyr, after torture: "O my Saviour, I return you most hearty thanks that you have been pleased to make me share in your own sufferings."

St. Tarachus, martyr, when beaten, said: "You have now made me truly wise. I am strengthened by your blows, and my confidence in God and in Jesus Christ is increased."

St Eusebius, when told that he would be burnt alive due to his faith, said: "As to that, I am in no pain. The more severe or cruel the torments are, the greater the crown will be."

Words of St. Symphorian's mother upon his martyrdom: "My son, my son, remember life eternal; look up, and see Him who reigns in heaven; they are not taking thy life away, but changing it into a better."

St. Secunda, martyr, on seeing her sister being scourged: "Why do you treat my sister thus honorably, but me dishonorably? Order us both to be scourged, since we both confess Christ to be God."

St. Julian, Martyr at Brioude, just before martyrdom: "Alas, I am too long in this bad world; O, how I burn with desire to be with Jesus!"



"Then they will hand you over to persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of my name." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 24:9)

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Purgatory

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)


* If there is no purgatory, how can it be said that some sin may be forgiven in the next age (see Mt. 12:32)?

* If there is no purgatory, why does Scripture speak of not being released until all debts are paid (see Mt. 5:26, Lk. 12:59)?

* If there is no purgatory, how can it be said that persons "will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15)? Do you mean to suggest that there is fire in heaven?!

* How do you suppose that "the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality" (Col. 3:25) if there is no purgatory?

* How do you suppose there can be prayers for the dead (see 2 Macc. 12:39-46, 2 Tm. 1:16-18) if the dead cannot be helped by prayers ("those in heaven do not need prayers and those in hell cannot be helped by prayers")? Note that Scripture says to "withhold not your kindness from the dead" (Sirach 7:33) and Old Testament Jews were known to pray for the dead. Why pray for them if they cannot be helped by prayers?

* If one must have a sufficient degree of holiness to see God (see Heb. 12:14), how do you imagine that those who die short of this holiness, but not deserving of hell, become worthy to see God if there is no purification of purgatory?

* How can you deny a temporary state distinct from heaven and hell when Scripture speaks of Christ preaching to the spirits in prison (see 1 Pt. 3:18-20)?

* How can you assert that sin can go unpunished considering that Scripture says that sin does not go unpunished (e.g. Sirach 7:8, Wisdom 1:8)?

* How can it be that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10), if those who have committed evil - but not sufficient evil to warrant hell - are immediately rewarded with heaven? Is it not clear that departed souls not deserving of hell, and also not yet worthy of heaven, would require an interim destination?

* Do you believe that there can be no punishment left after sin is forgiven? Then why did King David suffer God's punishment even after God forgave him (2 Sam. 12:13-14)? If someone intentionally broke your window, do you not see how it is possible to both forgive him and to require him to make restitution? In fact, would there be any justice if restitution wasn't required for those who committed crime?

* If you injured someone, wouldn't it only be natural to want to "make it up" to them, even if they had already forgiven you? Can you not imagine persons who truly love God welcoming the chance to atone for their sins in purgatory - despite the great suffering?

* Would you attend a fancy wedding "dirty and in picnic clothing"? Wouldn't you feel out of place? Why is it you wouldn't feel out of place entering heaven without purification? Wouldn't you welcome the opportunity to "wash yourself and dress appropriately" before entering, even if suffering was involved?

* If your body was sick, would you not consider taking unpleasant treatment in order to heal it? How can you not see that it may also take something unpleasant to heal the soul?

* Do you object to the concept of purgatory because you believe the term "purgatory" is a "recent invention" of the Catholic Church? If so, you should know that the concept of purgatory has always been held. The term, however, was coined later. The same may be said for the term "Trinity", but you don't reject the concept of the Trinity simply because the word was coined later, do you? Do you not see that sometimes it is necessary to coin a word?

* Do you reject purgatory because the term "purgatory" is not in the Bible? Did you know that the term "Bible" is also not in the Bible? Or the term "Trinity"?

* Doesn't common sense tell you there must be a purgatory? God is just and surely not all those who will be saved are deserving of immediate heaven!

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"From the very beginning the Church has always prayed for the dead, as did even the Synagogue before her (2 Mach. xii. 46)" (Liturgical Year)

"When he has quitted his body and the difference between virtue and vice is known he cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested. That same fire in others will cancel the corruption of matter, and the propensity to evil." (St. Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century A.D.)

"It is impossible for evil to be pure and without the admixture of good, just as the supreme good is without any admixture of evil. Consequently those who are to be conveyed to beatitude which is a supreme good must be cleansed of all evil. Wherefore there must needs be a place where such persons are cleansed if they go hence without being perfectly clean." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"It is said (2 Machabees 12:45): 'It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.' Now there is no need to pray for the dead who are in heaven, for they are in no need; nor again for those who are in hell, because they cannot be loosed from sins. Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed from sins, who can be loosed therefrom; and the like have charity, without which sins cannot be loosed, for 'charity covereth all sins' (Proverbs 10:12). Hence they will not be consigned to everlasting death, since 'he that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever' (John 11:26): nor will they obtain glory without being cleansed, because nothing unclean shall obtain it, as stated in the last chapter of the Apocalypse (Apocalypse 22:14). Therefore some kind of cleansing remains after this life." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

For more apologetics resources, please visit

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Advent Resources (Note: Advent Begins 11/29/09)

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Reminder: Don't forget to check the MCS Daily Digest each day. During Advent, the MCS Daily Digest may contain various items to help you prepare for Christmas. Visit the MCS Daily Digest at

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* Make Your Own Advent Calendar -

* Advent / Christmas Prayers -

* Advent / Christmas Prayers & Practices (Traditional Prayers & Practices - Click "Traditional Practices", "Advent / Christmas") -

* Advent / Christmas Activities (Catholic Fun & Activities - Click "Holiday Activities") -

* Catholic Coloring Book (See "Christmas", "Nativity", Etc.) -

* Word Search (Christmas) -

* Incarnation / Nativity Reflections -

* Incarnation / Birth of Jesus Reflections -

* Bible Prophecies: Coming of Christ / Supremacy & Facts About Upcoming Messiah -

* Marian Scriptural References -

* Biblical References / Divinity of Christ / Etc. (Non-Catholics Section, apologetics) -

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Closing Quotations...

"Oh! If it were but known how great is the power of the good souls in Purgatory with the Heart of God, and if we know all the graces we can obtain through their intercession, they would not be so much forgotten. We must, therefore, pray much for them, that they may pray much for us." (St. John Vianney)

"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)

Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Holy Souls in Purgatory: "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. Amen." [Note: It is said that Our Lord will release 1,000 souls from Purgatory for each recitation of this prayer.]

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