I want to hear from Catholics only, non-Catholics are requested to stay out of this discussion.
probably not possible but…
lead a perfect life, be obedience to God and his teachings.
die at the hands of someone else because of your faith.
You’ll have to have perfect contrition for your sins. By that I mean you will have to be sorry that you offended God alone by all your sins, not because you are afraid of going to hell, but just because you offended HIM. (It’s all about HIM, if you are worried about where you are going to end up then its about you.)
Love God fully, and love your fellow man.
Study about indulgences then strive to meet the requirements
to obtain them
Practice all the virtues and esp try to preforms acts of mercy often throughout each day.
Make your life become a prayer.
Do penance! The more you can satisfy the temopral punishment due to sin here, the less you’ll need to do after death!
If you are really scared & this is upsetting your normal life then I suggest you wear the Carmelite Brown Scapular. In the Sabbatine Privilege with regard to this Brown Scapular, Our Lady has promised to release the wearers on the first Saturday after their death. This applied to all people - not just RCs.
Of course you have to accept Jesus as your Redeemer/Saviour and lead as good a life as possible following the 10 Commandments. You should also try to insure that your ‘good acts’ - little unseen, unknown kindnesses far outnumber your nasty grumpier moments.
Most RCs believe that 99.9% of people must go thu Purgatory( even if only fleetingly) to be purified. We cannot stand in the Presence of God with the slightest stain of sin on us. The Soul itself desires to be cleansed before approaching God.
Remember God is All-Merciful, All-Loving- if you don’t abandon Him, He certainly won’t abandon you.
It’s a small price to pay for Eternal bliss with God the Father.
Be not afraid.
die in a state of sanctifying grace moments after obtaining a plenary indulegence. or live a life free of all sin.
if you have committed sin in your life you will want purgatory and long for it, because you will not be able to bear the thought of coming before the Creator for all eternity without this purification and cleansing.
1 Peter 4:8 … But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves: for charity covereth a multitude of sins.
The suffering you speak of is simply the rejection of sin and attachment to sin, in order to become perfectly conformed to God’s will. So the more you can reject sin and attachment to sin and conform yourself to God’s will in this life, the less you’ll have to do so in the next life.
BTW, in “The Great Divorce” C.S. Lewis has a scene where (as I can remember it), on the outskirts of heaven, a man has a red lizard (the man’s sin and attachment to sin) on his shoulder. An angel asks if the man would like it removed, and the man is very reluctant and afraid that removal will kill him. The angel assures him that it will not kill him. Finally the man consents, and the process is, indeed painful. The man calls out in agony. The angel replies “I didn’t say it wouldn’t hurt you. I said it wouldn’t kill you.” In the end the man is freed from his little red lizard of sin, which transforms into a beautiful steed to take the man into heaven. A cool image and way to understand what this notion of suffering really entails.
Well, you certainly don’t want to sin.
Also, be sure to make an act of perfect contrition at death.
Oh, and entrust yourself to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.
Be sure to also entrust yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Preserverance is also pretty important.
Live exclusively by God’s will.
Have faith, hope, and charity.
Receive the sacraments frequently.
Pray and do penance.
Make of everything a spiritual sacrifice.
Obey the Church.
Meditate on the mysteries of Christ everyday.
Read the Sacred Scriptures everyday.
Make sure to bear your crosses patiently.
Follow Jesus through, with, and in Mary.
Indulgences are pretty important in avoiding purgatory.
And do give alms to the poor and needy.
In brief, Love!
Any suffering you have, offer it to God for the world, sinners, etc…
“God gives the greatest share of his cross to his closest friends” Padre Pio
No wonder God does not have alot of friends…
Can’t believe this many people have answered and only one has mentioned the all important I word - indulgences!
Indulgences are precisely a remission of the punishment that is due to your sins in purgatory. No punishment due thanks to indulgences = no purgatory.
There are many many ways in which you can gain them (have a read of the Handbook (Enchiridion) of Indulgences) to see some of them). When you wake up in the morning, as part of your morning offering, say to God ‘I wish to gain all the indulgences attached to the prayers I will say and the good works I will do this day’.
Many of the most common prayers and good works we do have indulgences attached - the Rosary, Adoration, Scripture Reading, common prayers like the Angelus, the Guardian Angel Prayer, and the Hail Holy Queen, even the Sign of the Cross!
Purgatory is a purification process and not “suffering” as in Hell. I will be very happy if I find myself in Purgatory because it means I have been saved and my next stop after purification is Heaven.
Before suggesting to you ways by which to avoid the purification after death, I would like to suggest that here and now you begin to appreciate the value of suffering and not be afraid of it.
Suffering is a method of theosis or sanctification or holiness. The Scriptures tell us in the Book of Hebrews that we suffer because suffering leads to holiness.
Haven’t you ever worked hard, even very hard, in order to obtain something you wanted? Wasn’t the end of obtaining what you wanted worth the hard work you performed? Don’t focus on the suffering. Focus on the reward which is heaven.
The souls in purgatory do SUFFER greatly during their purification process. Here is what the great Doctors of the Church tell us of Purgatory …
So grievous is their suffering that one minute in this awful fire seems like a century.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the Prince of Theologians, says that the fire of Purgatory is equal in intensity to the fire of Hell, and that the slightest contact with it is more dreadful than all the possible sufferings of this Earth!
St. Augustine, the greatest of the Holy Doctors, teaches that to be purified of their faults previous to being admitted to Heaven, souls after death are subjected to a fire more penetrating, more dreadful than anything we can see, or feel, or conceive in this life … “Though this fire is destined to cleanse and purify the soul,” adds the Holy Doctor, “still it is more acute than anything we could possibly endure on Earth.”
St. Cyril of Alexandria does not hesitate to say that “it would be preferable to suffer all the possible torments of Earth until the Judgment day than to pass one day in Purgatory.” (Source)
[size=2]… That sounds like some pretty intense suffering with little room for happiness despite the fact that one knows one is destined for heaven when it is all over.
To minimize one’s stay in this place of suffering, one may consider the Sabbatine Privilege - The name Sabbatine Privilege is derived from the apocryphal Bull “Sacratissimo uti culmine” of Pope John XXII, 3 March, 1322. Through the Sabbatine Privilege, we can be released from Purgatory on the first Saturday (Sabbath) after death. There are three requirements to make oneself eligible for this privilege: 1st, we must wear the Scapular; 2nd, observe Chastity according to our state of life and 3rd, recite the Little Office of Our Blessed Mother (The Rosary can be substituted for the office by obtaining permission from a priest.) Our Lady revealed to Venerable Dominic of Jesus and Mary: “Although many wear my Scapular, only a few fulfill conditions for the Sabbatine Privilege.” We maintain the majority don’t know them. It is an act of charity to make the Sabbatine Privilege known to all. A soul from Purgatory was asked by a Sister: “What is the average stay of the souls in Purgatory?” The Poor Soul answered: “From thirty to forty years!” (Source)
It is totally and absolutely unlike the suffering in Hell and the views of some church fathers do not make it correct that there is great suffering in Purgatory. It is NOT a Church teaching.
St Thomas Aquinas said Mary was not born free from original sin but he still became a saint nonetheless. We are not obliged to believe or accept everything the Church Fathers said.
I do not believe the purification is so bad “it would be preferable to suffer all the torments of Earth until the judgement day than to pass one day in Purgatory”. I do not believe that at all.
If the church disagrees with these Church Fathers why has it never declared this disagreement and issued a statement that they were wrong on this point as was the case with the Blessed Virgin being sinless?