The doctrine of purgatory was held by pre-Christian Jews, post-Christian Jews, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox. It was not denied until the Protestant Reformation, and thus only Protestants deny it today.

Once we understand what purgatory is, then we can understand the comfort the knowledge of its existence brings. For purgatory is the ultimate “Bride’s Room”. It is the place set aside for me to prepare to meet my Bridegroom. My whole entire life I have prepared my mind and spirit for this day, why wouldn’t I want everything to be perfect? I can’t imagine standing before betrothed in the church and exchanging vows un-showered and in my t-shirt and jeans. Why would I think I could stand before the ultimate Bridegroom and not be cleansed and donned in my best. What a comfort to know that before I go to the wedding banquet of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), I will undergo the eternal “What Not To Wear”, and I will be purified. I will stand before the beatific vision of God and eternally bask in the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion. Now that’s something worth cleaning up for!

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Bible “Ante-Types”: The Desert Wanderings of Exodus as a “type” of Purgatory

Sometimes, God’s elect have bad habits,
and are otherwise “not yet ready for prime time (“Heaven”)

The Old Testament of the Bible is replete with persons, places, and events which serve to prefigure things that would become realities in New Testament times. These are typically known as biblical “ante-types”.

“Bible only” Christians generally fail to appreciate the fact that the God who saves, nonetheless does not always instantaneously conduct his people into the “Promised Land” … which is a metaphor for Heaven. Sometimes, an intermediate course of purification and sanctification … often including a modicum of suffering … is required.

In the case of God’s Chosen People, the Israelites of the Exodus, that “intermediate course” took the form of  a 40-year long desert trek.

Only then would the Israelites be ready to enter the Promised Land.  And even after all that, only two of the original group, estimated to originally number some 2,000,000 souls, made it in alive!

All the rest were required not only to wander, and to experience a life of considerable suffering, but also to die.

Catholics have always understood, that even in these New Testament times of grace, only perfectly holy souls are permitted to enter Heaven, and that many of the faithful departed, while not “bad” enough to warrant Hell, certainly don’t meet God’s high standards for admittance to Heaven.

For those souls, an “intermediate stay” in Purgatory is required. Once their prescribed course of purification and sanctification, along with a modicum of suffering, has been completed, Heaven is always, absolutely guaranteed.

You can find an extensive list of scripture passages dealing with Purgatory here.

This is a clear case of God treating all of his people pretty much equally … but in different ways … at different times.

No real mystery here … the Bible says it’s so … and it’s only fair!

All Saints Day Novena for the Holy Souls

purgatory

Begins nine days before All Souls Day (November 1st) – Pray for your deceased loved ones.

The following Prayer to Our Suffering Savior for the Holy Souls in Purgatory is said after the particular prayers for each day of the novena, which follow.

O MOST SWEET Jesus, through the bloody sweat which Thou didst suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane, have mercy on these Blessed Souls. Have mercy on them.

R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel scourging, have mercy on them. R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most painful crowning with thorns, have mercy on them. R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in carrying Thy cross to Calvary, have mercy on them. R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer during Thy most cruel Crucifixion, have mercy on them. R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the pains which Thou didst suffer in Thy most bitter agony on the Cross, have mercy on them. R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

O most sweet Jesus, through the immense pain which Thou didst suffer in breathing forth Thy Blessed Soul, have mercy on them. R. Have mercy on them, O Lord.

Here recommend yourself to the Souls in Purgatory, and mention the favour you wish to obtain through this Novena.

Blessed Souls, I (we) have prayed for thee; I (we) entreat thee, who are so dear to God, and who are secure of never losing Him, to pray for me a miserable sinner (us miserable sinners), who is (are) in danger of being damned, and of losing God forever. Amen.

Specific prayers for each of the nine days here

Submitted by Doria2

What is the purpose and meaning of holy water?

waterdrop

Q: What is the purpose and meaning of holy water?

A: Holy water is a sacramental … an aid to holiness.

Ordinary water has always played a central role in the purification (washing) of worldly things.

Holy water … water that has been blessed by a Catholic priest or bishop … works the same way for people and things that have been set apart for service to God.

Blessing one’s self with holy water while making the sign of the cross recalls our baptism,  obtains forgiveness for venial sins, and rededicates our life to God.

The Bible shows us a world recreated and covered with water.  A world subsequently destroyed by water (Noah’s flood). And the Egyptian army drowned by water (Moses and the Red Sea) … saving God’s people.  John the Baptist baptized with water, in a universal call to repentance. Jesus spoke about “living water”. On the cross, blood and water poured from his pierced side, while water baptism … an essential sacrament of the Church … now serves as the entryway to all that the Kingdom of God has to offer.

Not surprisingly, devils and demons seem to find water … the ordinary kind … and especially the holy kind … totally repugnant.

All the more reason to use it frequently.

Click here for additional details

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