Since D.W. sent HSH Purgatory Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints by Father Francis Xavier Schouppe, S.J., and since this is Holy Souls Hermitage[!], I thought I might do well to put up a series on the subject. There is much more that can be said about this in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture and in the Magisterial Teaching of the Church, and I hope to cover all these subjects as well.
I hope TAN Books doesn’t mind me taking some excepts, which I might comment upon, and then heavily advertising them! To get a catalog of TAN books, call in the USA 800-437-5876 or 815-226-7777, or go to http://www.tanbooks.com — eTAN Books | PO Box 410487 | Charlotte, NC 28241
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CANON XXX – SESSION VI – THE COUNCIL OF TRENT – JANUARY 13, 1547
If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner, that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged, either in this world or in Purgatory, before the gates of Heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.
I would think that the anathema would refer also to the fact that it is just the wrong question to proffer. The mercy of the forgiveness of the guilt of the sin does not go contrary to the justice of having to undergo the consequences that were freely chosen with that sin. Because of original sin we have weakness of mind, weakness of will, feelings and emotions all over the place [what a cross!], sickness and death. Those things are to be carried as our cross in this world, or, if not carried well, we’re to face those things in purgatory as the just consequences of sin. To carry those things well, we’re to recognize fully that they exist, not run away from them, but shoulder them as the cross, not looking to them to condemn ourselves and get depressed and despair, but looking to Jesus, who, although He commanded us to carry this cross, also commands us to look to Him, to follow Him, to trust in Him, to agree in His grace that His power will shine through our weakness, that His grace will be sufficient for us. In this way, seeing all the hell that He saved us from as He drags us through hell to to Cross, to Himself, we now know fully how far He had to reach to get us, and so can have the joy in heaven to thank Him, knowing what we are saying in our thanksgiving, making that thanksgiving, in heaven, super joyful, for eternity.
If we are slack in lettting ourselves be drawn through hell to the cross, to Jesus, in this life, we’ll have to do that in Purgatory. But we won’t grow in friendship, just remain where we are at, depending on the prayers of others.
A great way to begin is to pray for the Holy Souls. If we do, when it is our turn, it is they who will welcome us into the eternal habitations, as our Lord says. Hail Mary…