First, it should be
remembered that the Holy Souls in
Purgatory are undergoing dreadful torments...
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
Masses said for them, perform good works on their behalf, give alms, etc.
As stated in the
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)
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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