[quote="garysibio, post:7, topic:208204"]
I didn't ask because I was interested in the specifics of Amelia's spiritual life. It's more a matter of if a nine-year-old (I'm making an assumption here but I think I'm in the ball park) can go to Purgatory until Jesus returns, what do the rest of us deserve? We're talking about a Portuguese peasant girl somewhere around 1917 who probably died of an illness. What did she do? Kill a man just to watch him die?
Umm. . .I think you might have a bit of a misunderstanding about what Purgatory is.
Any sin's temporal effects (venial or mortal) will keep us from entering heaven until those sins are 'purged.' Right?
Now. . .mortal sins, of course, will result in hell--unless they are forgiven.
Gary, you seem to think that a repented mortal sin by, say, some high-ranking Nazi official, is what should keep people in purgatory 'until the end of the world' whereas some '9-year-old girl' with relatively 'minor' venial sins should have been 'excused' from purgatory by now at least.
I can think of a couple of responses.
A. Though not a comforting thought, Gary, the 'end of the world' could be only a short time away. IOW, if this young girl died less than 100 years ago, and the end of the world is imminent. . .well, suddenly the time in purgatory for her is a lot less than the 'thousands and thousands of years' that people envision who confidently imagine the 'end of the world' as being way distant in the future.
B. On the other hand, the end of the world could indeed be thousand of thousands of years away.
What IF most people in purgatory are there pretty much until the end of the world?
What IF to people in purgatory, "Time" as we know it does not exist? Therefore, to be in purgatory 'to the end of the world' for them would be some kind of experience but it would not be felt as though they existed IN TIME.
And a final. . WHAT IF purgatory's 'torments' were different depending on the sin, number and nature, degree of culpability, etc.?
Suppose purgatory is like a cleansing fire. Well, then, rather than thinking that a 'small spot' (like a 9 year old girl with venial sin) only needs a brief 'burst of fire' for a SHORT TIME. . .
What IF that young girl is receiving a long, slow, thorough cleansing that, while it 'purifies' is not nearly as 'intense' or painful as the 30 year old man suffering a long, slow thorough cleansing but at a somewhat 'higher' intensity of purgation?
Thing is, you're dangerously close to a kind of view that people really 'deserve' to have little if any punishment in purgatory if they're only guilty of 'little sins'. . .but that isn't the case. That's a kind of view that is not found in Scripture or tradition. . . ALL have sinned and NONE are worthy, Christ has saved us but 'as through fire' and if you're disturbed thinking, "if 'little sins get punished in a way that seems 'excessive' to me, what about big ones' --well, congratulations --you are obviously coming 'face to face' with the concept of a sense of sin--something that far too many people living today *have lost, to their own grave danger. *
Do not despair --as that itself is a grave sin. . .after all, the news is good --and after purgatory, one's ultimate home is always heaven!
BUT. . .do not 'presume' either. That is an equally grave sin. Presumption that our sins are so few, so minor, that we're not REALLY going to suffer (much). . .if at all, 'compared to all the really BAD people out there'. . .is a real spiritual danger for many people. Don't compare yourself to anybody, lest you get a false idea as to your own 'goodness' or 'badness'. You aren't in competition with ANYBODY. And the one whom sin (any sin) offends is God. . .so try to do as much as you can on earth to atone for your sins.
You're a little too late I THINK to get the Portiuncula Indulgence this year (though you might just make it, check with your priest) but there are other ways to get partial and plenary indulgences that will help you with purgatory. Check them out and God bless.