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The Forgotten Souls in Purgatory

Michael Cain
Editor of Daily Catholic

Too many have forgotten that the infallible dogma of the Church on salvation includes four final things - Death, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. To placate Protestants, the doctrine of the Church Suffering has been abandoned. So have those poor souls stranded in that place which so many deny exists. Therefore, the Church Militant has let down the Communion of Saints. No wonder so few prayers are answered lately!

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The poor souls in Purgatory beg Dante's pilgrim to remind their relatives and friends to pray for them and have Masses offered
The time we all have here and now will soon be gone, never to be recovered. Time is definitely of the essence. But more important is that we should save the time we would spend in Purgatory by utilizing our talents on earth to be in total union with God's holy will.

For some reason in this day and age that is very difficult to do, let alone comprehend. Maybe that is why those who resist the Revolution that has so ravaged our beloved Church seek more to turn the clock back to the time before the aberration of Vatican II cast its dark and foreboding shadow on the Mystical Bride of Christ.

There are many who buy into that age-old axiom, "If we knew then, what we know now, things would be different." Retrospect is great for what-iffing, but the facts are we have made our bed and now God asks us to sleep in it. But that doesn't mean we can't throw out the dirty, rancid sheets that have soiled the sacred covenant. All the fancy man-made synthetic coverings have not kept Catholics warm and cozy, safe in the Father's loving arms with the assurances of what are the absolutes, a true guide for life. Rather, in the manner of Adam and Eve, the vast majority have sought ways and means to be more like gods than how God likes.

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The serpent - always lurking to try to make us think only of this life, and forget the afterlife
In this search for "a better way" and to "liberate ourselves" from the "shackles of medieval thinking" so many have unwittingly enfolded themselves in the coils of the serpent, thinking that 'warm and cozy' feeling will last. Only when the vile evil one begins to squeeze once they are in his grasp do they realize where they really are. For many it's too late, so constricted is their faith that they have nowhere to turn. The source they had thought would provide for their attempts to rationalize their wrong actions has turned out to be the very enemy they were warned about as toddlers. Now they cry out in pain and torment, not just in this life but also in the afterlife.

Yes, the After Life. This is essential to think about. …. I can imagine Our Lord in His Passion foreseeing what His children would forsake in these times: their own souls. It is a fact. And yet, as bad as the situation is today with merely a remnant of truly faithful Catholics left amongst the legion of Catholics-thinking-they-are-still-Catholic, as bad as the reality is that there are so few True Holy Masses that can be found today, especially Daily Mass, as bad as all that is, I think the most terrible tragedy is that, for the most part, the modern Church has abandoned those who need the most help - the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

The poor souls abandoned

Because of the heresy of Martin Luther, the idea of Purgatory has long been considered a myth of the Catholic Church - a medieval myth. You'll note anyone seeking to advance the modernist, Masonic, One World New Order agenda will most always label traditional practices as "medieval." If that is the case, then America was founded in "Medieval Times." I'm sorry, but I don't remember any Knights of the Round Table or Crusaders marching through Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Texas or California or sailing the Great Lakes or the mighty Mississippi. No, the whole 'medieval' smear is exactly what modernists are so adept at: inaccuracies and lies…

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Our Lady visits the poor souls in Purgatory and gives them solace
Why is it that something so fundamental to Church dogma has been abandoned? Just as there are Three Persons in One God, the Triune Divinity, so also there are three components in One Communion of Saints. Those are, of course, the Church Triumphant - the saints in Heaven; the Church Militant - all those baptized faithful believers on earth, and the Church Suffering - all those who are waiting to be purified before entering the Heavenly realm.

Yes, Virginia, Purgatory does exist. And the sooner all realize that and begin to fulfill the duty that we as members of the Church Militant have - praying for the poor souls - the sooner they'll be freed and can then intercede for us. Heavens knows all of us here on earth need help!

So while we wile away our time trying to find ways to save time, why don't we make the resolution to rededicate our efforts to helping those who, in the long run, will help us the most, those who have just entered Heaven. They're so grateful that they will go to great lengths to show their gratitude by interceding before the Beatific Vision. Fresh prayers from new holy recruits. A refreshing idea. ….

I have news for all, and yes, I'm even speaking to "the choir" here - none of us does as much as we should for the Poor Souls.

While we focus so much attention on the events of the day both in the world with war and terrorism, natural and man-made disasters, greed, graft, sodomy run amok, adultery and pornography seeping into every fabric of life, the rampant materialism, what we really need to do is find time to meditate on the question - What is really important? Yes, our family's welfare is important, but as I have gone to the mat several times with my sons when they have asked for things that are not good for them, the most important role I have in life other than the welfare of my own soul and my wife's soul is their spiritual welfare. What it basically comes down to is this: Nothing else matters! Jesus said that so very clearly in Matthew 16: 26,
"For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father, with His angels: and then will He render to every man according to His works."
As an aside, that last doctrine by Our Lord totally anathematizes the Protestant belief of sola Scriptura or sola Fidei [only the Scriptures or only the Faith saves]. Your works count in your salvation, and those works include helping the suffering souls in Purgatory. If there were a movie I'd love to see Mel Gibson tackle, it would be a movie on the existence of Purgatory. Now, I don't have a clue right now, but I am sure the Holy Ghost will inspire someone, if He hasn't already touched Mel to take on this most important, most traditional and Catholic fundamental benchmark of belief.

Trinity time travel - the Confessional

As the years creep up on all of us, we all realize only too well the mistakes we've made in the past and sometimes wish we could go back, but we know we can't. Or can we? I won't call it by the mundane name of time travel, but rather what Christ basically gave us through His institution of the Sacraments, "Trinity Time Travel."

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The confessional - a tool of "Trinity time travel"
For, through sacramental grace and prayer, we can go back to our roots - to that state of sanctifying grace the Father gave us at Baptism. Then He showered us with more graces through the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist in which we receive the Divine Son, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. This regular reinforcement - refueling - along with the graces gained at Confirmation, make us tested, dependable Soldiers of Christ - another term rarely heard in new Church these days.

So through "Trinity Time Travel" we can go back in time. We can return to that state of grace that marked us as innocents in God's eyes. Who wouldn't want to hop this sure-fire spiritual taxi to return to that safe shangrila of being embraced in the loving arms of the Father, near the Sacred Heart of Jesus and sheltered by the protective wings of the Holy Ghost? We all can; we all have been given that passport.

That is the beauty of "Trinity Time Travel," the key element in our lives, the saving factor of every regret and mistake in life. For God can forgive and forget. We can forgive as well, but the forgetting is much harder. Many say they can't. God knows our weaknesses. Maybe that's another reason He sent His Only-begotten Son to show us it can be done! What a role Model! Mel's masterpiece illustrated this so visually, so beautifully.

Here was a completely innocent Man Who forgave all. He knew those waving the fronds of palms to Him as He entered the city of Jerusalem would soon turn their emotions in the opposite direction, calling for His death by crucifixion.

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The Supreme Model of forgiveness -
Our Lord Jesus Christ
Yet He forgave. Christ knew it would be Judas the Iscariot who would betray Him, yet He forgave. He knew the weaknesses of His chosen Apostles who could not stay awake even an hour to pray with Him, yet He forgave. He knew Peter's weakness despite Peter's boasts that he would never deny His Lord, yet he did, and Jesus forgave. He felt with the deepest human pain the satanic taunts and lashes from his torturers, yet He forgave. He grieved for the souls of those who turned on Him in revenge, such as the Sanhedrin and Scribes, yet He forgave. He knew the sins of the thief Dismas, yet He forgave.

And He knew the sins committed by every man throughout History, and He forgives. He knows the sins of every Bishop, of every priest, of every layman, of every atheist, every Protestant, every Buddhist. Why not? He created them. He created them diverse, but not to wallow in their diversity away from Him.

Rather He gave us through His Apostles the command in Mark 16: 15-16. "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be condemned." Simple, but foreboding words if we do not heed His charge.

Yes, forgiveness is the key to putting the "Trinity Time Travel" machine in motion. God has given us the Sacrament of Penance in which we need only sincerely ask for forgiveness with the intent of not sinning again, and God not only forgives, He forgets. When we are absolved in Confession our slate is wiped clean. We are able to turn the clock back to that innocent time when our souls were pure, devoid of serious sin, basking in sanctifying grace. It is our prayerful wish that everyone whose soul is presently dead with mortal sin will avail themselves of this necessary Sacrament, without which one cannot receive Holy Communion.

This gift is one of the best traits of "Trinity Time Travel" that the Church offers us and is one of the requirements of the annual Easter Duty. It is an opportunity for all Catholics to strap on their headgear, by examining their consciences, and buckle in with a sincere Act of Contrition in order to gain the maximum graces and experience the thrill of a clean heart by springing into action within the Confessional. There, no matter what the sins of our pasts might be, we can return to the abode of God's fullest love and soak in the rays of His Mercy.

We can go home again

They say "home is where the heart is" and our hearts will remain restless until they rest in Him, to paraphrase the great Doctor St. Augustine who knew all about turmoil in the Church. Through God we can settle that restlessness, spring ahead to a new peace of mind and soul, and, yes, contrary to what Thomas Wolfe says, through the mode of "Trinity Time Travel" we can go home again!

And speaking of our true home, there is only one: Heaven. To get there we have to first pay off our mortal mortgage. It should be prayer of all that they will die in the full state of grace with no stain of sin on their souls, mortal or venial. If there is mortal sin - well, it's a given, sorry, but no room in the Heavenly Inn. If there is venial - then we have to make amends. How long that will be depends on how we have lived, prayed and made our works good works for Him, not man.

It is His Will that we work to free those stranded souls in Purgatory. That takes priority over saving whales or caribou or whatever creatures God created that lack free will. Yes, it is our choice to choose to do His Will or our own. We can skate now, but we'll have to make up the deficit sooner or later. I don't know about you, but I'd just as soon pay up now and be assured I won't have a staggering balloon payment at the end.

That is why I work with all my heart here to be worthy of God so that when He chooses to call me home, I will hopefully pass through Purgatory quickly. I think that for any of us, no matter how much we are striving for sanctity, to think we can totally bypass Purgatory and go straight to Heaven is presumption at its greatest. Only the purest of souls are allowed admittance to such an exclusive Club where your membership never ends. Most who are able to escape the clutches of Hell cannot avoid Purgatory.

So, please, do not cease praying for that deceased parent, grandparent, child, relative, friend, priest, or Bishop - oh, especially the Bishops - because chances are, considering the track record of performance over the past 40 years, too many are still languishing and stranded in Purgatory. Don't just assume because someone might have been beatified or canonized in the last 25 years that they are automatically in Heaven. I sure wouldn't go that far. The truth is we do not know. But considering what the Church always taught, we have reason to doubt that what modern Rome tells us is true when it contradicts the documents codified at Trent as well as Divine Revelation and Sacred Tradition. Again, folks, the holy Apostle Paul's words to the Galatians in chapter 1: 8-10 come into play, very relevant for these times and circumstances.

The truth is we have greatly dropped the ball on our part of the Communion of Saints. That's not good teamwork. The Novus Ordo priests and Bishops keep calling for "unity of the community" as they push every abuse they can in bringing the congregation closer to the deadly coils of the viper. If they really wanted "unity of the community," they'd get down on their knees and pray around the clock for the Church Suffering. They sure need to do something to toughen up the lax and flabby souls who blindly go along with every temporal command, oblivious to what God and His True Church have always asked and demanded. If they are not in shape to die for and with Christ now, they are sure not going to be ready when push comes to shove! And that time is getting closer, folks.

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Death comes for all, and the Church teaches most souls must spend some time in Purgatory
I know, as I said, that when I pass from this life, I leave only three requests. That my surviving family members would not be abandoned, that I have a Traditional Latin Requiem Mass and Burial in holy ground, and that no one assume that I or anyone else has gone straight to Heaven. It is better to doubt and do all we can to pray those souls into Heaven than to assume they've already got it made.

If we can remember that and do all we can to save souls by praying for the poor souls in Purgatory, we might be amazed at how Heaven responds. We can see acted out in the Holy Week liturgy that One Man conquered death, but He didn't breeze through it. Au contraire, as Mel so masterfully depicted - and that doesn't begin to really describe what Christ went through for us. He paid the price of Atonement with His propitiatory sacrifice. That is why a Requiem Mass is so necessary when we die, black vestments to remind us our soul needs cleansing and we need to pray for the departed, not forget them.

Yes, I might be getting ahead of myself in speaking about a morbid subject like my own death, but then it is necessary to be ready. Jesus, the Saints, and His Holy Church have hammered that home. We must have our lamps lit to be ready when the Bridegroom comes. Considering the final rewards, I would hope what I have expressed in this editorial is not just my pewPOINT, but for all of us - a blueprint, or if you will, a Death Wish for Eternal Life!

The only way to fulfill that is to be willing to put our lives on the line, to be willing to be tested like gold in the furnace. Yes, it's getting plenty hot right now, but we traditionalist Catholics should be used to it. Yes, we're idealists to think that eventually this Pope will turn things around, or that people will finally wake up and return to the True Church. But hey, without hope, what would have pushed the Apostles onward? They also knew - and we should be prepared as well - that they would be persecuted and even threatened. Christ already clued us in on this in Luke 21: 12 and John 15: 20. We shouldn't be surprised. What sadly surprises us, however, is how few are conditioned to suffer, even to die for the True Faith. As the time grows shorter for us all, there is a question we must all ask ourselves: Are we prepared to die with and for Him?

Posted June 9, 2004

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