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Copyright © 2017, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - November, 2017 [Plain text version (+ image)]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

* New: Catholic Bible Facts

* Food For Thought: Short Reflection of St. Theresa of Avila

* Liturgical Feasts in November

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory?

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Dear Friend,

"For indeed it becomes the glorious people of this earth who think of eternal glory so to act that in virtue of their excelling in temporal power, they may procure for themselves a reward that is not temporal. Accordingly, addressing to you the greeting which we owe, we implore Almighty God both to replenish your life with present good, and to extend it to the lofty joys of eternity." (Pope St. Gregory the Great)

We send you our warmest greetings in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We hope this newsletter finds you doing well during this beautiful Fall month. This month starts with the feasts of All Saints & All Souls, it offers opportunities for special indulgences, it ends with the Feast of Christ the King (Novus Ordo Calendar), and is quickly followed by the start of Advent (on December 3rd).

Things on our end have been going rather well over recent weeks. First, we are happy to report that our Ninth Annual Rosary Week held at the end of last month was a success, with signups received from close to half of the states in the U.S. and from at least five continents. Considering God's goodness & mercy, we hope these modest efforts may result in abundant blessings. We also recently entered the 10th year since our 'official unveiling', achieved our most recent traffic goal, had our ad appear in 'Latin Mass Magazine', and released a new publication (please see below for more information).

We likewise wish you well and thank you earnestly for your support over the years. Please know that we pray for the visitors to our site every day.

Your Friends at

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"We render thanks unto you, O King invisible, who framed all things by your measureless power, and in the multitude of your mercy have brought all things into being from nonexistence." (St. John Chrysostom)

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MCS News & Notes

* Rosary Week: We send our thanks to all who participated in our Ninth Annual Rosary Week. You helped make this event a success. As an expression of our appreciation, all Rosary Week participants will be remembered in a Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass to be said by the Priestly Fraternity St. Peter. Please note that the Priestly Fraternity was erected as an institute of pontifical right by the Holy See in October of 1988 (their twofold mission is "the formation and sanctification of priests in the cadre of the traditional liturgy of the Roman rite, and secondly, the pastoral deployment of the priests in the service of the Church"). Again, we thank you for your participation and hope you will join us again next year.

* New Release: We are happy to report that we have released the first book in our 'Catholic Educational Series'. See below for more details or visit

* Traffic Update: We are happy to report that received its 5 millionth visitor* since our last newsletter was prepared. We send our sincere thanks to all who have visited and we look forward, by God's grace, to welcoming many millions of visitors in the years to come. (* Number of visits is based on raw, unfiltered access logs. Excludes traffic prior to our 'official unveiling'.)

* Our 10th Anniversary: As we have now entered the 10th year since our 'official unveiling', we have a few special plans for 2018, potentially including some Amazon Giveaways. We plan to provide additional details in future newsletters. Thank you for your support over the years!

* Latin Mass Magazine Ad: As mentioned in last month's newsletter, an ad for one of our recently released books (TLM v. NO) was scheduled to appear in the Fall edition of 'The Latin Mass: The Journal of Catholic Culture and Tradition' (commonly called 'Latin Mass Magazine'). We are happy to report that the half-page ad appeared as scheduled (on pg. 37) in their 100th year Fatima Anniversary issue (see image at ). It was extra special for us to be included in this commemorative Fatima issue. Again, if you love the TLM, please pray for the success of this effort. [Note: For more on our currently available titles, please visit ]

* If you joined the Purgatory Release Project effort and plan to submit your form, please do so as soon as possible. For more information, and to start a new form for next year, please visit . Thank you for helping the poor souls! Did you know? The Purgatory Release Project has been recommended on a Junior Legion of Mary blog. Why not join in too?

* To request prayers for your deceased loved ones, please visit the Prayer Requests section at

* For information on indulgences available in November, please visit . For additional information on indulgences, please try here:

* Great for All Saints Day! Our handy Saints4U app is presently still available for Android and on iTunes. You can use this app to quickly search for patron saints (by name, patronage or category), male or female saint names, feasts falling on particular days, liturgical feasts, and more. It features over 6,400 listings, including 1,000+ patronages. It's a great aid for finding baptismal names & confirmation names, and it's also handy for locating feast days & patron saints. For more information & screenshots, please try here: (or here: ). [Note: For other resources for All Saints Day, please try here - ]

* Advent begins this year on 12/3/17. If you'd like to get a hold of some Advent resources a little early (including 'Make Your Own Advent Calendar', Advent Prayers, Advent Practices, Reflections, Coloring Pages, etc.), please visit

* If possible, we hope you joined us in a day of prayer & fasting on October 31, 2017 (the day which marked the 500th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther posted his theses on the door, sparking the Protestant Rebellion against Christ's one and only true Church). At this time, it may be useful to brush up on facts regarding the Heresiarch Martin Luther. To that end, please visit our 'Those Outside the Church' Topic Page at (scroll towards bottom of links to view our 9/16 & 10/16 newsletters which contain the two-part article 'Setting the Record Straight About Luther').

* Help keep us online! Donate any amount (from $1+) at [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Thank you for your much needed support!

* Please invite your friends to visit For our "easy to use" invite-a-friend page, please visit . Please invite some friends today! Your support helps keep us going!

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* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through January 2018.

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* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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"One of the holiest works, one of the best exercises of piety that we can practice in this world is to offer sacrifices, alms, and prayer for the dead." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"To assist the souls in Purgatory is to perform the most excellent of the works of mercy, or rather it is to practice in a sublime manner all the works of mercy together: it is to visit the sick; it is to give drink to those who thirst for the vision of God; it is to feed the hungry, to ransom prisoners, to clothe the naked, to procure for poor exiles the hospitality of the Heavenly Jerusalem; it is to comfort the afflicted, to instruct the ignorant - in fine, to practice all works of mercy in one." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

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Related Resources...

* Purgatory (Topic Page) -

* Purgatory Information / Purgatory Release Project -

* Prayers For the Dead -

* Indulgences -

* Purgatory (Reflections) -

* Purgatory (Apologetics) -

* Purgatory (Topical Scripture) -

* Purgatory (Biblical References) -

Also Try...

* Death (Topic Page) -

* Suffering / Death (Incl. When a Loved One Has Died) -

* Request Prayers -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"Those are punished for a time in purgatory who die in the state of grace but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

"[T]he souls in Purgatory can be relieved by our prayers, alms-deeds, all our other good works, and by indulgences, but above all by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"The pains of Purgatory are more grievous than all the pains of this world" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Someone says: 'It is nothing to me to know how long I stay in purgatory, so long as I go on finally to eternal life. Let no one say that, beloved brethren, because that purgatorial fire itself will be more difficult than any punishments that can be seen or imagined or felt in this life." (St. Caesarius of Arles)

"'He shall be saved, but as if by fire.' (1 Cor. 3:15) And because it is said that he shall be saved, little is thought of that fire. Yet plainly, though we be saved by fire, that fire will be more severe than anything a man can suffer in this life." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"According to the holy Doctors, for every mortal sin a man is obliged by God to seven years of penance in this world, or the equivalent in purgatory; the reason being that every mortal sin is an offense against the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost." (St. Vincent Ferrer)

"If anyone shall say that after the reception of the grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Purgatory is a crucible where the dross of sin is burnt away, until every debt is cancelled. When its flames have effaced every stain and every wrinkle that marred the soul's beauty, then she flees away to her Spouse, truly a blessed one and sure of offering no obstacle to the complacent love of her Lord. Yet to what a sad length her exile is prolonged! True, she is united by charity to the inhabitants of heaven: but the fire which torments her is of the same nature as that of hell" (Liturgical Year)

"[I]f you assign, on the average, as St. Frances of Rome says, seven years for the expiation of one mortal sin, remitted as to the guilt, who does not see that we arrive at an appalling duration and that the expiation may especially be prolonged for many years, and even for centuries? Years and centuries of torments! Oh! if we only thought of it, with what care should we not avoid the least faults! with what fervor should we not practice penance to make satisfaction in this world!" (Fr. Schouppe)

"Now, one of the easiest, yet one of the most powerful, means to procure relief for the souls in Purgatory is to say the beads [the Holy Rosary] for them with fervor. To say the Rosary for the souls in Purgatory is to offer up to God for their relief all the labors, fatigues, prayers, tears, contempt, sufferings, blood, and death - all the merits of the life of our dear Savior. Next to Mass, no more efficacious offering can be made to God then this for the relief of the souls in Purgatory." (Muller)

"There is no doubt that the pains of Purgatory are not limited to ten and twenty years, and that they last in some cases entire centuries. But allowing to be true that their duration did not exceed ten or twenty years, can we account it as nothing to have to endure for ten or twenty years the most excruciating sufferings without the least alleviation? If a man was assured that he should suffer some violent pain in his feet, or his head, or teeth for the space of twenty years, and that without ever sleeping or taking the least repose, would he not a thousand times rather die than live in such a state? And if the choice were given to him between a life thus miserable and the loss of all his temporal goods, would he hesitate to make the sacrifice of his fortune to be delivered from such a torment? Shall we then find any difficulty in embracing labor and penance to free ourselves from the sufferings of Purgatory? Shall we fear to practice the most painful exercises: vigils, fasts, almsgiving, long prayers, and especially contrition, accompanied with signs and tears?" (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Holy Souls in Purgatory: "Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen." [Note: It is said that Our Lord will release 1,000 souls from Purgatory for each recitation of this prayer.]

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New: Catholic Bible Facts

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We are happy to announce the recent release of the first book in our 'Catholic Educational Series'. Additional detail can be found below (or at ).

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Now Available in Paperback & E-Book Formats!

Catholic Bible Facts: Click for more information & to purchase

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"I learned a lot from this book, even though I'm Catholic educated and know quite a bit about the Bible." (CBF Previewer)

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Don't miss this handy 'information-filled' treasury of Catholic Bible facts! These article reprints contain...

* More Than 250 'Bible Facts Q & A'

* Coverage of Beatitudes, Parables, and Jesus' Emphasized Statements

* Books of the Bible (Information & Lists), and Psalms Lists

* More Than 50 Links For More Information

Questions Include...

* What does "Inspiration" of Holy Scripture refer to?

* What language was the Bible originally written in?

* Who is responsible for the chapter divisions and numbering of the Bible?

* What are deuterocanonical books?

* What is 'scriptural tropology'?

* What is the relation of the Old Testament to the New Testament?

* What is the Septuagint?

* Is Holy Scripture free from error?

* How many words are in the Bible?

* How should the Bible be interpreted?

* What are Scripture 'senses'?

* Why isn't the Catholic Church "bible only"?

* Is it true that the Catholic Church has prohibited lay people from obtaining a Bible?

* What are some benefits of Holy Scripture?

* What if I feel "overwhelmed" by the Bible or find it hard to understand?

* How should I choose a Bible? What things should I be careful of when selecting a Bible?

* Is it acceptable for Catholics to use Protestant bibles?

* And many more...

Whether you are new to Holy Scripture, or are already a devoted reader, you won't want to miss this informative educational reference!

Get your copy today. And purchase an extra copy to share!

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"If aught could sustain and support a wise man in this life or help him to preserve his equanimity amid the conflicts of the world, it is, I reckon, meditation on and knowledge of the Bible." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

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Kindle Version Just $6.99 -

Paperback $16.99 -

Note: Prices indicated herein are subject to change at any time without notice and do not include any applicable taxes. For current pricing, please visit applicable link(s) above.

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For more information, visit links above or visit

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Food For Thought: Short Reflection of St. Theresa of Avila

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"But in all the visions I had, I saw no souls escape purgatory except this Carmelite father, the holy friar [St.] Peter of Alcantara, and that Dominican father of whom I spoke before." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

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For more Reflections, please visit

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Liturgical Feasts in November

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for November as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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November 1 - All Saints (T) *

November 1 - All Saints (N) *

November 2 - All Souls (T)

November 2 - All Souls (N)

November 3 - St. Martin de Porres (N)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (T)

November 4 - Sts. Vitalis & Agricola (T)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (N)

November 5 - Feast of Holy Relics (T)

November 6 - St. Leonard (T)

November 8 - Four Holy Crowned Martyrs (T)

November 9 - Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Saviour (T)

November 9 - St. Theodore the Recruit (T)

November 9 - Dedication of St. John Lateran (Lateran Basilica in Rome) (N)

November 10 - St. Andrew Avellino (T)

November 10 - Sts. Tryphon, Respicius & Nympha (T)

November 10 - St. Leo the Great, pope (N)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (T)

November 11 - St. Mennas (T)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (N)

November 12 - St. Martin I, pope (T)

November 12 - St. Josaphat (N)

November 13 - St. Didacus (T)

November 13 - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (N)

November 14 - St. Josaphat (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Gertrude (T)

November 16 - St. Gertrude the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Margaret of Scotland (N)

November 17 - St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (T)

November 17 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (N)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul (T)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (N)

November 19 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (T)

November 19 - St. Pontianus, pope (T)

November 20 - St. Felix of Valois (T)

November 21 - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

November 21 - The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (T)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (N)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (T)

November 23 - St. Felicitas (T)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (N)

November 23 - St. Columban (N)

November 24 - St. Chrysogonus (T)

November 24 - St. John of the Cross (T)

November 24 - St. Andrew Dung-Lac & companions (N)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (T)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (N)

November 26 - St. Peter of Alexandria (T)

November 26 - St. Sylvester (T)

November 27 - Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (T)

November 27 - St. Virgilius (T)

November 29 - St. Saturninus (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (N)

* Holy Day of Obligation

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


11/26/2017 - Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ (N)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. St. Alphonsus Liguori says what about the saints with regard to humility?

2. The end of the patristic age is marked by the death of which saints?

3. Since God loves the souls in Purgatory, why does He punish them?

4. Which saint lived to the age of 112, is called "the first hermit", and died in the cloak of St. Athanasius around the year 342 A.D.?

5. Which saint and Doctor of the Church was born of a wealthy pagan family in the early 4th century, converted after making a study of the Old and New Testaments, and is called the "Athanasius of the West"?

6. Does St. Thomas Aquinas maintain that the damned can be seen by those in heaven?

7. Which saint of the second century A.D. is considered one of the most important (if not the most important) apologists of his time, wrote rather prolifically, founded a school in Rome, and died a martyr?

8. Will all saints enjoy the endowment of 'brightness of body' in equal measure?

9. Who are the "Holy Souls" and what is our duty towards them?

10. What do Gregorian Masses refer to?



1. "Humility has been regarded by the saints as the basis and guardian of all virtues." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

2. The end of the patristic age is marked by the death of St. Isidore of Seville in the West (c. 636 A.D.) and of St. John Damascene in the East (c. 749 A.D.).

3. "Though God loves the souls in Purgatory, He punishes them because His holiness requires that nothing defiled may enter heaven and His justice requires that everyone be punished or rewarded according to what he deserves." (Baltimore Catechism)

4. St. Paul, father of hermits, lived to the age of 112, is called "the first hermit", and died in the cloak of St. Athanasius around the year 342 A.D.

5. St. Hilary of Poitiers, a Doctor of the Church, was born of a wealthy pagan family in the early 4th century. He converted after making a study of the Old and New Testaments, and is called the "Athanasius of the West".

6. Yes. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, "That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the dammed in hell."

7. Saint Justin the Martyr is considered one of the most important (if not the most important) apologists of the 2nd century A.D., wrote rather prolifically, founded a school in Rome, and died a martyr.

8. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, "Unlike the gift of impassability, this quality [of brightness] of all will not be the same, for according to the Apostle, One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory: so also is the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. 15:41-42)."

9. The Holy Souls are those souls in Purgatory. We are obligated to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Purgatory. We should also gain indulgences for them, have Masses said for them, perform good works, etc.

10. Gregorian Masses refer to the traditional practice of having 30 consecutive daily Masses said for a deceased person upon their death. These Masses may be referred to as the "30 Masses of St. Gregory", Gregorian Masses, or a "Trental". These Masses are offered to assist a particular soul, with the hope of obtaining its release from Purgatory.


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Purgatory? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* If there is no purgatory, how can it be said that some sins may be forgiven in the next age (see Mt. 12:32)?

* If there is no purgatory, why does Scripture speak of not being released until all debts are paid (see Mt. 5:26, Lk. 12:59)?

* If there is no purgatory, how can it be said that persons "will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15)? Do you mean to suggest that there is fire in heaven?!

* How do you suppose that "the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality" (Col. 3:25) if there is no purgatory?

* How do you suppose there can be prayers for the dead (see 2 Macc. 12:39-46, 2 Tm. 1:16-18) if the dead cannot be helped by prayers ("those in heaven do not need prayers and those in hell cannot be helped by prayers")? Note that Scripture says to "withhold not your kindness from the dead" (Sirach 7:33) and Old Testament Jews (not to mention today's Jews) are known to pray for the dead. Why pray for them if they cannot be helped by prayers?

* If one must have a sufficient degree of holiness to see God (see Heb. 12:14), how do you imagine that those who die short of this holiness, but not deserving of hell, become worthy to see God if there is no purification of purgatory?

* How can you deny a temporary state distinct from heaven and hell when Scripture speaks of Christ preaching to the spirits in prison (see 1 Pt. 3:18-20)?

* How can you assert that sin can go unpunished considering that Scripture says that sin does not go unpunished (e.g. Sirach 7:8, Wisdom 1:8)?

* How can it be that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10), if those who have committed evil - but not sufficient evil to warrant hell - are immediately rewarded with heaven? Is it not clear that departed souls not deserving of hell, and also not yet worthy of heaven, would require an interim destination?

* Do you believe that there can be no punishment left after sin is forgiven? Then why did King David suffer God's punishment even after God forgave him (2 Sam. 12:13-14)? If someone intentionally broke your window, do you not see how it is possible to both forgive him and to require him to make restitution? In fact, would there be any justice if restitution wasn't required for those who committed crime?

* If you injured someone, wouldn't it only be natural to want to "make it up" to them, even if they had already forgiven you? Can you not imagine persons who truly love God welcoming the chance to atone for their sins in purgatory - despite the great suffering?

* Would you attend a fancy wedding "dirty and in picnic clothing"? Wouldn't you feel out of place? Why is it you wouldn't feel out of place entering heaven without purification? Wouldn't you welcome the opportunity to "wash yourself and dress appropriately" before entering, even if suffering was involved?

* If your body was sick, would you not consider taking unpleasant treatment in order to heal it? How can you not see that it may also take something unpleasant to heal the soul?

* Do you object to the concept of purgatory because you believe the term "purgatory" is a "recent invention" of the Catholic Church? If so, you should know that the concept of purgatory has always been held. The term, however, was coined later. The same may be said for the term "Trinity", but you don't reject the concept of the Trinity simply because the word was coined later, do you? Do you not see that sometimes it is necessary to coin a word?

* Do you reject purgatory because the term "purgatory" is not in the Bible? Did you know that the term "Bible" is also not in the Bible? Or the term "Trinity"? 

* Doesn't common sense tell you there must be a purgatory? God is just and surely not all those who will be saved are deserving of immediate heaven!

Note: Also see 'Indulgences / Prayers for the Dead' at

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"From the very beginning the Church has always prayed for the dead, as did even the Synagogue before her (2 Mach. xii. 46)" (Liturgical Year)

Q: "How does God punish venial sin?" A: "He punishes it in this life by all kinds of temporal evils, and after death by the torments of purgatory." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

"Not all who suffer temporal punishment after death come in for the everlasting punishment which is to be after judgment. To some, what is not remitted in this world is remitted in the world to come." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"The punishment of purgatory is not intended chiefly to torment but to cleanse: wherefore it should be inflicted by fire alone which is above all possessed of cleansing power." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"When he has quitted his body and the difference between virtue and vice is known he cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested. That same fire in others will cancel the corruption of matter, and the propensity to evil." (St. Gregory of Nyssa, 4th century A.D.)

"If anyone shall say that after the reception of the grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"That there should be some such fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they have loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 421 A.D.)

"For if anyone knows that any of these sins dominates him, if he does not do penance worthily and for a long time, if such time is given him, and if he does not give abundant alms and abstain from those same sins, he cannot be purged in the transitory fire of which the Apostle spoke, but the eternal flames will torture him without any remedy." (St. Caesar of Arles, c. 540 A.D.)

"It is impossible for evil to be pure and without the admixture of good, just as the supreme good is without any admixture of evil. Consequently those who are to be conveyed to beatitude which is a supreme good must be cleansed of all evil. Wherefore there must needs be a place where such persons are cleansed if they go hence without being perfectly clean." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Gold which as been purified to a certain point ceases to suffer any diminution from the action of the fire, however great it be; for the fire does not destroy gold, but only the dross that it may chance to have. In like manner, the divine fire acts on souls: God holds them in the furnace until every defect has been burnt away and He has brought them each in his own degree to a certain standard of perfection. Thus purified, they shall rest in God without any alloy of self, they become impassible because there is nothing left to be consumed." (St. Catherine of Genoa)

"I see that as far as God is concerned, paradise has no gates, but he who will may enter. For God is all mercy, and his open arms are ever extended to receive us into his glory. But I see that the divine essence is so pure - purer than the imagination can conceive - that the soul, finding in itself the slightest imperfection, would rather cast itself into a thousand hells than appear, so stained, in the presence of the divine majesty. Knowing then, that purgatory was intended for her cleaning, she throws herself therein, and finds there that great mercy, the removal of her stains." (St. Catherine of Genoa)

"I believe that no happiness can be compared with that of a soul in purgatory, except that of the saints in paradise. And this happiness increases in proportion as the rust of sin is consumed away by the fire, enabling the soul to reflect, more and more clearly, the rays of the true sun, which is God. The suffering, however, does not diminish. On the contrary, it is love kept back from its object which causes the pain; and consequently the suffering is greater according as God made the soul capable of a greater perfection of love." (St. Catharine of Genoa)

"For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones but also wood and hay and stubble [1 Cor. 3:12], what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God...[?] It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials... But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built... It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions, and then returns the reward of our good works." [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), 3rd century A.D.]

"Everyone is presented in judgment just as he is when he departs this life. But nevertheless, it must be believed that there is, for the sake of certain lesser faults, a purgatorial view of the fact that Truth does say that if anyone speak blasphemy against the Holy Spirit it will be forgiven to him neither in this world nor in that to come. In this statement we are given to understand that some faults can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For if something is denied to one in particular, the intellect logically infers that it is granted for some others. But, as I said before, this must be believed to be a possible disposition for small and lesser sins." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, 6th century A.D.) 

"It is said (2 Machabees 12:45): 'It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.' Now there is no need to pray for the dead who are in heaven, for they are in no need; nor again for those who are in hell, because they cannot be loosed from sins. Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed from sins, who can be loosed therefrom; and the like have charity, without which sins cannot be loosed, for 'charity covereth all sins' (Proverbs 10:12). Hence they will not be consigned to everlasting death, since 'he that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever' (John 11:26): nor will they obtain glory without being cleansed, because nothing unclean shall obtain it, as stated in the last chapter of the Apocalypse (Apocalypse 22:14). Therefore some kind of cleansing remains after this life." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[I]t is sufficiently clear that there is a Purgatory after this life. For if the debt of punishment is not paid in full after the stain of sin has been washed away by contrition, nor again are venial sins always removed when mortal sins are remitted, and if justice demands that sin be set in order by due punishment, it follows that one who after contrition for his fault and after being absolved, dies before making due satisfaction, is punished after this life. Wherefore those who deny Purgatory speak against the justice of God: for which reason such a statement is erroneous and contrary to faith. Hence Gregory of Nyssa, after the words quoted above ['If one who loves and believes in Christ,' has failed to wash away his sins in this life, 'he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory.'], adds: 'This we preach, holding to the teaching of truth, and this is our belief; this the universal Church holds, by praying for the dead that they may be loosed from sins.' This cannot be understood except as referring to Purgatory: and whosoever resists the authority of the Church, incurs the note of heresy." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Finally, since Truth in the Gospel asserts that 'if anyone shall utter blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, neither in this life nor in the future will it be forgiven him' [cf. Matt. 12:32], by this it is granted that certain sins of the present be understood which, however, are forgiven in the future life, and since the Apostle says that 'fire will test the work of each one, of what kind it is,' and 'if any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire' [1 Cor 3:13,15], and since these same Greeks truly and undoubtedly are said to believe and to affirm that the souls of those who after a penance has been received yet not performed, or who, without mortal sin yet die with venial and slight sin, can be cleansed after death and can be helped by the suffrages of the Church, we, since they say a place of purgation of this kind has not been indicated to them with a certain and proper name by their teachers, we indeed, calling it purgatory according to the traditions and authority of the Holy Fathers, wish that in the future it be called by that name in their area. For in that transitory fire certain sins, though, which before have not been remitted through penance but were small and minor sins, are cleansed, and these weigh heavily even after death" (Pope Innocent IV, 1254 A.D.)

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In Closing...

"Christians who wish to escape the rigors of Purgatory must love the mortification of their Divine Master, and beware of being delicate members under a Head crowned with thorns." (Fr. Schouppe)

"Those who seek to perfect themselves in every aspect of virtue should look to the lives of the saints, which are like living and breathing works of art, and thus by imitation try to reproduce their virtues in their own life." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Suffrages for the dead are more agreeable to God than suffrages for the living; because the former stand in more need thereof, not being able to assist themselves, as are the living." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[O]ne who has confessed and received absolution will be less punished in Purgatory than one who has gone no further than contrition." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Christian families, which possess a spirit of lively faith, make it their duty, according to their rank and means, to have a large number of Masses celebrated for the dead." (Fr. Schouppe)

Prayer for a Deceased Person: "Incline Thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers, wherein we humbly pray Thee to show Thy mercy upon the soul of Thy servant N., whom Thou hast commanded to pass out of this world, that Thou wouldst place him in the region of peace and light, and bid him be partaker with Thy Saints. Through Christ our Lord. Amen." (Raccolta)

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. (Latin: Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace. Amen.)

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