What is Purgatory?

Is Purgatory something that we experience only in the afterlife or can it be also what we face here on earth? Living with the knowledge that we have caused offence not only to God, our Church or to someone still leaves a person with many heartaches. To live with the fact we have done this regardless of the remorse, regret and sorrow we may feel, we still live knowing that what we did was wrong and in many cases there is no way to correct this.

Yes, I know what the Church teaches and that reconciliation removes the sin but many of us still do suffer the consequences of our actions. Is this not a form of Purgatory?

Dear brother this is called guilt this is a sign of true repentances. This is not a form of purgatory, the physical form of purgatory on Earth is called the baptism of fire. If you have truely been forgiven for your sin then it is Gods command not to feel bad about it. If you keep feeling guilty and saying sorry that is the work of the devil so it says it the bible

Purgatory is an activity, not a place. It is basically a cleansing of the soul through suffering. The same fire that burns those in Hell burns those doing their Purgatory.
You could say that this fire is fed by sin. The difference is that those in Purgatory know that once they’ve paid their dues they will move on to Paradise. Those in Hell have no such hope. Several of the Saints have implied that some do their Purgatory here on Earth and are thus spared any punishment afterwards.

Regardless, go to church, say your prayers, go to confession, do acts of charity and you won’t have to worry about Purgatory.:thumbsup:

I did some research on this. Biblical and Jewish Traditional Beliefs About Purgatory

[size=]The dogma of the Church teaches that Purgatory is a state of the soul. However, I also believe this state of the soul happens in a place and that this place is mentioned in scripture in such places as Luke 16:19-31 which teaches us that Lazarus was neither in Heaven or Hell but in a place near Hell separated by a chasm. Lazarus "comforting’ was only relative to those suffering in Hell but that both Lazarus and Abraham where going through a more mild for of purging. Another place where I believe Purgatory is mentioned in 1 Peter 3:19 which implies that while Jesus was in the grave he went to a place referred to as a “prison” to preach to those who were “disobedient.” Their sins were not of a mortal nature or Christ would not have gone to preach to them. And because Christ preached to them this implies they were “released” from their prison. Clearly this prison was neither Heaven nor Hell but a third place in the afterlife. Finally, I believe Purgatory is mentioned in Revelations 6:9 where the souls of those who were slain for Christ were “under the altar” and cried out to God for Justice. After a period of time these souls were given “white robes” which symbolizes their purging was complete and they were made perfectly pure and holy. Once again these souls were neither in Heaven or Hell but in a place described as “under the altar.” An alter is a place where something dies and is consecrated to God.

Furthermore, there are 3 Greek Words for the word “Hell” Two of them are Gehanna and Hades. The word Hades is the direct translation of the Hebrew word “Sheol” which can be translated as “the abode of the dead.” Gehanna refers to a place of fiery torment. In the Apostles Creed where we confess that Jesus descended to Hell, the word Hell is the Greek word “Hades.” Again I point to 1 Peter 3:19 that tell us Jesus went to a place where souls were in “prison” and preached to them. Clearly this place is what is confessed in the Apostles Creed.

Turning once again to the book of Revelation, chapter 20 verse 14 tells us that at the final judgment “Hell” was thrown into the lake of fire. The word “Hell” here is the Greek word “Hades” which tells us that Hades does not pass away until the final judgment. Of course Purgatory would cease to exist at the final judgment. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

Peace,

David[/size]

“Purgatory is a place of mercy and of goodness,” says the revelation. “Never would I have imagined that God is so infinitely good to the suffering souls. It is His tender mercy toward them which is and always was the greatest cause of astonishment to me. Nowhere have I seen merciful love pour itself out so freely as there. In that cleansing fire I have found the goodness and mercy of God as my soul sought it. It seems to me as if the soul asks God, ‘May I live once more? Can I yet make amends?’ Then God says: ‘Yes, you are now entering the novitiate of Heaven. You must now suffer and expiate all your sins. Thereby you will be made pure.’”

It is with gratitude, with unending thankfulness – says this revelation – that a soul accepts its purgatory. “Truly it is a place of redemption where souls have gathered at the brink of the abyss,” the pamphlet asserts. “It is the last place of refuge – an invention of Merciful Love.”

It is also a place of realization. There is the realization of how very good and loving God is – and how often we spurned Him, how often we squander the opportunities He grants us.

In purgatory we see the missed opportunities.

All the goodness of the Lord is revealed.

“God is not severe, not cruel toward the poor souls, as many imagine Him to be,” says the revelation, contained in 46 short pages. “No, He is good, full of compassion and love for them. It seems as if I hear throughout the whole realm of purgatory: ‘Oh, how good, how very good is God! Would that we had known Him!’”

But it is also a place of blessed suffering. There is despair. There is the knowledge of Divine Love and the realization of their own obdurateness constitutes the greatest torment.

“The souls in purgatory are enveloped, as it were, in a thick shroud into which they have wound themselves while living here on earth,” says the reputed revelation. “It is the garment of their own egoism. Their main care in this life was themselves, just as the world’s highest ideal is self-glorification and honor. It is this which fashions that coarse garment through which the Light of God can hardly penetrate.”

“Many souls on earth do not seriously ask themselves the question: ‘Does my way of living please God?’” continues the old booklet. “Instead they think without anxiety that their life is upright and most praiseworthy, but they are mistaken.”

In purgatory a soul sees its imperfections and that each soul is a mosaic in a great work that God has designed with little “stones” which are His graces. Each stone must be restored so that nothing in wanting in splendor. While it can be rough, “the longest purgatory is as nothing compared to the joys which these poor, suffering souls justly expect in Heaven. No soul in purgatory is without consolation. The certainty that they suffer only to be everlastingly happy is the consolation of the poor souls.”

As soon as they awaken in purgatory, the Light of God begins to purify and the souls grow more receptive to the benefits of prayers, Masses, and good works on their behalf, says the revelation. They realize that they are in dire need of God. They realize they didn’t pay enough attention to Him. Even religious must be heedful. “Souls who were pious and devout on earth on account of the esteem they thereby received from men suffer the pains of purgatory for a long time,” says the booklet. “I behold many souls in purgatory whose desire to become saints was motivated by self-will and self-love, or who devoted themselves assiduously to the interior life in order to please their confessors and spiritual directors, whose only motive was not God, but their own glorification, their own egoism, who performed deeds of penance in proud imitation of the saints, not in humility and repentance.” “The Secrets of Purgatory.”

What is Purgatory?

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I do thank everyone for their responses. They do bring some peace.
Peace be with you.

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