|Angels pouring our golden cups of mercy of the suffering souls in Purgatory.|
Today we pray for the souls in Purgatory. These poor souls are part of the communion of saints as they belong to the Church Suffering. It is our job as the Church Militant to help them out.
Contrary to popular belief, it is very unlikely for someone to be directly admitted into heaven after their death. We must be perfect to be in heaven. If we die with even the smallest attraction to sin on our soul, we cannot attain heaven.
The good news is that we don't necessarily go to hell either. We go to Purgatory instead, where we are cleansed from all sins and impurities.
But it hurts like hell.
-That bites again.
Maybe it would be wrong to say that purgatory is analogous to hell, although the sufferings of purgatory are said to surpass any sufferings of earth.
-This doesn't sound like a nice place.
Look on the bright side, the joys of purgatory far surpass any joys experienced while on earth.
-Right. Because being roasted in a purging fire for an undisclosed amount of time that causes greater sufferings than those experienced on earth sounds like a really joyful time.
....Well you are closer to Eternal Bliss every second you spend there. It's like saving up for a new pair of sneakers. Plus, you have absolute assurance you won't suffer eternal damnation. You are being purified by the love of God.
Not only that, but we can also pray for those souls and speed up the process of getting them into heaven. As it is written in Maccabees: "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."
The theme of Maccabees, as you can see, is that if there are no dead to pray for, then make some!
But seriously folks, scratch their back and they will scratch yours. It is our duty to ease their pains and hasten them on their journey to heaven.
A final story to help you feel more guilty:
Padre Pio was met by a soul who asked for his prayers.
The poor soul made his plea, "I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me."
Padre Pio, thinking himself to be generous, said in reply, "you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass."
The soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared.
So you see, it is good to be devoted to our faithful departed that they will be helped as soon as possible.
*Fun fact* The word 'macabre' comes from Maccabees.