What is purgatory?

May someone please explain the nature of purgatory to me? What is it, under what conditions is someone sent there, etc?

If you use the search word Purgatory on this site, you will find quite a bit of information. Also Google Purgatory 101. It is a free booklet that is widely read.

Blessings to you and yours!

I didn’t do anything bad today but needed a shower before bed, Purgatory is for people who die in God’s Grace but need purifying.

Nothing impure can enter Heaven.
People rarely die without an attachment to sin of some sort.
You can’t get into Heaven with an attachment to sin, and you wouldn’t want to.
Purgatory is the step between that cleanses you of your attachment to sin and permits you to enter Heaven.

CCC 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

Article: What is Purgatory?

I once hear a priest describe it as this:

“The fire of God’s love for us burning away our sins before we enter Heaven”

I assume he meant venial sins because if we die and find ourselves in Purgatory it means we have no mortal sins on our soul.

But of course!

There is an explanation about Purgatory here- Catholic Answers.

Here’s the part on purgatory:

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.
1031 The Church gives the name *Purgatory *to this final purification of the elect, .606 607 608

So, in a nutshell, the Bible tells us that nothing impure can enter Heaven. Since we are not perfectly pure in this life we must receive this purification. Purgatory is the name given to this final purification (purgation is just another word for purification).

If you don’t have a Catechism of The Catholic Church, you should to get one, it will answer all of these kind of questions. along with the Scriptural basis.

Please let me know if you have any questions on this.

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