Question from Scott on 1/22/2008:
Thank you for your time.. I am having trouble reconciling the reality of Purgatory not only for myself but my loved ones and well most of humanity..In studying Catechism, revelations of Our Blessed Mother and many great Saints we learn that when in Purgatroy the soul is Aflame..Have you ever seen a human being on fire for 5 seconds?.. let alone 10 days , 100 years , 10,000 years or as Our Mother Mary so elequently put it at Fatima "Till the end of Time" One of the promises associated with the Brown Scapular is relase from Purgatory after 3 days. Knowing this seemingly brutal, cruel and unusual punishment awaits not only me but all those around me is quite terrifying..At Medugorje "which is not officially recognized yet but is definately The Blessed Mother Herself" Mary Tells us "Many will go to hell, most will go to purgatory and very few will go directly to heaven." Our Lord Jesus told Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska reguarding Purgatory .." Let the Torrents of My Blood cool down Their Scorching Flames,. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making Retribution to my Justice.." With this inevitable and unavoidable nightmare drawing closer everyday how can you not freak out about it and Love God at the same time,, there is no love here only prepartion for the unthinkable torrment that awaists me. On the First Sunday after Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, Go to confession and Go to mass and pay reverance to the Image of The Divine Mercy if you wanna avoid this torture.. Our Lord said to Saint Faustina in 1938 "Anyone who goes to confession and mass on the first Sunday after Easter shall obtain complete remission of sins and punishment" I dont think the Holy Fathers death on this day was a coincidence..Perhaps we should take a closer look at this feast as one of the most important feasts for mankind.. Thank you Jesus for this day and take it easy on us its gettin bad down here.. Comment please if you will..
Answer by David Gregson on 2/18/2008:
While your observation that Divine Mercy Sunday is a great grace, to be ignored at our peril, your view of Purgatory may need to be adjusted. The fire you imagine sounds physical, causing pain and injury to the body, but the fire of purgatory is spiritual, purifying the soul. It no doubt inflicts great pain, but according to St. Catherine of Genoa, it is a pain not inconsistent with great joy. It is in fact a greater joy than they've ever known on earth, because the souls in Purgatory experience God's love for them.
Rather than viewing Purgatory as a firey furnace, fashioned by God to torture imperfect souls, try viewing it as a place of healing, in which all impediments to the full Vision of God are removed. And read St. Catherine of Genoa's Treatise on Purgatory (available in Catherine of Genoa: Purgation and Purgatory, The Spiritual Dialogue (Classics of Western Spirituality).