Category Archives: Purgatory

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Carrying the Cross

The meditation of the Fourth Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Carrying of the Cross (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Perhaps the biggest pains reserved for the suffering souls would be for the times they refused to carry their cross while on Earth. For those born into the discipleship of Christ (those born Christian and those who eventually converted to Christianity) the need to accept and carry the cross of Christ was a mark of that discipleship.

Many were called, but few accepted. Lured by the trappings of the World, with its false promises of joy and happiness, these souls opted for a comfortable Christianity.

“Go to Mass or worship services once a week, and all is good.”

Well, no. Life is not one of comfort. While at time we are rewarded with goodness and peace, overall life on Earth is an exile from our true home. And so it is filled with an emptiness, a kind of suffering that the souls seeks to satisfy with the false promises of the World. Fame, money, power, carnality, acceptance and other such vanities that pass.

And so now they realize what their intended mission was, and they are paying the price for it.

Now they suffer in place of what they could have done on Earth. Here, in the fires of Purgatory they suffer the pains of the cross.

Heaven is delayed, when it could have been attained already.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Crowning with Thorns

The meditation of the Third Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Crowning with Thorns (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

Their journey continues. The souls move ever closer to their ultimate goal, complete union with God for all eternity. But still their progress forward is slowed.

Their thoughts while on Earth did not give due attention to God’s will. Their thoughts were oftentimes consumed with worries, anxieties and fears of Earthly trials. Rather than rest in comfort in the Lord’s arms, certain that Divine Providence will come to eventual fruition, they avoided this reliance. They turned their thoughts to Earthly solutions, to attempts of their own to solve the problems. Or, not even this, their thoughts dwelt upon silly and frivolous things. Too often they were concerned with the ordinary day-to-day events, and rarely turned their thoughts to things from above.

“Plenty of time to think about death and what happens after,” their souls thought upon Earth, “do not bother me with frightening things like Hell. Leave me alone.”

And so now this Earthly focus hinders their union. And like they underwent a spiritual scourging at a pillar, they now bear a spiritual crown of thorns. In this manner they atone for their sins of thought, for all of those times on Earth they did not give proper attention to God and His will.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Scourging at the Pillar

The meditation of the Second Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Scourging at the Pillar (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

The soul’s progress continues onward, closer to the Lord. It can see God afar off, but the vision is obscured by the smoke and flames of purgation that rage here: about them, among them, within them. Countless souls exist in this place, all possessing a burning desire to unite with the Lord. But shame that they did not pursue Him while on Earth piles agony onto their suffering.

In their pain they cry out for union. They are held back. Knowledge of their physical attachments to worldly pleasures sear their thoughts. Sexual improprieties and follies while on Earth demand purging. The sacred gift from God meant for human unity and cooperation in creation had been perverted. From lust to fornication and other abuses of this gift, these souls now seek a scourging of their worldly desires.

And so they attach themselves to a spiritual pillar. Nothing physical exists here in this place of torment, but in a manner of kind they undergo a scourging at a pillar. The sins of their Earthly flesh are flayed from their souls, they scream in agony.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Agony in the Garden

The meditation of the First Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Agony in the Garden (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

A person has died. The soul stands before God and has been judged. It is found wanting, unfit for entry into Heaven, but has not committed offenses against the Lord which condemn it for all eternity.

It joins other souls who have have entered into a “Garden of Gethsemane” within the afterlife. They begin their suffering in Purgatory, but their wills are still too connected to earthly desires. They are fearful of the journey ahead, and it is long and painful as they are separated from God because of their attachment to the World.

They desire God and His will, but their fear hinders their progress towards Him. They resist the journey and wish that it needn’t be made. Agony permeates their being. It is like a fire that burn through to the core of their selves. They try and pray to relieve their suffering, but cannot. Any wish or desire directed to themselves is impossible, their selfish desires were left back on Earth and any self will here in this burning Garden is for nought.

But their love for God spurs them on. Painful as it is, their desire for the Lord begins to burn away the stains of their earthly sins on their souls. The spiritual rags they wear, clothes not fit for the wedding feast of the Lamb, begin to loosen.

They discover that while they cannot pray or desire anything for themselves, they can do so for others. Herein lies their knowledge that their existence now reaches out to God, and to people left behind in the World.

They begin to pray for others, those still on Earth. In this charity, they grow closer to the Lord. Their journey forward continues.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory

Today I am posting a series of meditations for the Solemnity of the Commemoration of All Souls. It is based on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary (Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, and the Death on the Cross.)

It does not depict what I actually think happens in Purgatory, although Catholics familiar with the Church’s teachings on Purgatory should recognize where I got this or that concept.

It should not be interpreted as a chronological timeline of what happens after a soul enters Purgatory, just how each of the Suffering Mysteries may reflect why souls end up there.

I hope you enjoy reading them. Perhaps “enjoy” isn’t the right word, but I did feel rather creative while writing them. I may take these meditations and adapt them somewhat for a work of fiction. I’ve long wanted to write a novel based on Purgatory and these meditations may provide a sort of structure or basis for one. We shall see.

Anyway, these meditations should appear quickly after this post.

For how to say the Rosary:

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

On the Origin of All Souls Day

Taylor Marshall, over at Canterbury Tales, has an interesting article on theOrigin of All Souls Day .

NOTE: It’s another article from last year that for whatever reason I didn’t get around to blogging about.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Paid the last penny

In this excerpt from the Gospel Reading for the Mass for the Friday of the First Week of Lent, Jesus gives a pretty telling sign of the existence of Purgatory:

Matthew 5:26: “Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

(Via USCCB.)

The Gospel prior to this is about reconciliation and paying debts while you can before you meet the judge. An indication that while you are alive you should work out your penance, forgive others and settle debts against people you have sinned.

And if you don’t? You shall have to pay for it in afterlife. But if that afterlife is an eternity in Hell, how is the debt to be paid? There must be an intermediary place, a place of punishment where your penance is completely fulfilled.

And only then will “you be released,” for we known that there is never a liberation from Hell.

This can only mean Purgatory, a place of expiation so that you can enter Heaven pure and undefiled from the stains of sin.

Work out your penance now, in the transitory place that is “Life.” Why wait until Purgatory? Granted, you know that you are saved if you should find yourself there, but why delay any longer your grand entry into Heaven? This “Life” is passing, it exists solely to determine where you’ll spend Eternity.

This is Lent, start making good use of it.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Things said at Funerals

From Matthew Archbold who blogs at the Creative Minority Report comes this reminder on the state of modern Catholic funerals:

Please Say This at My Funeral

He makes an excellent point. Perhaps the subject of what Mr. Archbold writes about is a sign of either political correctness or misplaced sensitivity, but it is also what I’ve witnessed.

There is no reason to assume that the deceased is already in Heaven. While that may be comforting to us, it may also be cruel to the deceased if they are in Purgatory, being there as a result of being insufficiently detached from Earthly desires and pleasures at the time of death. We as a culture dislike talking about sin, as if that makes us “judgmental” about other people’s behavior. We seek to avoid offending them. And in doing so behavior stands uncorrected and people perhaps wind up paying for it in the afterlife.

I have little idea what was said or done at funerals before, say, 1970. I do know that priests wore black vestments. Perhaps they focused less on Jesus’ Resurrection than is common today and more on the suffering and death of Jesus. I would imagine that Purgatory was referred to in a respectful and prayerful manner, so as to provide an awareness to the living about the reality of it, and some comfort to the loved ones of the deceased that people would be praying for their soul. I don’t know.

I echo Mr. Archbold’s request. At my funeral, I want the priest to wear black, and go on and on about Purgatory. Maybe the funeral home can have selected The Four Last Things blogposts printed out and stapled to my Holy Cards.

But don’t assume I’m in Heaven.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Blessed are they who mourn

An excerpt from the Gospel for today Mass on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time has comforting words for those suffering the loss of a loved one:

Matthew 5:4:”Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

We are reminded in Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14: “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”

(Via USCCB.)

We who have lost loved ones to death are to not be sorrowful like those who have no hope in the afterlife. We shall be comforted, either by our hopeful reunion with them in Heaven, our by our realization that they are not really separated from us forever. They are still a part of our lives, for death only separates them from us by time. Time passes, and just as those who have gone on before us have travelled through the passage of death into the afterlife, we shall hopefully follow.

We yearn for them. We miss them. We long to be with them. Let this yearning be a way to burn away here on Earth the sinful tendencies of our lives which only increases our separation from them, and from God.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

CATHERINE OF GENOA AND THE EXPERIENCE OF PURGATORY

In Pope Benedict XVI’s General Audience today, the Holy Father reflected of St. Catherine of Genoa and her experience of Purgatory. The following is an excerpt from his address, I italicized a particularly relevant point:

VIS news – Holy See Press Office: CATHERINE OF GENOA AND THE EXPERIENCE OF PURGATORY: “…Benedict XVI then went on to refer to the works of the saint, recalling how, ‘in her mystical experiences, Catherine never received specific revelations on Purgatory or on the souls being purified there’. She did not see Purgatory ‘as a place of transit in the depths of the earth: it is not an exterior fire, but an interior fire’. She did not use the hereafter as a basis ‘to recount the torments of purgatory and then show the way to purification and conversion; rather, she began from the interior experience of man on his journey towards eternity’. Thus, for Catherine, ‘the soul is aware of God’s immense love and perfect justice; as a consequence, it suffers for not having responded to that love perfectly, and it is precisely the love of God Himself which purifies the soul from the ravages of sin’…

(Via VIS news – Holy See Press Office.)

Sin separates us from God, the pain of that separation is acutely evident to the soul after death. The soul’s desire for God and for perfect union with Him, combined with God’s love, is a purification, in which the stain of sins are purged from the soul.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"