The Chief Suffering in Purgatory

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lens.bmp (22242 bytes) In a Sense our Soul is like a Lens , when we Sin, we Cloud the Lens; it gets Dirty and we Lose the Focus of God in our Lives. Through Confession and Penance, God Cleanses the "Lens" of our Soul. When we Die, if we Live this Life fundamentally Loving God, Dying in His Grace and Friendship, and Free of Mortal Sin, we will have Eternal Salvation and attain the Beatific Vision, we will see God for Who He is. If we Die with Venial Sins or without having done sufficient Penance for our Sins, God in His Love, Mercy and Justice will Purify our Souls, "Cleanse the Lens" so to speak. After such Purification, the Soul will then be United with God in Heaven and Enjoy the Beatific Vision.

by Father William Saunders, President of Notre Dame Institute

 

The Chief Suffering in Purgatory

by Father William G. Most

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"Who shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? Or who shall Stand in His Holy Place?" (Psalm 24:3). "Who can Stand when He Appears? For He is like a Refiner's Fire" (Malachi 3:2).

The Inspired Writers of the Old Testament had a Great Perception of the Majesty, the Awful Holiness of God. They knew that nothing Defiled can Stand-before Him. Yet we Know from Saint Paul (1Corinthians 13:12 ) that in Heaven, the Soul has a Vision of God, sees Him Face-to-face. That of course is Metaphorical Language, but yet it Conveys Awesome Truth. A Soul has no Eyes, nor does God have a Face. But it does mean, the Soul will Know God Directly.

How could that be? When we See someone on this Earth, we take into our Eyes and Brain an Image of him. That works well-enough, for although any Image is Finite or Limited, so is the Person. But what Image could make God Known? None of course. So the Soul must Know God without an Image. This can be only, if God Himself, Directly-joins Himself to that Soul, to do what an Image would do in Seeing Others.

What then Needs to-be the Absolute Purity of a Soul, to which He, Who is like a Refiner's Fire joins Himself! Surely, God will not Join Himself to anything Defiled.

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Body/Material Brain/
Psychosomatic Powers
Passions/Emotions/
Five (5) Senses/
Memory/Imagination
(Subordinate-Partner)

Soul/Intellect/
Superior Will/
Reason/Grace/
Infused Knowledge/
Heart/Conscience
(Dominant Partner)

 

The Major Suffering in Purgatory is the Temporary Loss of God. That is Hard for us to Picture now - when we so easily do without Thinking of Him. But then, there will be Distractions from our Five (5) Senses, which are Gone, when we Die. More important, with Death, the Lights go on. We mean this. Our Intelligence has Two (2) Components:

the Material Brain in our Heads,
the Natural Power of the Spiritual Intellect to Know.

The Power of a Spirit to Know is Wonderfully Great. But at present, the Two (2) are tied-together, so that One does not Function without the Other. The Material Brain therefore Holds-down our Present Ability to Know God. Therefore, even if the Material Brain in a given Person is of Highest Quality, yet it is a Poor Thing compared-to the Power of the Spiritual Soul to Know. But with Death, with the Connection Broken, the Natural Power of our Spirit to Know, Asserts-itself. Then we Understand the Information about God we took Across-the-Line with us, even without yet seeing Him Directly. Then we will Intensely Desire Him - but if the Sentence is Purgatory, we must do without Him for Some Period.

Is there Fire in Purgatory?. The Eastern Segment of the Catholic Church has no such Tradition; the Western does, and reports Numerous Apparitions of Souls from Purgatory.

In any event, it is most Important to Get our Bills Paid Now, as it were. If we Pay Them Now, we get at the same Time an Increase in the Power of the Soul to Eventually see God. But Paying them Later, in Purgatory, brings no such Increase; it is just Paying old Bills.