An unanswerable question


#1

Hi all! Although I realize this question truly has no answer, I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion or idea. My grandfather passed away a few months ago. He was a beautiful person who, while having faith, was never a terribly spiritual person. He was born and raised Catholic. While he did believe, I don't think he ever embraced his faith deeply.

Last night, my dad was "visited" by my grandfather in a dream. My dad has a VERY deep and devout faith in God. He said that my grandfather was dressed in a very white robe and that his face glowed white as well. He approached my dad and said, "I don't know what to do." My dad told him that it was purgatory and that he should "follow the others." My grandfather said okay and walked away. Whether or not this visit was actually a gift from God, my dad will never know. What is striking to me is that my dad is the exact person my grandfather would have gone to in a situation like this. (My dad is his son-in-law).

Purgatory has always puzzled me. What is it? How does it work? etc. This experience of my father's (if it was indeed a real experience) only adds to my confusion. While I would rejoice at my grandfather being robed in white and being in purgatory at all, I can't help but wonder why purgatory would be confusing to someone. I know that while he lived, my grandfather would have been clueless as to what purgatory truly was (most of us probably are.) I had always asumed that once we entered purgatory we would know exactly what was happening. Maybe this entire experience was nothing more than a dream, or maybe purgatory isn't as cut and dry as I had always figured it would be.

It's food for thought anyways. If you have some insight into purgatory, I would love to hear it.

Peace,
Kolbe


#2

You may want to take a look at this michaeljournal.org/simma.htm

And pray for your grandfather and all souls in the Purgatory.


#3

A dream is not the same as a supernatural vision. Even if supernaturally inspired, it was likely produced using elements of your dad’s imagination and his understanding of the afterlife as well as his father-in-law’s state of soul. The bottom line is that we need to pray and sacrifice for the souls in purgatory. Just as we do penance for our own sins, so the souls in purgatory need our prayers and sacrifices to recompense for their venial sins and imperfections.


#4

[quote="InLight247, post:2, topic:181905"]
You may want to take a look at this michaeljournal.org/simma.htm

And pray for your grandfather and all souls in the Purgatory.

[/quote]

Having glanced over the web page and done a quick search, I take a strong exception to the story of a woman who went to heaven despite dying while getting an abortion, simply because she experienced deep repentance. This seems to suggest that you don't need the sacraments to go to heaven after committing a mortal sin. That alone will make me stay away from Maria Simma.


#5

Since purgatory is a state of being rather than a place, as the Holy Father has told us, it stands to reason that those of us who enter this state of being will each have his own way of experiencing and going through it. It may be this dream was a confirmation and a request granted to your father for the sake of your grandfather. I wouldn't take the words too literally--visions are influenced by the feelings/experiences/understanding of those who receive them (if this was a vision). I would say it's a request for prayers for your grandfather put into images and words that would prompt your father and other family members to remember him in prayer: Masses, rosaries, daily prayers, etc. My dh and I pray for our beloved dead and all the departed every day, for instance. I will remember your grandfather specifically in our Evening Prayer today.


#6

Great link, thank you! I will continue to pray for my grandfather and all the souls in purgatory.

Maria Simma definitely has some interesting things to say. With regards to the woman dying during an abortion, I think that the sacrament of reconciliation would be the “normal” means of forgiveness after mortal sin. Perfect contrition at death is possible though, and efficacious. God is by no means restricted by the physical sacraments. At least I think this is the case.

Thank you SO much for offering prayers for my grandfather. Your response is fantastic and really makes me look at it differently. Thank you!

Peace,
Kolbe


#7

Ultimately, private revelations can be judged by their fruits. Will reading about Maria Simma’s alleged experiences turn people closer to the sacraments (food for the journey), or will it make them presumptuous about God’s infinite mercy? For a person strongly grounded in catholic teachings, it would be interesting to compare it with St. Faustina’s diary, where love of sacraments, humility, and obedience abound… But, we’re getting a bit off-topic.


#8

[quote="dusza, post:4, topic:181905"]
This seems to suggest that you don't need the sacraments to go to heaven after committing a mortal sin.

[/quote]

Yea, some people believe that.


#9

[quote="dusza, post:4, topic:181905"]
Having glanced over the web page and done a quick search, I take a strong exception to the story of a woman who went to heaven despite dying while getting an abortion, simply because she experienced deep repentance. This seems to suggest that you don't need the sacraments to go to heaven after committing a mortal sin. That alone will make me stay away from Maria Simma.

[/quote]

The Church teaches that a perfect act of contrition is sufficient if the person cannot avail himself of the sacrament. This is because while we are bound to the sacraments, God is not. He may extend his mercy as he sees fit, but we must not presume upon his mercy by not availing ourselves of the sacraments (whenever possible to do so) he has provided.


#10

I'd also interpret this as a call to prayer for your grandfather's soul.

A few years ago my grandmother died and several days later I had a very strong feeling that she was standing behind me and 'telling' me to always remember her. No idea what that was. A reminder to pray for her perhaps.


#11

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