Purgatory - A New Problem

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by SteveD, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. SteveD

    SteveD Archangels

    I visited my Dental Hygienist today. She is a lady in her late forties who, I know to be Catholic as I sometimes see her at Mass. She is usually chatty and friendly but not today. Half way through my treatment she burst into tears and stopped the cleaning. I asked what the matter was and she told me that her mother had died just over a week ago, she apologised and went to continue but I stopped her and asked if her mother was Catholic, she said no, her dad was. But (not sure how this works) that she was being buried from a Catholic church. We chatted for a while about her mother and I said that I would pray for her soul, she was obviously offended and said 'Oh, I know that Mum is OK'. As far as she was concerned her mother is in heaven and I had offended her by implying otherwise. Very little conversation from that point.

    This is a problem I have noticed with Catholics assuming that their loved one is obviously in heaven and not seeing prayer for their souls as at all necessary. This is a contrast to the reaction of non-believers in my experience. A good friend of mine who is 'agnostic' and does not want to hear about religious matters, hugged me and wept when he lost his father and I said that I would arrange a Mass for him and this is not the first non-believer friend who has reacted in this way. What is going on when Catholics can offend other Catholics by promising prayers for their deceased family members and non-Catholics seem to appreciate it?
    Michael Rafael, AED, Booklady and 6 others like this.
  2. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    I am so sorry that your sincere offer was turned down so abruptly
    Well you surely did the right thing to offer your prayers for the repose of the soul of her mother
    So the Lord will reward you for that
    And also for offering a Mass for your friend's father
    Sad times we live in
    When my family members who were not Catholic died my pastor offered a Memorial Mass
    Since he said a Mass can be offered for anyone
    So maybe that is what happened to the mother
    A memorial Mass
    AED, Booklady, jerry and 1 other person like this.
  3. Tanker

    Tanker Powers

    I think many Catholics have become "Protestant - ized". And purgatory is a hard concept for non-Catholics or poorly catechized Catholics. Even people that attend Mass regularly are sometimes culturally Catholic and don't really understand much of their faith. I am still learning myself since coming back.

    I have had to try and explain Purgatory to non-Catholic friends and it is hard. It makes sense to me but it is a struggle for many.
    I would just say some prayers for your hygienist and her Mum and just chalk it up to battle wounds to being Catholic....lol.
    Booklady, Beth B and little me like this.
  4. padraig

    padraig New Member

    One thing I notice in prayer lately is that people I did not really get on with in life and who are now dead often come to mind for prayer as they are now dead. I think that is because if we pray for people who have hurt us or for whom we have no real connection our prayers have real power to help.

    There is one for instance I have been praying for a lot recently. He was in the French Foreign Legion for years and was a really, really hard man. He fought with the Legion on many parts of the world. I asked him one time if he had killed many people and he laughed and told me, 'Loads'. This was of concern to me as the Legion is a Mercenary Formation, often people not fighting for their own country but for a Foreign power, for money. My friend was English fighting for France. I don't think this is so hot.

    Like most people my friend was only nominally Catholic and never spoke about God yet I sensed a certain spiritual hunger in him. He had no family but the Legion and the friends he made in Ireland.

    He was something of a bully since he knew how to fight and this put me of him a lot.

    I found out by accident from a newspaper clipping he had died in England in a very sad way. He had died alone in his apartment and his body was not found for several days. So sad and bleak.

    But anyway I have been praying for his soul for quite sometime. I often feel him close in prayer begging for more prayers as I am the only one praying for him. He reminds me not to judge people with his life. He was never shown the right way and I guess he did the best with what he had been given.

    But I have never had the least problem with Purgatory. It has always seemed to me so logical a thing. It fits.

    Please if you have a moment pray for my poor friend the French Legionnaire , Stewart Bolton. So sad he has no one else to pray for him.
    AED, Booklady, Ed Kleese and 7 others like this.
  5. padraig

    padraig New Member

    One thing I think Purgatory has taught me is to be slow to Judge people. It is surprising to see some folks in Purgatory and some in Hell. God is Judge He makes His own decisions often very , very different than our own might be.
    AED, Booklady, DivineMercy and 2 others like this.
  6. padraig

    padraig New Member

    People in life can have had very, very difficult childhoods and family backgrounds, I think God makes allowances for this.
    AED, Booklady, Tanker and 1 other person like this.
  7. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    This is a great thread. Much to be learned from the postings here. One thing my late neighbor did was to pray for those souls in Purgatory who have no one else to pray for them, and I added sometimes, those who are in Purgatory pretty deep and may not get out for awhile or until the end of time.
    Good work, everyone.
    Will pray for your friend.
    AED, Booklady, Andy3 and 1 other person like this.
  8. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    This is the problem with the Church today and has been for 50 years. When is the last time anyone heard a priest talk on purgatory, or sin for that matter, in his homily. Don't everyone raise their hand at the same time (y) The answer in most parishes is never. At most funeral's we are celebrating their new life in heaven....so they say. My dad told us a story about going to his brother-in-law's funeral years ago. The priest was given his eulogy and half way through it his brother elbowed him and said, "is he speaking about the same person we knew"?

    I take heed to what the children at Fatima were told, that "most souls go to hell, because they have no one to pray for them". I made this part of our family nightly prayers after our rosary, to pray for those who have no one to pray for them (both here on earth and in purgatory).
    AED, Booklady, Ed Kleese and 9 others like this.
  9. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think as Pope St John Paul2 said we have lost our sense of sin. Because of this we have no sense of needing cleansing after death. After all if there is no sin , who needs cleansing?

    One thing I always try to do after a relative dies is to place a note of reality into conversations my family have about the dead in that although it is good to remember the good, it is also good to recall their humanity. Otherwise we would be no longer talking about a reality but a kind of false ideal. Putting people too much on a pedestal is unreal and is nor fair to the deceased.

    I have heard priests several times at funerals saying that the dead person is in heaven now. I have this huge urge to spring up and say, 'Well how do you know that?'

    Its about a false mercy and false kindness because it has nothing to do with reality. There are people who are saints, but they are rare. The rest of us...well we struggle.

    We will need many prayers after death, Even the best of us. But I am afraid reality is the very last thing folks often want to hear these days.
    Beth B, AED, Booklady and 3 others like this.
  10. Scolaire Bocht

    Scolaire Bocht Archangels

    Yes and as well as the good points and experiences mentioned here, which are mine as well, can I also point out the potential impact it can have on suicide rates?

    Obviously if you keep telling people that pretty much everybody goes directly to heaven when they die then why not hasten the event a little, especially if you were ill or old? Apparently there are even some Irish priests who are committing suicide now and it kind of fits if you think about it?
    Beth B, AED, Dolours and 1 other person like this.
  11. Tanker

    Tanker Powers

    We have done damage to people by giving them false information. I really like when people give me the hard facts and are honest. I don't like when they coddle me. But many people like to think everything is rainbows and unicorns and everyone goes to Heaven. I hope they do, honestly. But I don't think that is the case.

    I often think that we keep moving farther and farther away from reality and Truth. The farther away from Truth the scarier it gets
    Beth B, AED, SteveD and 2 others like this.
  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think the really scarey thing is to picture people waking up and finding themselves in hell and wondering how on Earth they got there. We see this in Scripture when at the Judgement people ask Christ the question , 'When did we see you hungry and not give you to eat etc. It is plain to see these people are genuinely puzzled as to how they wound up there. Nor do you necessarily have to be evil to end up in the Eternal Flames for as Jesus warned us again that the lukewarm would be spat out of His mouth. My own suspicion is that hell will be filled , not with evil people (though there will be quite a few of those) but with the folks who couldn't be bothered but kind of moseyed along. Basically we murder or severely damage our own conscience and after that everything else is downhill.

    This is very sobering to dwell on , for of course if many people who end up in hell are genuinely puzzled as to how they got there, well, what about us? So as St Paul says a healthy attitude to hell and purgatory is a Holy Fear. Or as Jesus says to strive to enter by the Narrow Gate, or to aim high that we might not fall low.

    There are so many , many reports form mystics and others who return from Purgatory or even hell. I have the uneasy feeling sometimes that if I were to meet some of the souls I knew in this life and who are now in hell I might wind up wondering myself how they got there. For being lukewarm about things doesn't seem such a bad thing to us moderns. So , for instance never going never going near a Church does not seem a problem. But if we really believe in God then God is everything and our response to Him is everything. Then to live as if God simply did not exist is the most terrible insult to Heaven. When we look around us how many people can we see who live like this. Many people have far more love and interest in their Smart Phones than they will ever show to God.

    I suppose I sound like the most horrendous old grump. But I honestly think this. I don't think most people I meet care enough about God to even bother to deny Him. They are kind of vaguely and disinterestedly wandering to hell.

    I don't know about you, but honestly it does frighten me. To make matters worse they regard hell as a joke. What a shocker when they wake up there to discover it a reality.
    Beth B, AED, DivineMercy and 4 others like this.
  13. padraig

    padraig New Member

    But who talks or thinks like this anymore? I never hear it in Church. But it is still the truth. Its just no one ever talks about it. So sad that they don't.
    Beth B, AED, sterph and 3 others like this.
  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Its true, the overwhelming assumption of most modern Catholics lay and clergy is that most or all souls will get into heaven. I don't know where they get this from, for it is neither Scriptural nor Catholic. But they are just so smugly very, very certain of it.
    Light, AED, Booklady and 2 others like this.
  15. Pray4peace

    Pray4peace Ave Maria

    I have noticed the same reaction. I think that even if people believe in purgatory, some become offended when prayers are offered for their deceased loved one because there is the (perceived) implication that their loved one wasn't good enough to get directly into heaven. I think it's the tendency to idealize their loved ones. Maybe an agnostic is more likely to recognize their unrepentant sinfulness and the need for prayer as an opportunity lost.

    As many have already pointed out, the church has really dropped the ball in realistic discussions about our eternal home and what it takes to get there.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
    Beth B, Light, AED and 6 others like this.
  16. "Quis ut Deus"

    "Quis ut Deus" Powers Staff Member

    Indeed I had someone sent to my house recently for a pre baptisim talk, the subject of Adam and Eve and purgatory came up in the conversation, I of course was amazed how this person, who is educated to teach new parents the faith was so uneducated or should I say blind to their own faith, they actually tried to argue that purgatory is a fairy tale.. I responded " Well when your pushing up daisy's in your wee fantasy world, I will remember to pray for your release from Purgatory". as they rolled there eyes and looked smugly at me I added " that is of course you manage to get there" :):):love::love:
    Beth B, Light, Clare A and 8 others like this.
  17. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    Sister Lucia of Fatima told a priest once that an enormous amount of souls are being lost to hell and he didn't believe her or want to believe her. He couldn't understand how so many souls are being lost in these times, but they are...
    AED, sterph and fallen saint like this.
  18. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Its a great, great mystery. But there is a very common theme of pure evil emerging in the world which you see more and more of. That people accept that God exists but they simply defy Him . As in Satan who said, 'I will not serve'. Paganism is a good example of this were, like Satanism they say, 'Do what you will shall be the whole of the Law' . The reason why I think the devil is coming out into the open like this is that he knows his days are numbered. With the Warning and Illumination of Conscience coming very shortly there is no good hiding anymore. So the next strategy he is preparing is to outright defy and rebel. Believiing God forgives everything , it does not matter if we repent or not is a first step to this outright rebellion. If we are convinced that God will go along with things no matter what we do and suddenly discover that God is much more just than we imagine, then the next step up is to go into outright rejection mode. I think the souls of many Catholics , particularly Catholic clergy are being prepared very subtly for this, 'God is the bad guy, the devil the good guy,' mode with the Doctrine of False Mercy.
    AED likes this.
  19. Andy3

    Andy3 Powers

    I started doing this a few years ago and always add them to the Fatima Prayer:

    Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need. Please, shorten the suffering and bring comfort to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially those who have no prayers. Let mine be theirs, I humbly ask as a miserable sinner myself.
    Beth B, AED, Booklady and 4 others like this.
  20. Andy3

    Andy3 Powers

    So true Mark! I do want to make one correction to your post though because the word "most" has such a depressing connotation to it when you really think about it and it is not the word our Blessed Mother used according to Lucia's journal unless the translation was done wrong??

    Our Lady further said, "Pray, pray a great deal and make many sacrifices, for many souls
    go to Hell because they have no one to make sacrifices and to pray for them. " (Fatima in
    Lucia's Own Words)
    Booklady, Dolours, Jeanne and 2 others like this.

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